Bobrobbery! Flyers Actually Win Shootout

Bobrobbery! Flyers Actually Win Shootout

Tuesday night's game between the Flyers and Florida Panthers seemed in many ways the opposite of Sunday's battle against the Boston Bruins. There wasn't much enduring momentum, with play choppy and not particularly favoring either side for very long. Both games went to OT, followed by the shootout. The outcomes were undeniably different.

Ilya Bryzgalov was unable to stop a single attempt. Sergei Bobrovsky stoned them all (and celebrated with an uncharacteristic dance reminiscent of Brian Boucher's can-can after the Flyers backed into the playoffs in 2010—video below). Bob was the story in this one, getting back in the win column after taking the rare loss against the Islanders in his last start.

Notes and video highlights below.

The Panthers opened the scoring on an early first period power play, a sequence that could hardly be pinned on Bob. The netminder made a pair of huge saves, but couldn't stop the third attempt, popped home by Mikael Samuelsson.

Brayden Schenn knotted it halfway through the period with one of those "just get the puck on net" philosophy provers. His shot was stopped by Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, but sent skyward only to fall down Clemmensen's back and into the net.

Getting to the net was the goal of the Flyers' attack in this one, and Jake Voracek made it 2-1 with a nice tip off a Tom Sestito pass through a small window between Clemmensen's outstretched pad and the post.

A lapse in that mentality partially led to the Panthers' tying goal though. At 15:40 of the second period, Voracek had the puck in the Florida zone and went against the flow of traffic, passing backward to look for a trailer. The pass went into Panther sticks though, and the play was quickly turned into an odd-man rush the other way.

Former Flyer Kris Versteeg carried the puck up ice but ran out of room to make his move, then spun the puck back to the trailing Tomas Fleischmann, who made a quick turn and put it into the open net.

After a scoreless third period, there was some excitement in the overtime, but neither team connected. The shootout seems like an OTL sentence anymore, but the Flyers were able to steal their first in 10 months on the strength of a brilliant Claude Giroux goal and three straight Bobrovsky saves. They'd lost three this season, and six in a row dating back to last March.

Here's the shootout video. Watch how far Clemmensen ends up out of the net on G's move...

Numbers:
Flyers PR state the team has gotten a goal from a rookie in 11 of their last 13 games and eight of their last nine. Great to see that kind of production at any time, but particularly when the young guns are being called on to contribute even more with some veteran scorers out.

Giroux also took on added responsibilities, playing a whopping 27:17. He put up nearly 28 against Boston. 

The Flyers tallied 38 hits a game after notching 39. Twenty-eight were by forwards, including five by Scott Hartnell.

They didn't do so well in the faceoff circle though, losing 32 of 55.

Video Recap with JJ and Bill Clement:


Elsewhere:
The Rangers won (3-0 over Winnipeg) to maintain their lead in the division and conference, and the Capitals topped the Bruins to take hold of the Southeast Division by virtue of having more wins than the Panthers despite the same point total. The third seed currently has eight fewer points than the fourth… The Devils lost in a shootout to the Sabres.

Up Next:
The Flyers who aren't invited to Ottawa for the All-Star Game are off for a week. They don't play again until next Tuesday, when they host the Jets.

Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

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Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Saturday, noon, ABC

It would have been hard to picture Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship game after the Owls’ first game of the season, a 28-13 loss to Army.

But that’s exactly where they are three months later, as Temple will take on No. 19 Navy in the conference championship game Saturday.

The Owls and Midshipmen have both been handling opponents as of late. Temple’s won its last four games by at least three touchdowns, while Navy has outscored opponents 141-62 in its past two games.

Let’s take a look at how one of the country’s top offenses and one of the country’s top defenses match up.

Scouting Temple
The Owls' defense seems to get better every week. Temple ranks No. 3 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense and No. 10 in scoring defense. The only two teams that rank higher than the Owls in both categories are Alabama and Michigan.

Teams haven’t scored more than 13 points against the Owls in their last four games, and Temple is outscoring opponents 123-23 during that stretch.

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Haason Reddick was named a first team all-conference selection earlier this week. He leads the FBS in tackles for loss. Redshirt-senior Praise Martin-Oguike is coming off one of his best games of the season last week against East Carolina, in which he had two sacks, including a forced fumble. He has seven sacks this season.

On offense, Temple’s goal this week will be to sustain drives and keep Navy’s offense off the field. The Owls are currently No. 5 in the FBS in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 34 minutes per game.

Earlier in the week, coach Matt Rhule said senior quarterback Phillip Walker was questionable for Saturday’s game. Walker will likely play, but the Owls might be without one of their top offensive weapons.

Rhule said sophomore running back Ryquell Armstead is doubtful. Armstead has 842 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Scouting Navy
The Midshipmen have one of the simplest — yet at that same time one of the best — offenses in the country. Navy ranks No. 2 in rushing yards at 342 yards per game.

Quarterback Will Worth runs the triple option for Navy. He has 2,544 total yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He’s passed for 1,363 yards and rushed for 1,181 more.  Worth has a touchdown in 11 straight games.

Worth has attempted 258 rushes compared to 115 passing attempts. Four other Navy players have at least 40 rushing attempts this season.

Senior wide receiver Jamir Tillman is the Midshipmen’s best receiving threat. The 6-foot-4 wideout has 32 catches for 533 yards and two touchdowns.

Navy’s defense hasn’t been quite as elite as its offense. The Midshipmen have allowed 30 or more points in four of their last five games.

The Midshipmen are allowing 265 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 313 yards and three touchdowns in their last three contests.

Storyline to watch: Can Temple find a way to stop the triple option?
The last time these two teams played was in 2014, when Navy ran for 487 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 win against the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple’s most recent matchup against the triple option was when it lost to Army in its season opener. The Black Knights ran for 329 yards and four touchdowns. With only a week to prepare, Temple will have to find a way to cure its option woes if it wants a chance to win Saturday.

What’s at stake?
The Owls have only won one other conference championship in program history, when they won the Mid-Atlantic Conference in 1967. A win would also give Temple its third 10-win season in program history. If Western Michigan loses Friday night, Temple also puts itself in contention for a spot in the Cotton Bowl with a win.

Prediction
Temple has to figure out this option thing at some point, right? The Owls’ ability to convert on third down and sustain long drives will help slow Navy's offense. This one will most likely come down to who has the ball last, but the Owls are a little bit more well-rounded, so they get the edge. Temple 31, Navy 28