The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-1, Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault mentioned pregame that tonight “might be our starting lineup this year.” In their first game action together, the Flyers more than likely opening night lineup didn’t get off to a great start.
Oskar Lindblom was whistled for a tripping penalty in center ice that would give the Capitals a power-play just 1:35 into the game. The Capitals would make the most of the power-play & take an early lead.
Cam Atkinson would block a Trevor van Riemsdyk point shot. But, the puck would deflect right to the stick of Aliaksei Protas. Who would beat Martin Jones high glove.
An 1-0 Capitals lead just 3:18 into the game wouldn’t sit well with the Flyers. It was a wake-up call that the Flyers answered just under 5-minutes later.
On their first power-play, the Flyers would answer.
As the Capitals tried to clear the puck, Keith Yandle would throw his full body towards the puck. Stopping the puck with his chest. Sean Couturier would then fire a cross-ice pass to Claude Giroux. Who would one-time the puck home for the goal.
It would be all Flyers after that. Outshooting the Capitals 11-6 the rest of the 1st period & 18-9 over the next 20-minutes of play.
After a scoreless 2nd period, the Flyers would need to win the 3rd period to win the game. Something the Flyers struggled with last season. But, tonight, the Flyers found a way to win.
Cam Atkinson would give the Flyers the lead 2-minutes into the 3rd period.
Rasmus Ristolainen would keep a puck in at the right point. Ristolainen would throw the puck on net. Where Oskar Lindblom would find the rebound and find Cam Atkinson in-front. Who would redirect Lindblom’s pass into the back of the net.
Scott Laughton would give the Flyers a 2-goal lead with 3:04 left in the 3rd period.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel would win a board battle at the Flyers blue-line. Aube-Kubel would then slide a pass to a streaking Scott Laughton. Who went forehand, backhand, & throw the five-hole for the goal.
Martin Jones stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced tonight in the winning effort. Stopping the final 19-shots he faced.
- The Philadelphia faithful got their first taste of Rasmus Ristolainen in orange & black. Ristolainen had a team high 6-hits. Including 4-hits in the 1st period.
- “It seems like he just clears space for everyone,” Cam Atkinson said about Rasmus Ristolainen’s game. “You can tell he’s hungry.”
- Martin Jones rebounded after a shaky first start against a full-squad Boston Bruins. Jones, with a more veteran lineup in-front of him tonight, stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced.
- Special teams were a struggle for the Flyers last season. Finishing in the bottom half of the NHL in both power-play & penalty-kill. Tonight, with a full-squad, the Flyers new & improved special teams were on display. A very good first showing from both.
- Last season the Flyers were missing a little bit of bite. Something that did not bode well with GM Chuck Fletcher when he saw some Flyers not coming to the aide of their teammates. Tonight showed that problem is very much fixed with every Flyer involved in at least one scrum after a whistle sticking up for a teammate.
- After a 9-round practice shootout (YES A 9-ROUND PRACTICE SHOOTOUT), the Flyers lost 2-1. So, yes, the Flyers still suck at shootouts.
Result : Flyers 3 – Capitals 1 , WIN
Record : 1 – 1 – 1
Next Game : Monday 10/4 vs Boston Bruins , Philadelphia PA , 7:00pm
Photo Credit : Flyers PR