Dec 8, 2011, 10:40 PM EDT
It’s not just the best hashtag in the Flyers twitterverse, it’s also an effective offensive strategy. Scott Hartnell’s long been known for easily losing his balance, both on purpose and at times not as intentionally. He’s a magnet for the net and often the opposing goalie, and the player and some of his social media-savvy teammates have been embracing the #hartnelldown lately.
Tonight, just about everyone was up for some Hartnell Down, as #19 scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal while crashing into the left post in spectacular fashion.
Highlights and a bit more on the game below, including Hartnell’s shoutout to the hashtag.
Not going to go too crazy with tonight’s recap, as it was pretty much exactly what you’d expect going into the game (and I’m going to the bar). A tightly checked matchup with both teams owning some big momentum swings, one hanging on for a close win. Fortunately, it was our side.
For those who didn’t see it, the Flyers followed up a night in which they started off down 3-0 with one that they led by the same margin. The Pens rallied back to get within one, then came dangerously close to tying it with some strong play in the third.
Danny Briere opened the scoring for the Flyers with a dirty, dirty goal. Taking a pass from Wayne Simmonds, who had a great night, Danny just tossed it hard toward the net. The puck caromed off of two Pens defensemen and past a WTF’d Marc-Andre Fleury. JVR was in on the play too, cutting toward the net and bringing Brooks Orpik into the line of fire.
Simmonds would collect the second goal, which he called one of the easiest of his career. With the Flyers on the power play, Claude Giroux demonstrated his trademark slickness with the puck as well as great vision, finding Jakob Voracek all alone on the back door. The pass was long enough that the athletic MAF had no problem getting across the crease. Seeing this, Voracek slid it back across to Simmonds, who was once again enjoying himself in the opposing crease. Simmonds had a man on his back, but slammed it home to make it 2-0 Flyers in the second.
Five minutes later, we got our very productive #hartnelldown…
Some surprising moves by defenseman Andrej Meszaros made it all possible, and if Mesz was going to bet the house on where Hartnell would be headed, it was easy money to pick the crease.
Zac Rinaldo was whistled for one of the game’s frequent penalties though, and the Pens quickly found the net on a nicely set up goal by James Neal. Evgeni Malkin’s 10th of the season made the building and area living rooms a little more tense, which only got worse throughout a third period that saw the Penguins attacking hard. The Flyers weathered it though, winning their fourth straight and taking over the conference’s best point total. The Flyers have had a few ugly periods here and there, but they’re hanging on to win some hard-fought games lately.
Props to twitter user @SethDH, who I believe is the originator of the #Hartnelldown tag. Nice job by Eric Hartline of US Presswire to snap the pic of above this post.
Hartnell now has goals in four straight games, and he’s second on the team behind Giroux in goals (13) and points (24) in 27 games.
Giroux’s assist put him another point higher in the league’s top mark.
Malkin’s shot is downright scary, with a ton of velocity and a quick release. He narrowly missed scoring a few more. He also tried to take a swipe at Giroux’s head and missed.
Great night for Ilya Bryzgalov in net, stopping 25 of 27 and standing strong on some tough power play opportunities.
One of the craziest power plays we’ve ever seen came in the first period, with the Flyers down two skaters. Facing the Pens in a 5-on-3, Max Talbot’s stick broke on the face-off, and Kimmo Timonen’s snapped in a check against the boards not long after. A 5-on-3 with just one of the three having a stick in his hands… Fortunately, Chris Kunitz crosschecked Timonen in the back for some reason, and drew the obvious call, ending the shift.
If you walk out of the room for a few minutes, it can be hard to tell whether the Flyers are on the PP, the PK, or even strength. They’ll attack whenever they see the opportunity, and the current group of forwards and defensemen is well-equiped to turning it up ice regardless of the situation.
After the game, the Flyers were all smiles, including Hartnell, who gave his hashtag a nice shoutout on air. Via @dangor8:
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