Flyers-Senators observations: Motivated by embarrassing loss to San Jose Sharks
The Flyers rebounded nicely from Tuesday's 8-2 setback. Some observations on the good and bad.
Observations from the Flyers' 7-4 win in Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Rebounding from a disaster
To a man, the Flyers were embarrassed by their 8-2 loss to San Jose in their awful home opener Tuesday. The plane ride to Ottawa after the game was filled with silence.
"You lose like that, it doesn't sit well with anybody," coach Dave Hakstol said.
Using the loss as motivation, the Flyers whipped Ottawa and evened their record at 2-2. Of course, it didn't hurt that Ottawa was the opponent and its defense was horrendous. The Flyers, who got a career-high five points from Jake Voracek, swarmed the net and fired 45 shots, their most against Ottawa since 2010.
Claude Giroux (seven shots), Shayne Gostisbehere (six), Voracek (six), and Scott Laughton (five) led the shooting gallery.
Reunited and it feels so good
In their second game since being reunited on a line, Voracek, Giroux, and Sean Couturier combined for four goals, four assists, and 15 shots.
In a pleasant surprise, Scott Laughton has been one of the Flyers' most consistent players in the first four games. He has three goals — two Wednesday, including a hard-fought rebound and an empty-netter — and is starting to show why the Flyers made him a first-round pick in 2012.
Pickard’s steady debut
Cal Pickard (31 saves) didn't resemble Pekka Rinne, but he was solid in his Flyers debut except for a bad goal allowed to Brady Tkachuk from above the right circle.
Pickard plays with calmness and doesn't waste a lot of movement, and that should make him a competent No. 2 goalie.
This is not a recording: The Flyers' penalty kill looks overmatched.
Fact is, if the Flyers expect to compete for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, their PK needs to make major strides. (Adding a veteran penalty killer could be in the works before the trade deadline.)
The penalty kill is still a work in progress and looks strikingly similar to last year's dismal unit. The Flyers still don't clear enough bodies in front, and their forwards sag too much and need to be more aggressive. The Sens were 3 for 7 on the power play Wednesday.
The Flyers committed 12 minors (count 'em, 12) against Ottawa, equaling their most since 2013. On the positive side, the Flyers are more feisty than last year and stick up for one another, which can lead to extra penalties but can also bond a team.
That said, more discipline and better PK work will be needed in Saturday's matinee against visiting Vegas.