They may have lost their win streak, but there’s still one left that counts.
The Flyers stretched their point streak to five games Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center with a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Sean Couturier broke a 25-game goal skid (going back to last season) early in the game and Kimmo Timonen broke a 21-game overall slide late, as the Flyers scored two goals just 23 seconds apart to break a 2-2 tie.
One-goal games heading into the third period have become the norm for the Flyers most of the season. A goal up or a goal behind most of the time.
Ill-timed penalties have killed them. Like Steve Downie’s penalty that tied the game in the third period at Winnipeg last week.
And like Zac Rinaldo’s hook between the legs of Zack Smith that allowed the Senators to tie the game, 2-2. It was only close because of goalie Steve Mason, who was again spectacular with 34 saves.
Soon after, Nick Grossmann had a skate save on Kyle Turris in the paint. The Flyers then came out and scored twice to take the edge off the game.
He had a number of terrific saves in this game, including a highlight reel one on Clarke MacArthur in the final minute of the second period with the Flyers clutching a shaky 2-1 lead.
The entire sequence began as a turnover from Jakub Voracek went to MacArthur. He dished to Bobby Ryan, who gave him a spinarama return pass in the slot for a tip-in attempt.
Mason stopped Turris on a penalty shot in the final minutes, as well.
With the win, the Flyers improved to 8-7-2 under coach Craig Berube. Overall, the Flyers sit at 8-10-2.
The Flyers, besides looking a tad lethargic, took a penalty in the first minute of play and more or less waded into the game instead of diving into it. They were fortunate that Mason was on his game. He has solid kicks save on Cory Conacher during that power play and got help from the post on Jason Spezza’s slapper. Later, Mason stopped Ryan, who simply snail-darted around Sean Couturier for a lane to the net.
Where’s the juice?
The opening period was frightfully dull, unlike the three-goal, quick-skating first period at Winnipeg last Friday night when the Flyers last played.
Couturier had the puck on his stick and stared down an open net in the first period. The net won. His shot was wide of the far post. Couturier came into the game without a goal this season but …
He got it … finally
Couturier scored along the left goal line near the corner from a ridiculous angle shortside on goalie Robin Lehner to make it 2-0 in the second period. That was his first goal in 20 games this season.
Thanks to back-to-back Flyer delay of game penalties, the Senators enjoyed a brief two-man advantage that the Flyers were able to survive.
They say your best penalty killer should be your goalie, and Mason looked sharp that first period. Ottawa’s crisp puck movement during the end of that five-on-four saw Mason make a nice cradle save on Turris’ shot from the left circle. The Flyers had three delay of game penalties on the night.
Four straight games now the Flyers have scored on the power play. Claude Giroux ripped a shot off some fine passing from Voracek to the captain in the left circle for the only goal of the opening period. Giroux is on pace for just 20 power-play points this season, well below his career-high of 38 two years ago. He has to pick it up if the power play is going to get its act together.
Things are different on the penalty kill. Ottawa’s MacArthur scored a power-play goal to make it 2-1 in the second period off a screen shot (Luke Schenn). Ottawa also got a power-play goal from Turris in the third period. The Flyers’ PK units have now given up five power-play goals in the last three games.
Colin Greening and Schenn threw down with 1:02 left in the second period. A lot of throws in a draw.
Defensemen Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros and forward Michael Raffl.
Did we mention this marked the first time all season the Flyers gave up two power-play goals in consecutive games? ... There was a nifty takeaway at the blue line off Couturier by Spezza in the second period for an excellent scoring chance by Milan Michalek, whose backhander was wide of the right post, ... Luke Schenn has three fights this season … TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Flyers have quietly let it be known that Brayden Schenn could be available in a trade involving larger pieces. The Flyers denied it. ... Adam Hall’s shorthanded goal ended his goal drought, as well.