Better With Popcorn

Giroux, Talbot and Simmonds power train on Buffalo in 7-2 Win

Following the first twenty minutes of play, it appeared as though the status quo had once again reared its head in Philadelphia.

With the Flyers trailing the Buffalo Sabres 2-0, it was the same story just a different night.

Sloppy, unenthused play haunted the Flyers throughout the first as the Sabres took advantage of poor coverage in front of the Philadelphia goal and absent-minded play from Ilya Bryzgalov.

As the team left the ice showered by boos, no one ever could have imagined that the team was going to score seven unanswered goals in the final forty minutes of play.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted to,” Max Talbot said. “We talked about it between the first and the second and we started to play. We never looked back.”

The scoring started almost immediately after the opening puck drop of the second.

Talbot deflected a Braydon Coburn shot from the point to get the ball rolling.

Wayne Simmonds then added the next two on two separate power plays to give the Flyers the lead. From that point on they didn’t need any more scoring, but that didn’t stop them.

Following the second of Simmonds’ goals, Buffalo’s starting goaltender Jhonas Enroth was pulled in favor of Ryan Miller in the hopes of giving the Sabres a jolt.

It ultimately failed in every sense.

Flyers rookie defenseman, Eric Gustafsson scored his first career NHL goal against Miller to round out the Flyers scoring in the second period. It was their fourth goal of the game.

In the third, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voaracek and Talbot all scored goals to bring the Flyers goal total to seven.

While the team had plenty of goal scorers, it was Claude Giroux who came away with the biggest offensive night of them all.

Giroux registered five assists on Thursday night, which left him one assist shy of the Flyers all-time record for most assists in one game (held by Eric Lindros with six).

The Flyers dominating play in the final two periods is a representation of what the team is supposed to be doing on a nightly basis.

“We’re a hard team to play against when we’re moving north and we’re skating hard,” Peter Laviolette said after the game. “We weren’t doing either one of those two things very well in the first period. We were spending too much time in our own end.”

They excelled in every phase of the game and displayed the depth that they possess at the forward position.

After a couple quiet games, the team exploded with offense from almost every line.

Most importantly, they looked like a unit.

 “I think there is a lot of confidence in the way we play the game when we play with our identity and we play with some passion,” Laviolette said. “I think the players know that, as well.”

Following the game, the team was able to laugh off the first period as a minor bump on the way to a blowout win.

“It was just the players needed to get calm,” Laviolette said when asked about what happened between the first and the second. “They were just sleepy.”

Ultimately, the win on Thursday was a much-needed boost for a team who has been down on their luck.

“I think it's a win that happened at the right time,” Talbot said. “We definitely need to build off this in the future."

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3 Comments

SwiftOnSports's picture

Nice recap. Bryz was absent minded in the first? I ask because I missed it. He seems to be playing better since the ASG, but if he's having trouble early on, putting the team down early, then that is not a good thing to hear. Were the goals he surrendered really that bad? Or was it more just an issue of poor defensive play, and turnovers from the forwards?

Oh, and...

...If anyone is still on the fence about the offseason trades of Carter and Richards, they must not have noticed the monstrous season Wayne Simmonds is having, and the emergence of Brayden Schenn. They've gone a long way toward making me forgive and forget.

Matthew Brigidi's picture

I agree that Bryz has looked good since the ASG, but he didn't look good on Thursday. The first goal was a blown coverage by Giroux but the second goal was all him. Real soft goal.

Bryz looked like he had no idea where the puck was a large majority of the time. He got lucky more than a few times...must have been the karma from the bad bounces from earlier this year.

SwiftOnSports's picture

That's not a very promising thing to hear. But hopefully it doesn't turn the current upswing that Bryz has been on as of late.