The Flyers had a pretty tough schedule through October that they managed to come out with an even record after beating some of the toughest competition in the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings and then the defending Stanley Cup Champions the LA Kings, so it was a bit confusing when they managed a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday; they were even at risk for being shut out.
Roberto Luongo, who has let in the least goals of any team this season, managed to keep the Flyers offense pretty non-existent stopping 37 shots on the night. The game against the Panthers was supposed to be an easy win, but that wasn’t the only reason the Flyers were happy for the beginning of November. Goalie Steve Mason, who had yet to win a game, was meant to get his confidence back up and shake off any rust after sitting for 6 games. Unfortunately the Flyers couldn’t put enough past Luongo and Mason still didn’t get his first win.
Tuesday night the Flyers had their second (supposedly) easy game at home against the Edmonton Oilers, who are obviously going through some stuff. To make the odds that much better for the Flyers, the Oilers were playing without their Captain Andrew Ference and their leading scorer Taylor Hall. Coming into Philadelphia, the Oilers had a perfect record against eastern conference teams
Despite being out shot 11-8 in the first, 15-7 in the second and 36-25 overall, the Flyers outscored the Oilers to win 4-1. The Flyers found themselves in a rare position for this season, going into the 2nd period with a 2 goal lead thanks to rising superstar Jake Voracek who had multiple pass attempts bounce right back to him for a goal. His first goal bounced off the net and came back to him allowing him to tuck it in behind Fasth. His second came from a blocked MDZ shot that ended up on his skate, a quick little kick and a hard shot through traffic gave Voracek his second. Voracek is currently 2nd in the league in overall points behind only Sidney Crosby (who is one point ahead of him).
“It’s only been 12 games,” Voracek said about his place on the points chart. “Obviously it’s good to hear that but I’m not going to get overly confident.’
One of P.E. Bellmare’s shots in the second period trickled past Fasth to give the Flyers a 3 goal lead and Luke Schenn got his first goal in 32 games from a falling pass from his brother behind the net.
Mason made 35 saves in the game to get his first win of the season. A new glare reducing mask and continual fan support may have been factors in Mason’s return to form against the Oilers. “Playing in Philly is a special thing,” he said. “The fans have been supportive of me, even through the tough start. You love them for that.” Mason definitely needed the confidence booster after going through October (and then the unfortunate Panthers game) without a win.
The Flyers face the Florida panthers again tonight, on home ice this time hoping they can find a way to beat Luongo and get more shots on net early on instead of waiting until late in the game.
- The 4th line has had a good impact on games since the Bellmare-Rinaldo-VandeVelde line was regrouped after the return of Vincent Lecavalier. It seems like Bellmare isa key player on any line he joins, notable the Bellmare-Schenn-Simmonds second line that was so effective through Lecavalier’s absence.
- Carlo Colaiacovo made his Flyers debut, ending the game +1 after almost 17 minutes of ice time.
- Michael Raffl blocked a shot midway through the 3rd period and left the game with a lower body injury, the Flyers announced that he’ll be out for 6 weeks, Chris VandeVelde has been promoted to the top line wing.