Better With Popcorn

Flyers Win Wild One, 5-4


In a penalty-riddled game that felt more like a track meet, the Philadelphia Flyers improved to 3-0-0 with a 5-4 win over the defending Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks (1-1-1).

It was Claude Giroux who got the scoring started in the contest as he tallied power-play goal just 7:14 into the first period. Five minutes later, Chris Pronger added a power-play goal of his own to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

After Scott Hartnell took a high-sticking penalty, Vancouver finally got on the board when Mikael Samuelsson beat Ilya Bryzgalov. Although it seemed the Canucks had taken the momentum from the Flyers, James van Riemsdyk scored less than two minutes after Samuelsson’s tally.

Vancouver showed all the signs of a team with the talent and experience that they boast in the second. Henrik Sedin scored 6:41 into the period to trim the Flyers lead to one.

Again, the Flyers would bounce back. Jakub Voracek scored his second goal of the season on a beautiful pass from rookie Sean Couturier to extend the lead to 4-2. However the game’s scoring continued at a torrid pace when Christopher Higgins rounded out the second stanza scoring.

The third period looked to have all the makings of a Flyers let down, especially after Daniel Sedin tied the game. Sedin’s goal came just 3:39 into the third on a Canucks power play after van Riemsdyk was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Despite Sedin’s score, the Flyers once again rallied and pushed back against Vancouver. Daniel Briere found Andrej Meszaros entering the offense zone and the defenseman beat Roberto Luongo on the top shelf for the eventual game-winning goal.

The remainder of the third period wasn’t without anxiety for Flyers fans as Vancouver’s solid power play unit had four chances to tie the game.

In the end, the Flyers penalty kill saved the day. Although they allowed two power-play goals, they ended the game halting the Canucks five times. With the extraordinary talent Vancouver boasts, their performance was well-received.

There were times last season when Philadelphia simply failed to rise to the challenge after the opposition gained momentum. Wednesday’s game saw the Flyers score three goals coming within three minutes of Vancouver tallies. For a young team, that composure and hunger is encouraging.

With three solid wins to start the season, there’s plenty to be encouraged about in Philadelphia.


Bryzgalov saved 36 of 40 shots on the night; Vancouver’s first goal ended his scoreless streak at 126:53. The Flyers outshot Vancouver 14-9; the Canucks outshot Philadelphia the rest of the way, 31-13. Couturier’s assist was his first point as an NHL player. Giroux has three goals in three games, and earned the game’s first star with three points. Philadelphia blocked 27 shots. Canadian-born Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins was in attendance.  


Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Google +. You can also email me at or click here to listen to me talk Flyers hockey.


John Russo's picture

Giroux is on fiyaaaaaah

Bense's picture

I'll take the win but I won't sit here and say I wasn't nervous as hell for 2/3rds of that game. Vancouver is just a great team, and at times they showed just how scary they can be. We did show that we can score in an open game like that, but our defense was a bit shotty at times with the pace of the game. I didn't agree with many of the penalties (on both sides). Prongers call was a bit weak in the 3rd, and I want to know what exactly constituted an unsportsmanlike on JVR...

I thought Bryz played decent even though he gave up 4 goals. They all seemed like goals that any goalie would have trouble with so you can't complain there. All in all a solid victory, but many things to improve on. Thankfully we have some time before we are tested like that again.

I am a bit scared of LA coming this weekend as they too are a good team, but I don't think we're going to have the same kind of trouble.

Voracek + Couturier on that goal... ohhh babiesss (giroux was to obvious to get excited about.. another level)

Larry DAngelo's picture

While this team is winning they still are a work in progress which was evident in their own end tonight. There were too many missed coverages in the Flyers D-zone which directly resulted in goals. Those things will get better over time. As for the dumb penalties, that may take a little longer . Besides the assist tonight, which was nice but Briere just seems slow out there right now. Unnoticeable at times. Davie

Matthew Brigidi's picture

I completely agree. They had such a hard time clearing the zone at certain points in the game that allowed Vancouver to sustain offensive attacks.

Adam Pardes's picture

Yeah Larry, I'm not sure what's missing for Briere right now. Maybe his linemates or not enough PP time or something... I do believe he'll get it going soon enough though.

Holly Thayer's picture

Briere always starts off slow, keeps getting better as the season goes on, and then EXPLODES in the playoffs. I'll take that over the streak/stall pattern any day.

Mark Trible's picture

You may be exactly right, Holly. Very good point.

Matt Cefalu's picture

Defense had a few miscues that more than helped Canucks score a few of their goals. One in particular was between Timonen and Pronger, who are still getting back into a rhythm playing together, IMO. Shouldnt take long for them to settle that out though. Impressive win against a still highly offensive team.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

That Pronger/Timmo miscue was like watching a slow motion train wreck. Like you said, just gonna take some time to get back into the swing of things.

Adam Pardes's picture

At the end of the day, not all your wins are gonna be pretty ones. It was important for the team to show they could grind one out, especially against such a strong team as Matt pointed out.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

totally agree. It's tough to lose a lead and for them to fight back immediately was impressive. Not to mention to have Vancouver continually chipping away at that lead through out the game