Flyers Roll to a 3-0 Record

Published on October 13th, 2011

Bryzgalov with Canucks Chris Higgins in front of the net | Source: Drew King

by Mike del Tufo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Philadelphia Flyers have opened the 2011-12 season with 3 strong victories including wins over both Stanley Cup finalists.  On this night, they defeated the Vancouver Canucks, the defending Western Conference Champions, 5-4 in their home opener.  They had played two road games prior to this winning against the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.

In this game, Roberto Luongo started in net for the Canucks and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:

Flyers defensemen pairings:

The Flyers were soaring on the power-play and scored at 7:14 of the 1st period with the man-advantage when a crazy carom off the boards gave winger Claude Giroux the puck right in front of the net.  He easily converted.  Giroux has scored in all three Flyers games so far this season.  The Flyers then got another power-play goal at 12:12 when defenseman Chris Pronger blasted it in to make it 2-0.  Mikael Samuelsson got a power-play goal back for the Canucks at 16:35.  The Flyers came right back as JVR grabbed a loose rebound and flipped it in to notch his 1st goal of the season at 17:48.  Luongo was sloppy with the puck and paid for it.  He turned it over then failed to control the rebound.  The Flyers led 3-1 after one period with a 14-9 lead in shots.

Henrik Sedin of the Canucks scored his 1st goal of the season at 6:41 to cut the Flyers’ lead in half.  The Flyers had a little bit of a let-down at the start of the 2nd period.  They resumed their dominance and at 8:32 regained their 2-goal lead when forward Jakub Voracek got his 2nd of the season after a nice pass from rookie Sean Couturier.  The Flyers seemed to be playing keep-away with the puck during a stretch midway through the period.  The Canucks would not go away though as Chris Higgins knocked it in on the doorstep at 15:31 to bring them back within a goal. 

At 3:39 of the 3rd period, Daniel Sedin of the Canucks banged in a power-play goal to tie the game 4-4.  Flyers responded quickly though as defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored at 4:40 to give the Flyers a 5-4 lead.  The Flyers then took some careless penalties and gave the Canucks a total of 5 power-plays in this period.  They were able to kill off the last four of them off with Bryzgalov making some key saves to preserve the win.  He ended up facing 17 shots in this period.

Pronger said, “Five power plays in the third is going to give a lot more momentum. And they’ve obviously got the players that can work it around and Bryz made some great stops and we made some good blocks in front of him and the way we were playing in the first, we had our share of power plays, second period we got a little away from it start turning the puck over and then got a lot of momentum and let that carry over to the third period.”

He continued, “Well I think it’s a good start but because we’re a young team we’re going to have moments where we get a little lax and get away from what works for us and we need to continue to work on the consistency part of our game. And make sure night in and night out it’s wave after wave.  Get on the forecheck and skate, use the young bodies we’ve got up front to skate, skate teams into the ground, we did a great job of that in New Jersey and tonight we let off the gas a little bit”

The Flyers next game is at home Saturday vs. the Los Angeles Kings.   Flyers former captain Mike Richards and Simon Gagne return.

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