Flyers down Detroit, 3-2
With hockey royalty watching, the Flyers withstood a late barrage - and injuries to wingers Jakub Voracek and Jaromir Jagr - and held off the Detroit Red Wings at the percolating Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
With hockey royalty in attendance, the Flyers withstood a late barrage - and injuries to wingers Jakub Voracek and Jaromir Jagr - and held off the Detroit Red Wings at the percolating Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
Center Claude Giroux collected a goal and an assist, and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov continued his revival as the Flyers defeated the injury-riddled Red Wings, 3-2, and put together their first three-game winning streak since December.
Mark Howe's No. 2 Flyers jersey was retired in a pregame ceremony that was attended by several of his relatives, including his legendary father, Gordie, who dabbed at his eyes as his son received a thunderous standing ovation.
"It's obviously a motivation to do good," Giroux said.
"I had goosebumps, to be honest with you," said Voracek, who scored the Flyers' first goal and later was knocked out of the game after absorbing a crushing hit from defenseman Niklas Kronwall. "To see Mark and Gordie Howe on the ice was something special."
The Flyers won despite being outshot, 39-23, including a 37-14 margin over the last two periods.
Bryzgalov made big stops on Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler in the final minute to protect the one-goal lead.
"We battled hard. The team was unbelievable blocking shots," said Bryzgalov, whose team had a 24-10 advantage in that department.
Bryzgalov made 37 saves.
"He's been leading this team and playing well for a while now," center Max Talbot said.
The Flyers said that Jagr was day-to-day with a second-period hip injury, and that Voracek - who had a badly swollen upper lip - received stitches in his upper and lower mouth. Both will be reevaluated on Wednesday.
"That's our story this year," said Giroux, who, apparently because of a sore left hand took just two face-offs, while linemate Scott Hartnell took 16. "A lot of guys go down and other guys step up."
Giroux gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead by finishing off a breakaway with a clever backhander with 1 minute, 49 seconds left in the opening period.
The speedy center also keyed the next goal while the Flyers were shorthanded, taking the puck away from defenseman Ian White at one end and going in on a breakaway. Joey MacDonald made the save, but Talbot (18th goal) knocked in the rebound, putting the Flyers ahead, 3-1, with 5:50 to go in the second.
Three seconds after its power play expired, Detroit cut the lead to 3-2 as Johan Franzen scored from the left circle with 11:13 remaining in the third period.
Earlier, the Wings became the 10th Flyers opponent in the last 11 games to score the game's first goal.
Four minutes in, Henrik Zetterberg scored on a backhander from the right circle, beating Bryzgalov to the short side with the Red Wings' first shot. It marked the fourth time in the last five games an opponent had scored on the first or second shot of the game against the Flyers.
Nearly 10 minutes later, Voracek scored the equalizer when his wraparound caromed off the skate of Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith and went past MacDonald. MacDonald, starting because of a groin injury to all-star Jimmy Howard, had left the puck for a teammate behind the net, but Voracek picked it up and notched his 12th goal.
"I think there might have been a miscommunication with the D," Voracek said. "I just grabbed the puck and wrapped it around and it went in."
With 12 1/2 minutes left in the second period and the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead, Voracek was violently knocked to the ice by Kronwall's open-ice shoulder hit to the winger's face. No penalty was called, and a woozy Voracek went to the locker room.
Less than seven minutes later, Talbot made it 3-1.