Oh look at that, the Flyers are gonna give up a goal with under a minute left……….PSYCH!!!
This time around the Flyers were able to hold on to the lead by the skin of their teeth, and I’m not even sure teeth have skin.
Since the beginning of the first period Michal Neuvirth played a complete game, and while the Flyers had a great game all around I’m almost convinced they still might have lost this one if not for the efforts of their wonderful netminder.
Throughout the first period the Flyers were making things happen, creating 31 shot attempts alone in that period. 14 of those were on net. It was great to see the Flyers hold onto the kind of momentum they had against Carolina, even though they did lose that game. They put a lot of offensive pressure on the Wild’s defense and eventually got through when Sam Gagner put one past Devan Dubnyk after lil Brayden Schenn was able to generate a chance in close. 1-0 Flyers.
When the second period started the Wild had completely turned their game around. During the early minutes of the period Nick Shultz was called for holding and the Wild went to work on the power play. They cycled the puck all of over the Flyers’ penalty kill until Thomas Vanek was able to beat Neuvirth blocker side after redirecting a pass/or a shot? Whatever it was it went in. 1-1 Tie.
Not too long after the Flyers had a powerplay of their own in which trade bait Mark Streit was able to snipe one past Dubnyk after accepting a beautiful pass from Matt Read. Voracek would also tally an assist. 2-1 Flyers.
Eventually the Wild were able to readjust and began creating offensive pressure that would eventually result in a goal with about 7 minutes left in the period. Mikael Granlund was able to take complete advantage of 2 traffic cones labeled Radko Gudas and Braydon Manning down low and slam one home past Neuvirth. Chris Porter also picked up an assist because even players who were signed by the Flyers who never even actually played for them should produce against them……smh. 2-2 Tie.
Early in the third period Pierre-Édouard Bellemare was able to break the deadlock by making a diving play to scoop the puck right past Dubnyk after Chris VandeVelde was able to turn a great effort along the boards behind the net into a scoring chance. Ryan White picked up an assist. 3-2 Flyers.
The Flyers were able to hang in there but things got tense when Mikael Granlund fed Charlie Coyle with under 5 seconds to go. It looked like it as pretty much over until Neuvirth was able to pull a literal rabbit out of a literal hat and put in a top candidate for save of the year. He got his paddle on the shot right on the line and was able to cover the puck saving the game. The Flyers would get a much needed two points.
Sam Gagner(4): Assisted by Brayden Schenn(19)
Mark Streit(5): Assisted by Matt Read(11) and Jakub Voracek(38)
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare(4): Assisted by Chris VandeVelde(9) and Ryan White(5)
Special Teams: Powerplay was 1 for 2 while the penalty kill was also 1 for 2.
Player of the game: Going with Michal Neuvirth. His play really kept the Flyers alive and his save in the final seconds saved us from heading to OT and possibly another horrible shootout lose.
Sidenote: While Gostisbehere was unable to make the scoresheet he did drive offensive play finishing with an on-ice corsi differential of +10. He was also finished with an on-ice goal differential of +2. I know +/- isn’t the best way to determine individual play, but it’s clear that good things happen when Ghost is on the prowl.
RIP Chris Porter
*All advanced stats are from http://war-on-ice.com/
You can follow Ryan at @flywalker1975 on Twitter.