Hey, they got a point. I’ll take it from a Flyers team facing a good Florida Panthers team in Florida Wednesday night. That single point the Flyers gained was all in thanks to their goaltender Martin Jones.
Here’s a recap:
Sean Couturier won the opening faceoff, and we were underway.
It wasn’t a necessarily great territorial start for the Flyers. They did a thing called “stand still and do absolutely nothing”. Because, of course. Three minutes in and I don’t even know if the Flyers had the puck for more than two seconds. It was all Panthers thus far, and that’s an understatement. With this, Martin Jones was tested a lot early, but he made stops. It was great to see. And finally, Zack MacEwen got the Flyers’ first shot nearly five minutes into the game, because of course he did.
But even though the Flyers barely hold the puck for seven minutes, they got out in front first. Travis Konecny shot a pass from the far blue line to the opposite blue line to Joel Farabee, who came in and went five-hole on Sergei Bobrovsky.
That was straight up mass chaos. Flyers had their first extended shift in the offensive zone, turn the puck over, Florida fans on the lead pass, still gets a 2-on-1, Jones makes the save, then in transition Konecny hits Farabee for the breakaway and the goal. I mean, I’m not complaining.
A roughing penalty on Aaron Ekblad gave the Flyers the first power play of the evening. And they did nothing, what else did you expect?
That was it for the first 20 minutes. It was a pretty bad period, but the Flyers are up 1-0 because hockey is random and you’ll never accurately predict a single thing about it.
Anton Lundell won the opening faceoff to begin the second period.
Jones had been great for the Flyers all night, but this was spectacular. Loose puck in front of the net, picked up on Jones’ blind side, and he sprawled to his right with the stick and made a fantastic save.
Morgan Frost hammered Aaron Ekblad off the puck to set up Farabee in front for a near-score. He was been extremely solid in his debut Wednesday night.
Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Frank Vatrano at 10:26 gave the Flyers their second PP of the evening. The Flyers got set up, moved the puck around, and got a shot on goal during the PP, and that’s it. Florida killed the penalty easily.
Two periods in and 24 saves for Jones, who was definitely the story of the night. Flyers still held the 1-0 lead going to the third.
Couturier opened the third period with a faceoff win.
Caos ensued at 3:34. The Panthers drove it, and there was a scramble in front. A wide open a net almost let a puck sneak in, but Couturier stuck his stick out and got a huge save. I’ll let you watch the video, because it’s hard to explain.
Somehow, Nick Seeler got called for slashing in all of that, and Florida went to their first PP of the game. It didn’t take them very long to do what seemed inevitable. Sam Bennett got a pass right in front and dunked it in to tie the game at one.
Florida starting getting dirty. At every stoppage of play, a big shove would be given to a Flyer. After one of those scrums at 7:09, Ekblad and Couturier got matching roughing minors. There was a little 4-on-4 for two minutes. Nothing happened in the two minutes. It was like a normal 5-on-5.
Ivan Provorov went off for cross-checking with 3:29 left. Really soft call. Huge flop by Bennet. Really ridiculous call with suck little time left by the referees.
Thankfully, the Flyers got the PK. After 60 minutes, it was still 1-1. Jones stole the Flyers one point Wednesday night. It was time for overtime.
It’s another one of those overtimes. The Flyers were absolutely gassed for the opening 90 seconds and Florida can’t finish. Atkinson got a breakaway and has it get by Bobrovsky and off the post, then Florida comes back with another rush and has that stopped.
Then, Florida won it. Ekblad one-time beat Jones, and it was all over. Flyers lost 2-1 in OT, but hey, they got a point out of it.