Whew, there’s a lot to unpack from this one. One final fight broke in the game’s final seconds, which was a fitting end to a chippy, at times ugly game that was decided in the end of the third period. The Flyers were outshot 30-21, but eked out the win to advance to 17-8-5 and bounce back from their loss to the Coyotes.
Some other quick thoughts:
Five for fighting: Jake Voracek and Ottawa’s Nick Paul got chippy at the end of a fired-up first period, which included a hard hit that leveled winger Travis Konency and sidelined him for the rest of the game. Helmets and fists flew as the wingers went at it. When the second period began, rookie Joel Farabee and Ottawa’s Jean-Gabiel Pageau engaged in a less aggressive altercation, Farabee’s first tussle in the NHL. Both times, the crowd roared in approval of a squad that has rarely fought this season.
Historically, however, it wasn’t the first time the Flyers and Senators have gotten physical on the ice. The teams were involved in that infamous 2004 brawl during a Philly home game that set a record for penalty minutes in one game with 419. When the teams played at the Wells Fargo Center in 2011, there were five fights in the third period.
Power play woes continue: Just when you thought Philly’s power play struggles couldn’t get worse ... Not only did the Flyers fail to score on a second-period power play, but they allowed Ottawa forward Anthony Duclair to score shorthanded and unassisted, tying the score at 2. The Flyers were 0 for 2 on the power play on Saturday, and have been a dreadful 4-for-34 in the last 12 games. For what it’s worth, Ottawa didn’t convert on any of their three man-up opportunities.
Gostisbehere (for a time) got his groove back: At first, the Flyers 26-year-old defenseman again showed how much his confidence has improved since his recent three-game benching, or “reset" as coach Alain Vigneault likes to call it. He slapped in a go-ahead goal early in the first period and screamed in celebration. However, his second period was not as stellar, and he played a part in Ottawa’s shorthanded goal. He and Carter Hart didn’t sync up as the 21-year-old goalie tried to hand it off, allowing Duclair to score from close range.
Gostisbehere had a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over Toronto, his third game back.
Flyers couldn’t carry fast start into messy second period: Both the Flyers and the Senators got on the board in the game’s first five minutes. Travis Konency struck first, scoring his 11th goal of the season less than two minutes into the first period and giving Philly an early edge.
Ottawa, however, wasted no time firing back. Winger Brady Tkachuk knotted the score with a goal of his own three minutes later. The Flyers rebounded with the Gostisbehere goal, and then an Oskar Lindblom score that was called back on his own offsides penalty, but could not carry the momentum into the second period, which they were fortunate to get out of with only a tie score.
Ivan Provorov stays strong: The defenseman logged another solid performance, which was punctuated by an early third-period goal that gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead. He has been playing with swagger recently, coming off a stellar first period against Toronto on Tuesday and his overtime goal a week ago in Montreal.
The Flyers now have three days off for the first time since the second week of the season. Then, they hit the road to take on the Colorado Avalanche at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Avalanche have won their last two, and will take on the Bruins in Boston Saturday night then the Flames at home Monday before their matchup with the Flyers.