Flyers Honor Mark Howe with Defensively Strong 3-2 Win Against Red WingsBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
The Flyers retired long-time defenseman Mark Howe’s #2 in a touching ceremony that preceded tonight’s puck drop with the Detroit Red Wings. He suggested in his speech that he was hoping to return to the Wells Fargo Center in June for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between both of his former clubs.
I’d rather they face the Houston Aeros than the powerhouse that is Detroit, but they managed to pull together a very defensively strong 3-2 win.
The Red Wings drew blood first, capitalizing on miscommunication in the Flyers defensive zone. Henrik Zetterberg backhanded the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov, who had his glove down.
It was the first shot for the Red Wings, but just one of two they’d put on net the whole period.
Jake Voracek tied the game after Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald left the puck behind the net and Doug Janik overskated. Voracek scored on a wraparound attempt that bounced off another skate and in.
Claude Giroux put the Flyers up with just 1:49 left in the first after jumping on a breakaway.
The Flyers carried their momentum through the second period, although the Red Wings began to even the scoring chances quickly.
At the 7:37 mark, Voracek corralled a loose puck at the boards and proceeded to skate forward when he collided with defenseman Niklas Kronwall. The hit knocked Voracek into last week and he left the game immediately after.
The hit was completely legal and should teach Voracek to keep his head up in the future. The Flyers responded well by relentlessly forechecking anything that moved. Hartnell deserves additional recognition for trying to challenge Kronwall to a fight in defense of his teammate, but Kronwall declined.
The increase in physical play and intimidation earned them two penalties from the officials, but the penalty kill, galvanized by the hit on #93, was particularly aggressive.
Giroux captured another breakaway attempt while shorthanded. He wasn’t able to get much of a shot off with the Red Wings hooking him, but Max Talbot scored on the rebound.
“Yeah, I just tried to get a shot on net,” said Giroux. “They had kind of two guys on me so I just tried to get a shot on him. I didn’t know Max was even behind me and he was able to get the rebound.”
Jaromir Jagr left the game before the end of the period with what was later announced as a “lower body injury.” One has to assume his groin is hurt again. Depending on whether he and Voracek are both capable of playing on Thursday, the Flyers may be forced to use their third of four available emergency recalls. If one is available, they may just slide Jody Shelley back into the line-up.
There seems to be some confusion on the team about whether Claude Giroux “officially” has a wrist injury or not. Giroux only took two face-offs (0 for 2) while Hartnell took sixteen (7 for 16).
Talbot: “Yeah, well, he’s a strong guy. He wouldn’t be playing if he wasn’t able to play tonight. At the same time he’s banged up, was battling hard…”
Giroux: “I guess Hartsy’s good at face-offs.”
Peter Laviolette: “Did somebody say he wasn’t 100%? Well Hartsy’s been doing a good job. I think he was our leading guy tonight… What are you chuckling at [Tim Panaccio]?”
The absence of Voracek and Jagr also took the Flyers out of the game offensively, as they only mustered 14 shots in the final 40 minutes. Credit Bryzgalov for holding the Red Wings to just one more goal after they released 37 shots (not including the 24 blocked shots as well).
“He made some big saves,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “That first period was quiet. The second period they had lots of shots but they seemed like they were from the outside for the most part and in the third period, he really got tested and he came through.”
A start for Bryz against the Florida Panthers on Thursday would mark his 10th consecutive start. One has to think Sergei Bobrovsky will see the ice in one of the back-to-back games this weekend.
For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).
Short URL: http://gcobb.com/?p=29155