Better With Popcorn

JvR fuels Flyers dramatic 5-4 win over Blackhawks

Here we go again.

A phrase that fans of the Philadelphia Flyers became very familiar with during Thursday night’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

The first time they uttered the phrase came three minutes into the first period when Jimmy Hayes put the Blackhawks up by one.

The second time they cursed it when the Blackhawks tied the game on the back of two goals that occurred within 25 seconds of one another with six minutes left in the third.

The third time they erupted with it when James van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the game to put the Flyers ahead for good with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.

While the Blackhawks were able to stay in the game with two quick goals in the third, the Flyers were able to get the win with two goals in the final minute of two separate periods.

For all the back-and-forth that occurred, the Flyers actually controlled a large majority of the game.

Despite sloppy passing and poor puck movement in the defensive zone, the team generated quite a few offensive attacks in the first period. Even without Jaromir Jagr, the first line still consistently collected chances. Unfortunately, the team was unable to take advantage of the opportunities.

However, their hard work paid off with 51 seconds remaining in the first.

With the team working the puck in the offensive zone, Braydon Coburn intentionally placed a shot wide of the Chicago goal. Jakub Voracek was on the other end of the bounce and buried the puck as soon as it touched his stick.

The Flyers strong play carried over to the second period. They continually swarmed the offensive zone generating several chances but still struggled to finish.

Toward the mid-point of the period, Chicago began to battle back and established sustained attacks in the Flyers zone. The attacks culminated for the Blackhawks when Andrew Shaw regained the team’s lead.

Instead of deterring the Flyers, Shaw’s goal actually seemed to energize them.

Almost immediately after the goal, the team answered back with a goal from Scott Hartnell. Four minutes later, Harry Zolniercyzk gave the Flyers their first lead of the game. Seconds after that, van Riemsdyk gave the Flyers a two-goal cushion that they carried into the third.

After Patrick Sharp was given a double minor for high-sticking it appeared as though the Flyers had the game sealed. Instead, the Blackhawks rode the power play to consecutive goals by Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane.

"Yeah, it was a weird period,” Hartnell said of the third. “But good things happen when you're persistent and you're dedicated right to the end.”

Despite several setbacks, the Flyers remained in the game. Instead of becoming deflated after the Blackhawks tied the game in the third, the team was determined to come away with the win.

"Just let's go get the next one,” James van Riemsdyk said. “That's what we talked about right when we went on the ice there the shift after it was 4-4. Me, [Brayden Schenn] and [Wayne Simmonds] were like let's win this game."

Then came the final minute of the third and van Riemsdyk’s game-winning goal.

No matter who spoke, the sentiment was the same. No one on the team gave up on Thursday night.

In fact, it maybe a benchmark for the team’s brightest star as he continues to develop into the team’s leader.

“The person I heard the most on the bench […] was Giroux saying it’s not going to happen again,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s good when you hear your young players jumping in like that and taking charge.”


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