The Flyers beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 in only their 3rd shootout win of the season. Rob Zepp got the start for the Flyers and saved 20 of 22 shots on goal while Pekka Rinne saved 31 of 33 shots.
What kind of world do we live in that the Flyers managed to lose to the Buffalo Sabres, one of the worst teams in the league, then two nights later beat the Predators, literally the best team in the NHL right now?
Two major changes to the lineup might be the reason why the Flyers found some life after the disappointing Buffalo loss. First off, Zac Rinaldo was put back into the lineup after serving an 8 game suspension, which really didn’t sit well with Vinny Lecavalier, who was scratched to make room for Rinaldo. The second change was the splitting of Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. After a frustrating stretch of non-production from the Flyers top scoring duo, Berube decided to try his luck with the pair on separate lines to spread the talent.
I don’t know if I should be excited about this win or all the more confused about the Buffalo loss. Let’s be happy and review the win. First period the Flyers managed to out shoot the Predators 13-3 for a defensive effort that we very rarely see from the Flyers. Wayne Simmonds’ point streak continued as he deflected in a Michael Del Zotto shot for the Flyers first lead, Simmonds was moved up to the first line with Giroux and Michael Raffl for Saturday’s game. The Predators tied the game later in the first period, but the Flyers defensive play continued.
Despite two early penalties, including a ten-minute misconduct to Rinaldo, the Flyers held the Predators to only 4 shots in the second. The third penalty wound up tied again after Zepp let in a 5 hole shot and it seemed like the Flyers were going to repeat their game in Buffalo, or worse, lose in regulation. After the Flyers killed off an Andrew MacDonald penalty, it seemed like overtime was inevitable. Rob Zepp made some crucial last minute saves to earn the Flyers at least one point.
The overtime was back and forth with stretches where the Flyers looked dominant followed immediately by shifts that looked like the Flyers were short handed. Overtime ended and the Shootout began, which had most fans claiming they knew the ending already.
Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds were up first for the Flyers, both scored on Rinne. Rob Zepp stopped both shots against him and earned his first NHL shootout win and the Flyers 3rd shootout this season.
Even more positives:
- Ryan White has goals in back to back games.
- The Flyers win over the Predators was the first time the predators lost back-to-back games this season (they lost to the Islanders on Thursday night.)
- Rob Zepp now has a 3-1 record.