(Photo Credit/Associated Press)
With the return of captain, Claude Giroux, the Flyers needed a win to keep themselves in the playoff hunt. Playing a struggling Arizona team, who is 1-4 in the past 5 games, Dave Hakstol chose to ride the hot hand in net by starting Neuvirth in back to back games. The Flyers would strike first with a brilliant pass from Nick Cousins, as he flipped the puck over the heads of two Coyote defensemen to a wide open Scott Laughton; who then put this creative move on the Arizona goaltender:
— Joe Dought (@JoeR35h93) February 27, 2016
The lead would be short lived as Brad Richardson would score minutes later to knot the game up at 1 a piece. The Flyers went on a power play with just under 6 minutes left in the first, only to be cancelled out 13 seconds into it by a soft slashing call. No goals resulted from the near two minutes of 4 on 4 play.
The Flyers went back on the power play with 3 minutes left in the first period, this time they would produce. The captain would make an impact in his first game back, firing a quick shot from the outside hash marks. This marks his 500 career point, an impressive feat for any player.
— NHL (@NHL) February 27, 2016
40 Seconds after Giroux scored, Gagner lit the lamp against his former team and was ecstatic to say the least.
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) February 28, 2016
This could mainly be due to the bad terms in which he left Arizona.
Oh really? https://t.co/VH4R0Hj5JZ
— Flyzette/About.com (@flyzette15) February 27, 2016
The Flyers would lead after one 3-1
Streit would end the first period with an assist on all three goals, helping him reach the 400-point milestone. This could not come at a better time as the trade deadline is Monday. Many fans believe he will not be with the team after Monday.
The second period was a physical battle between both teams. Laughton dropped the gloves with Connauton although Laughton would take the majority of the punches in the fight, the Flyers gained a lot of momentum from Laughton’s brawl. The Flyers were forced to kill a late period tripping call; which they did seemingly without a problem.
Both teams would get their fair share of chances in the third. The Coyotes scored to bring the game within one. Ekman-Larsson puts a one-timer past Neuvirth, who never had a chance. Even after giving up a goal the Flyers kept their heads and would again increase the lead to 2, this time from Bellemare. The Flyers shut down Arizona for the rest of the game giving them a convincing 4-2 win.
Hakstol may have a problem on his hands as to choosing a starting goalie. Neuvirth has made his case for the starting spot. A little competition is never a bad thing, especially since the Flyers have been struggling with goaltending over the past few years.
Things seem to be coming together for the Flyers: goaltending is strong, special teams units are making positive impacts, and perhaps the biggest positive the 3rd and 4th line is producing.
The Flyers finish the week off on a 2 game winning streak and the players are loving it, Dabb on ‘Em boys
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) February 24, 2016
Sam Gagner dabbing on his former team pic.twitter.com/P8yTSAzIbj
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 27, 2016
The game left the Flyers just 3 points behind the Penguins for the final wild card spot, with 21 games left in the season. Two of those games being very important contests with the Penguins.