Not only was it one of the Flyers most complete games in the last little while, it was one where so many things went right for the Flyers.
And little went wrong.
The result was a 5-1 rout over the goal-starved Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, as the Flyers kicked off what will be four games at Wells Fargo Center against just two away the rest of January.
Beleaguered goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was solid, yielding just one goal on 26 shots -- the first time in 10 games he gave up one goal or fewer.
Rookie centerman Sean Couturier stretched his goal scoring streak to five straight games.
Defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Brayden Coburn each scored a rare goal.
Claude Girouxs line, which had been invisible lately for various reasons, came alive with a goal and four points off 11 shots. Individually there, Scott Hartnell notched his 20th goal. Thats six of the last seven years hes scored at least 20.
I thought everybody was good, coach Peter Laviolette said. Their line was good. All four lines, the defensemen, everyone was good.
Since the month began, Giroux and right wing Jaromir Jagr had just one game where the both of them earned a point on the same night.
That changed in the opening 2:56 as they both assisted on Timonens power-play slapper from the left point, which gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead off goalie Josh Harding. For Giroux, it was his 200th NHL career point.
It's always a plus when our line is playing better; it seems like it is an easier game for our team, Jagr said. Bryzgalov was playing well. The power play scored two goals. I think we played a complete game tonight, the way we should play.
The G Line was active, physical and skating. When they play like that, they make a difference.
We were winning battles, faster on the puck, doing the little details we were doing before and the four lines were running great, Giroux said.
Any time you see the three doing that, you want to do the same. It was the most positive weve had in a couple of weeks, thats for sure.
Hartnell called it the best this line has looked in almost six games.
We got pucks deep, we were first on pucks, we were skating, holding onto it, everything that weve talked about in the last few games, but didnt execute our game plan, he said.
It wasnt just our line. Every line was cycling and getting shots and executing. It was a big win, too.
Hartnell, snubbed for the All-Star game, is on pace for a career-high 37 goals.
Its been nice and get that nice round number and hopefully, I can just keep putting that puck in the net, he said. Im happy with my season so far.
My game is not the flashy stuff. When I am skating, I am really effective, Im hitting, Im physical, Im on pucks, winning battles for my linemates. This year, the points have come in bunches.
Its all right if I dont get the accolades. Im a hard-working guy in a hard-working city and thats all I care about.
Couturier continues to generate offense off defense and, much like Giroux, is a threat every time hes out there on the penalty kill. Funny, but he more or less replaced Darroll Powe, who is now playing for the Wild in that role.
Only difference being that Couturier is faster and has far more offensive upside.
Midway into the second period, Couturier netted his second shorthanded goal of the season with a flubbed shot off a two-on-one.
Their guy tipped it and the puck was wobbly, Couturier smiled. I was lucky to get that bounce off my blade.
Given the shorthanded chances he and Giroux generate, its odd the Flyers only have four shorthanded goals this season.
You get a lot of wins during the season and your power play and PK need to step up, Giroux said. Tonight was that. And on the PK, Bryz played great on the shots he got. We played great tonight offensively and defensively.
Before the second period was over, Coburn notched his second goal on a point shot that appeared to hit Wild defenseman Nick Schultz. Then, Hartnell scored the Flyers second power play marker, redirecting Matt Carles point shot to make it 4-1.
He has a really good shot and it is easy to tip and I was able to get the deflection into the net, Hartnell said of Carles assist.
This was the first time this season the Flyers scored two power play goals plus a shorthanded goal. They had one of each earlier against Columbus.
Minnesotas only goal in the game came at 11:38 of the second period from Powe off the rush. It looked like his shot deflected off Andrej Meszaros' stick, but Bryzgalov said he just missed with his glove hand.
As for giving up just one goal for a change, the Bryzard of Oz quipped, Its good for the stats. Just a one-goal night. I dont know. I guess no bad bounce goals tonight. Thats the big difference.
I think the team played unbelievable and they gave up nothing.
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