Oct 22, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT
Tonight in South Philly, the Flyers will need to do something they haven’t had to do as a group yet—play on the heels of a sound beating. They took one at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, marking their first non-OT loss of the season, and while it’s nothing to worry about (really, nothing short of a major injury is cause for concern this early in the season), it will be interesting to see how the team responds.
Chemistry hasn’t been a negative issue for the Flyers overall, certainly not through the first five games. Game 6 saw a new lineup, with Brayden Schenn entering the mix, and it was clear there was some work for Peter Laviolette to do in finding the right combinations for his lines. On the box score, Thursday’s loss would also mark the first time Ilya Bryzgalov got shelled as a Flyer. However, anyone watching the game will tell you this wasn’t solely on Bryz, as several of the shots were deflected by defenders attempting to block them.
Bryz and the rest of the Flyers will get a chance to put that loss firmly behind them for the time being, hosting the St. Louis Blues (3-4-0) at the Wells Fargo Center tonight at 7.
Tonight’s game marks the start of a three-game Flyers homestand, part of a busy schedule that includes five games in eight days. They won’t get much sympathy from the Blues, who played last night, winning 3-2 in overtime at home against Carolina.
Brian Elliott took the Friday night win in net for the Blues, who can’t be too thrilled with Jaroslav Halak’s performances to date. Halak has only one win, and only one game allowing fewer than three goals. He’s allowed four or more in three of his five starts.
Elliott played some good games against the Flyers during his time with the Ottawa Senators, but his luck ran out last season, when the Flyers beat him twice. Blues head coach Davis Payne may start him on back-to-back nights in an effort to keep Elliott’s hand hot. We’ll know closer to game time who’ll be in net for St. Louis.
The Blues have been terrible on both the power play (30th overall, with 1 goal on 25 opportunities) and the kill (28th overall, 70.8%). The Flyers have converted on 25% of their power play opps (8/32), good for 4th in the league, and their PK has been decent and should improve as the personnel get established in their roles.
Hope everyone enjoys some Saturday night hockey, and that the Flyers’ youngins earn their merit badge in shaking off a loss.
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