On Saturday night the Flyers were only able to score on Roberto Luongo once, late in the 3rd period. Teams facing the Panthers have had offensive trouble all season with no team scoring more than 2 goals on the Panthers in regulation time; the Panthers had the fewest goals against in the NHL so far this season. If the Flyers wanted to build off Mason’s win against the Oilers they’d have to solve Luongo. And goddamn did they find the solution.
About 4 minutes into the game Sean Couturier started the scoring with a subtle tip in past Luongo. Couturier and Read got yet another 3rd line mate with Brayden Schenn after the lines were shuffled because of Michael Raffl’s injury. 4th liner Chris Vandevelde got a shot at the top line in place of injured Michael Raffl, but didn’t even last a whole game and was eventually replaced by Wayne Simmonds.
The second goal came from Michael Del Zotto, his first as a Flyer, from a Brayden Schenn pass. MDZ had some help from a linesman who inadvertently became a screen in front of Luongo. The Flyers went into the second period with a 2 goal lead for the second time in two games.
Del Zotto said after the game that he’s playing hard to show the teams that didn’t want him earlier how big of a mistake they made: “Lot of people doubting me, my ability to play the game. Every day I have that chip on my shoulder trying to prove them wrong.”
Del Zotto was definitely the stand out star of tonight’s game, playing 23 minutes of ice time and ending the game +1.
The second period started just as well for the Flyers with the recently impressive 4th line putting the Flyers up by 3. French gem Pierre Edouard Bellmare scored his third of the season after sandwiching Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov with Zac Rinaldo then catching a pass from Carlo Colaiacovo. The 4th line has had some great chemistry recently with Bellmare on it, when asked how he felt about playing on the 4th line, Bellmare responded with “Yeah I really like playing with Akey” (someone should probably tell him it isn’t going to last since Berube doesn’t like Akeson.)
The Panthers did manage to end the Flyers perfect 19-19 penalty kill at home record(now 19-20) in the second period, but that’s all the offense they would get as Mason stopped 35 of 36 shots on the night. Seconds after the Panthers power play goal, Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux got a chance on Luongo on a 2-on-1 that resulted in Voracek’s 6th goal. With that goal Voracek is now tied with Sidney Crosby for most points in the NHL.
The Flyers have now won half of the 4 games on their current homestand and will Play the Colorado Avalanche/Danny Briere and Max Talbot next.
Here’s a list of why referee Brad Watson is a complete douche:
- Tried to get Luongo his stick back by kicking it to him.
- When that didn’t work he blew the play dead when Luongo obviously didn’t have the puck covered.
- Watched Kopecky slash at Colaiacovo’s face while he was on the ice.
- Gave Colaiacovo a penalty after he tapped Kopecky who immediately flopped.
- Stood and did nothing while Giroux got tripped in front of him.
Also there was no call on a crosscheck to Sean Couturier who was on his knees. causing him to hit the boards hard.