GLENDALE, Ariz. — A slew of fans in orange jerseys came out to Gila River Arena to support the Flyers on Saturday night.
So much so, when there were “Let’s Go Coyotes” chants, it was clear you could hear a mix of “Let’s Go Flyers.” You might as well have thought you were inside Wells Fargo Arena when the Flyers scored.
And yes, the “E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles” chant made its appearance.
The home crowd seemed to play in the Flyers' favor on Saturday night, as they were able to squeeze out a win in a shootout, 4-3, to move into third place in the Metropolitan division.
The Flyers allowed a third-period goal to ex-Flyer Zac Rinaldo to tie the game at three. Overtime passed with both teams exchanging chances back-and-forth. The Flyers got their first shootout victory of the year with goals from Voracek and the game-winner from Nolan Patrick.
The Coyotes, who currently sit in last place in the NHL standings, fell to 13-33-9 on the season.
The Coyotes entered the game having a 7-2-2 record against the Flyers in their last 11 contests. This was the second matchup of the season between the Flyers and the Coyotes. The first meeting was back at the start of the season.
Remember this, Flyers fans?
The Coyotes were winless at 0-10-1 back on October 30 and the Flyers fell 4-3 in OT.
Here are some observations from the game:
•Two huge missed opportunities from Sean Couturier and Jordan Weal raised a potential cause for concern for the last-place Coyotes early in the first period. The Coyotes surrendered three breakaways to the Flyers in the first period alone, one that arguably could have been a penalty shot.
That’s all the shine the Coyotes would get in the first period because the rest of it belonged to the Flyers. They went into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
•The Flyers' 11th ranked power-play went to work tonight. Claude Giroux was the recipient of a beautiful pass from Jakob Voracek and clocked a one-timer over Antti Raanta’s blocker. Wayne Simmonds was parked out in front of the net, per usual, and redirected a Shayne Gostisbehere shot on the other goal. The first power-play grouping had the Coyotes playing on their heels at every second.
The power play has hit their stride over the last two games for the Flyers, having gone 4-for-8.
•Chances galore for the Flyers to put this game away. Wayne Simmonds was robbed on a shot from Raanta inside three minutes left, two more chances at it by the Flyers and they still couldn’t get it home. The Flyers outshot the Coyotes in the third, 18-4.
•Both goaltenders struggled mightily with rebound control. Brian Elliott, who started in the Flyers' previous two victories over Carolina and Montreal, made 24 saves on Saturday night. But every time the Coyotes took a shot, you feared someone would be right on the doorstep to put home the loose change.
Elliott allowed two shaky goals in the first 20-plus minutes. He has normally handled his rebounds with better control. He played better in the third period, until he was forced to leave the game in the second round of the shootout after suffering a lower-body injury. Michal Neuvirth came in and went 4-for-4 and gave the Flyers the win.
•The Flyers had been 0-4 in shootouts prior to this game. Ex-Flyer Nick Cousins got the scoring started in the shootout, but that’s all the Coyotes could get.
Patrick would score the game-winner in the seventh round and give the Flyers their 27th victory of the season.
•Luke Schenn was a scratch on Saturday night for the Coyotes. He has played in all but five games for the Coyotes this season. Schenn spent three seasons with the Flyers before being traded along with Vincent Lecavalier to the Los Angeles Kings.
•Zac Rinaldo picked up his fourth goal of the season against the team that drafted him in 2008. Rinaldo spent four seasons with the orange and black before he was traded to Boston in 2015-16.
•The Flyers wrap up their back-to-back Sunday with a mactchup against the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. on NBCSP.