Jan 18, 2012, 12:28 AM EST
It must feel good to be home… and to play the Wild there. The Flyers made short work of the league’s second-worst offense, dispatching Minnesota 5-1 and dropping them to 0-8-2 on the road since December 10. That’s right, but for one minor hiccup, everything was coming up orange and black on Tuesday night.
The Wild were aggressive in pressuring the puck, but ultimately it proved to be their undoing. The Flyers scored a pair of power play goals, and once shorthanded in spectacular fashion en route to an otherwise workmanlike victory.
Without a doubt, the play of the night was authored by none other than the dynamic duo of Matt Read and Sean Couturier, the latter extending his goal scoring streak to five games.
With Minnesota on a man advantage, Read stole the disc from Nick Johnson, and was able to feed Cooter as he advanced into neutral ice. Read sped back into the play to create a two-on-one opportunity, the two of them traded passes, and as the defense converged on 24, Couturier was able to get just enough of a bouncing puck to guide it into a wide open net. Gorgeous.
Couturier became the sixth rookie in franchise history to have a five-game scoring streak, joining Read to become the first Flyers to do it in the same season. It also puts Cooter in double digits.
We said workmanlike though, because on three occasions, the puck found twine thanks to hard work in front of the net.
Less than three minutes into the opening period, Kimmo Timonen got the scoring started during a man advantage with a blast from the blue line on a well-screened Josh Harding. I mean if this game were being played on the pond, Wayne Simmonds would’ve blocked out the sun from where he was settled in front of the goalie.
Midway through the second, the Flyers responded to Minnesota’s only goal of the game, but did Brayden Coburn call it? Playing the point, it looked like Coburn intended to whip the puck to the back boards, but it banked off Marek Zidlicky as he tangled with Scott Hartnell, and redirected into the net. With hours like those, I need to open an account.
Minutes later, they were back on the power play, and Hartnell was back to grinding. The Flyers patiently moved the puck through the attack zone until a shooting lane opened. Matt Carle fired, and this time, Hartsy got the deflection to score his 20th of the year.
Jakub Voraceck capped the scoring in the third on a beautiful feed from Danny Briere from behind the net.
The only hitch came when Ilya Bryzgalov allowed yet another questionable goal, to Darrell Powe of all people, who was making his triumphant return to the Wells Fargo Center.
Powe fired a rocket as he entered the zone with speed on the netminder’s stick side, but Bryz seemed to be in fine position. However, instead of the easy glove save we were sort of expecting, the puck ran up his shoulder, and into the far-top corner. Bryz reacted as if there might be a hole in his glove, but apparently he just missed it.
Thankfully, Bryz was steady the rest of the night, but he wasn’t tested often on Minnesota’s 26 shots. Still, you’ll take it right now, because overall this was a confidence booster.
Good win, and the Flyers get back to it against the Islanders on Thursday. They defeated New York 3-2 last week.
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