Flyers Score Three Power Play Goals in Win
It was no secret the Flyers were having problems on special teams.
Heading into Saturday's game against Carolina, the Flyers power play was 24th in the league at 12.5% (5-for-40). They improved upon that number, going 3-for-3 in their 5-3 win over the Hurricanes.
Kurtis Foster, Danny Briere and Claude Giroux all earned tallies on the power play. For Foster and Briere, those were their first goals of the season while Giroux's goal was his first in nine days.
They weren't getting goals easy though. Most of their power play chances ended in frustration as they could neither bury or set up quality scoring chances.
“It feels like finally we’re getting results from all the work that we have been putting in since the beginning of the season," Briere said. "That short training camp we spent a lot of time on it and it’s tough because we’ve got some parts that have gotten hurt and parts that are coming back from injury. It felt good to finally get on the board and get some big goals. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Giroux felt that the Flyers just weren't getting all the right bounces in the past. But those fortunes changed on Saturday.
"Our power play just sometimes clicks or it doesn’t click. One bad bounce creates a clear, and then we have to go back," Giroux said. "Us making the right plays and when everyone on the ice knows what they’re doing makes things easier. We have been working hard on it so it makes everyone’s just a lot easier."
The Flyers' penalty kill was also on top of its game. The Hurricanes had six chances on the power play but were only successful once when Patrick Dwyer received a beautiful cross-crease pass from Jordan Staal for his second goal of the season.
The Flyers had entered the game allowing 10 short-handed goals in 36 tries, the second highest amount in the league while they were ranked 26th.
“Yeah, we’ve talked, most of the time this year it was the other way around where special teams have cost us but finally the PK was great, I think we gave up one goal, but all the penalties we had to kill – again that’s an area we want to improve, but the PK was good, the PP gave us some big goals. It was definitely a big difference in the game.”
The penalty killing was especially timely in the third period. Despite giving up the goal to Dwyer, the Flyers found themselves short-handed three times and did well overall.
The offense took their foot off the gas, putting pressure on the defense and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in the final period, getting out-shot 15-3.
"We had a lot of penalties. They were fore checking a lot," Giroux said. "They have a good team, that is no question. We have to do a better job in the third period. We got the win, but were not satisfied with the way we played. I think we are a better team than that. At the end of the day we got the two points, but we will have to look at videos and see what we did wrong."
Bryzgalov stopped 39 shots on the game, 14 coming in the final period.
But Bryzgalov could also credit his defensemen for cutting down on the number of shots he faced. Both Nicklas Grossmann and Luke Schenn had stellar games blocking shot, getting in front of six shots apiece.
The Flyers will have to build off this performance. The game may not have been pretty from an even strength standpoint but they finally had a full 60 minutes where the special teams clicked and came through when needed.