Four-Goal Third Period Helps Flyers Get Rare Win in Detroit
Ranked towards the bottom of the league in scoring, the Flyers were able to utilize a rare offensive outburst Wednesday night in Detroit en route to a 6-3 win.
Coming into Wednesday's game against the Red Wings, the Flyers averaged just 2.07 goals per game, which places them second to last in the league, just ahead of the Buffalo Sabres at 1.61.
Behind a career night from Sean Couturier and a strong four-goal third period, the Flyers were able to almost triple their average.
In fact, it was Couturier’s first career four-point night (at least in the regular season), as he finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has five goals and five assists in nine games since breaking his scoring drought on Nov. 19 against Ottawa.
The Flyers were trailing 3-2 heading into the third after Philadelphia got themselves into some penalty trouble in the second.
After Detroit got into some penalty trouble themselves just over four minutes into the period, the Flyers were able to tie the game on the powerplay after a beautiful wrist shot by Claude Giroux. They did not stop there.
Just over three minutes later, Couturier was able to redirect a point pass from Steve Downie that Jimmy Howard could do nothing to stop to put the Flyers up, 4-3.
After a Jakub Kindl penalty eight seconds later, Giroux found Scott Hartnell, who ripped home a slapshot glove side on Howard and the Flyers found themselves with a 5-3 lead.
The goal and assist gave Giroux 13 points in 13 games (5 G, 8 A) since he scored his first goal of the season on Nov. 9 against Edmonton.
Couturier capped the night with an empty net goal with a minute remaining.
It did not look that way for a while though. Johan Franzen made it 2-1 eight and a half minutes into the second with a hard slapshot that beat Steve Mason after the Flyers looked lost on defense.
Two consecutive penalties later from Downie and Zac Rinaldo put the Flyers down two men for almost a full two minutes and Detroit made them pay.
Thomas Tatar, who had two goals on the night, scored a scrappy powerplay goal in the slot after Mason was tied up with Franzen and Justin Abdelkader. The puck somehow made its way to Tatar on the right side and he was able to rip it home, as Nicklas Grossmann couldn’t seem to locate it in time.
It was one of the worst periods of hockey the Flyers have played all season, but Matt Read was able to cut into the Detroit lead late in the second as he took a behind the net pass from Couturier in the slot, waited for Howard to react, and shot the puck into the open net.
The first period was an even one as both teams were able to net a goal each: Tatar for Detroit and Downie for the Flyers.
It wasn’t a pretty win for a Flyers team that made plenty of mistakes on defense against a solid Red Wings club, which was playing without star forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk for only the second time since the 2002-03 season.
The win was only the Flyers second in their last 19 games at Joe Louis Arena and puts them in a tie with the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils for third place in the Metropolitan division with 28 points. It also puts them back at .500 (13-13-2).
Now at 2-1 on the season long six game road trip, the Flyers will look to finally get above the .500 mark against the Stars in Dallas on Saturday, but for now, the Flyers are happy to be leaving Hockeytown with a hard fought victory.