The Philadelphia Flyers did not get a new goaltender last night as they faced the Ottawa Senators. But, there was a different man between the pipes momentarily as Steve Mason was drawn out of the net, D-man Nicklas Grossmann stepped in to make the save of the game. It’s no surprise that Grossmann put himself in the net during the tied game, Grossmann is among the league leaders in blocked shots and plays the type of defense a goaltender like Mason can appreciate.
Getting things rolling during the first period was Captain Claude Giroux as he sniped his second goal of the season and put the Flyers on the board. The momentum of the Flyers season seems to be changing, as the Flyers experienced ‘firsts’ left and right last night, one being by Sean Couturier, as he finally scored his first goal of the season ending his drought during the second period to put the Flyers up by 2.
The Flyers, who have been good on the penalty kill recently, forfeited a power play goal to the Ottawa Senators late in the 2nd period and then again early in the 3rd period. As they so often do, the Flyers gave away their 3rd period lead and with a tied game the Flyers had to play flawless hockey to win. Grossmann stepped into the net with an outstanding save, a save that must have made stone wall Steve Mason himself proud. The Flyers responded with a quick one, two punch as Kimmo Timonen put the Flyers back in the lead by 1 and Wayne Simmonds took out the insurance policy, as he scored a goal 23 seconds later.
An opportunity for the Senators to gain on the Flyers lead came in the 3rd period, when they were granted a penalty shot which was fought off by Mason, ever so patient between the pipes. The Flyers claimed another first during this game, this time for Adam Hall as he scored an empty net goal, his first as a Flyer to win the game, 5-2.
The Philadelphia Flyers continue to thrive and are on the upswing as they experience the best 2 weeks of hockey they have had thus far. After last night’s win against the Ottawa Senators, they are within 2 points of a play-off slot. With a long season ahead of them, the confidence of Captain Claude Giroux is certainly propelling them in the right direction. In the last 6 games the Flyers have only allowed 2 goals at even strength, which is a positive change. They are buying into Craig Berube’s systems and playing better 5 on 5 hockey. The Flyers need to concentrate on chipping away at their opponent’s one shift at a time and winning the game period by period, taking a lead into the locker room with them everytime. Since the trio of Simmonds, B. Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier has been put together the Flyers have gone 3-0-1. Finally there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers. With a building confidence the Flyers will face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.