Game Over: Flames Hold Off Feisty Flyers With 5-2 Win
With a pair of empty netters, the Calgary Flames escaped Philly with a win over the Flyers, who were undermanned but played hard and had Carter Hart.
The Philadelphia Flyers are decimated by injuries. They lost six straight games before hosting the Calgary Flames. And that made them dangerous.
The Flames were coming off the emotional high of a shootout win over the Florida Panthers on the weekend. It gave former Cats Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar a victory in their first meeting against their old team, and gave their new squad it’s third win in four games.
With Sidney Crosby and the star-laden Pittsburgh Penguins next up, followed by Alex Ovechkin and Co., the Flames were in Trap Game territory.
Despite a feisty performance by the undermanned Flyers, the Flames pulled out a 5-2 win in Philly.
It took an empty netter to exhale after a mistake in the third period put fans on edge. And then a second one.
The Flames’ second two-goal lead of the game was cut in half when Andrew Mangiapane made a tape-to-tape pass on the breakout. Only problem was it was Joel Farabee’s stick.
Farabee shimmied into the open lane and beat Jacob Markstrom to bring life to a Flyers team that clearly embodies coach John Tortorella’s spirit and work ethic but doesn’t have the bodies to compete with top teams at the moment.
Unless Hart steals some games.
The Flyers goalie kept them in it until Blake Coleman's empty netter. Trevor Lewis added a second before the buzzer to help the Flames finish strong. And just before Coleman's marker, Jacob Markstrom's big save with the extra attacker on was probably the difference.
Huberdeau continues to look more comfortable. And unpredictable. The only person that knew he was going to shoot on the two-on-one in the first period was Huberdeau himself. He waited and waited with Coleman to his left but looked him off and ripped a perfectly placed shot past Carter Hart to give the Flames the early lead.
They added to it when Dube followed Huberdeau’s footsteps in mirror image, using Nikita Zadorov as a decoy on the odd-man rush and firing glove side on Hart.
It was Dube’s first goal since the season opener against the Colorado Avalanche. He was reunited with centre Nazem Kadri and fellow flanker Mangiapane in the win over the Florida Panthers on the weekend and that trio is showing why they earned the DNA line nickname during the Calgary Flames’ hot start.
Apparently Kadri didn’t get the memo.
Another two-on-one break in the second period would have restored a two-goal lead after the Flyers got a deflection goal from call-up Tanner Laczynski. But Kadri opted to pass to Mangiapane, who missed as Hart zipped across his crease to make a save.
Rasmus Andersson made up for it scored his second of the year with a fortunate bounce off Flyers forward Joel Farabee’s stick, redirecting the puck high over Hart.
It was a strong effort for the Flames, who hit the halfway point of their six-game road trip and extended their winning to four of their last five games.
Full marks to the Flyers for the effort.
Gilbert making his mark
Dennis Gilbert is really endearing himself to Calgary Flames fans with his physical presence. Not only did he lay a couple of nice hits between the whistles, the 26-year-old dropped the gloves for the third time in five games.
With Michael Stone skating with the group again, the Flames are on the cusp of eight healthy defencemen again. And it may be tougher to send Gilbert down this time. ‘Gibby’ has given the Flames an emotional boost with his efforts and has looked strong alongside Chris Tanev.
Then again, Tanev tends to make his partner look pretty good most of the time.