Flyers

Instant Replay: Kings 1, Flyers 0 (OT)

Instant Replay: Kings 1, Flyers 0 (OT)

BOX SCORE

Michal Neuvirth stood on his head for more than 60 minutes, but his unblemished afternoon came undone in overtime.

Jeff Carter notched the game-winning goal against his former team as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Flyers, 1-0, in overtime Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center. Carter's goal, which came 2:35 into the extra period, came after Neuvirth had robbed him earlier in the game.

Dave Hakstol’s club played another offensively conservative game with a one-man forecheck and not allowing its defense to pinch which kept the game both tight and scoreless. It was a very competitive effort again.

Neuvirth had some outstanding saves to keep the Flyers in a game, simply because of the Flyers' turnovers and lack of quality scoring chances. Instead, it was the Kings that had the majority of the chances throughout the contest.

Neuvirth’s second period glove save on Dustin Brown was highlight material after a Jakub Voracek turnover in the high slot (see video).

Best check
Radko Gudas' hit checked Kevin Gravel over the side boards into Steve Mason’s lap on Flyers bench. Mason laughed (see video). Gudas came off the ice seconds later and tapped Mason on the head as if to say, ‘sorry pal, couldn’t resist it.’

Goalie report
Neuvirth had to make three saves off turnovers directly in front of him in the first period, alone. Peter Budaj came into the game having allowed just three goals during the Kings four-game win streak and recorded his NHL-leading seventh shutout. He didn’t face quite the same shot difficulty that Neuvirth did. Besides Brown, Neuvirth denied Tanner Pearson’s backhander at the post with 4:24 left in regulation. 

Power play
Ivan Provorov’s turnover on the Flyers' first opportunity at their bench led to a too many men on the ice call and the PP was over before it started. Their second chance in the third period to break the 0-0 tie was a disaster with puck fumbles and LA clears.

Penalty kill
It was very strong in the first period, attacking the puck and pressuring with three zone clears. Kings were 0 for 2, just like the Flyers.

Fights
Major scrum after Neuvirth was speared in the chest by Kyle Clifford in the second period but no fight or penalties.

Scratches
Defensemen Michael Del Zotto (leg/bone bruise) and Shayne Gostisbehere (healthy); forward Travis Konecny (healthy).

Up next
Flyers will practice Sunday at Skate Zone at 11 a.m. They’ll host the St. Louis Blues on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Simmonds plays hero in win over Oilers

usa-wayne-simmonds-celebration.jpg
USA Today Images

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Simmonds plays hero in win over Oilers

BOX SCORE

For the second straight game, the Flyers were forced to get defensive, and this time, they found a way to come out on top, 2-1, over the Edmonton Oilers.

Wayne Simmonds produced the game winner after taking a pass from Valtteri Filppula and snapping it past Cam Talbot with 2:15 remaining in the third period.

It was a tight-checking game that played out similar to what we saw Thursday against the Predators, as the Flyers held the Oilers to 24 shots on net. Connor McDavid registered four shots on net, but wasn’t much of a factor offensively.

The Flyers jumped on the board first with the help of their first power play when Shayne Gostisbehere’s blast from the point was deflected out front by Wayne Simmonds right to Claude Giroux, who corralled the loose puck and punched it into a wide open net for his fifth goal of the season. 

Following an 0-for-5 effort against Nashville, the Flyers needed to capitalize on the man advantage chances.  

“We just have a lot of different looks this year,” Gostisbehere said to NBCSP's Chris Therien during the first intermission. “We have so many plays out there. It’s harder for other teams to prepare for us. We’re getting pucks to the net and our guys are doing what they’re suppose to do.”

Former Phantom Patrick Maroon finally got the Oilers on the board with 4:23 remaining in the second period when he outmuscled rookie Nolan Patrick along the corner boards, coming away with the puck, and making a move past Ivan Provorov, before putting a shot between Brian Elliott’s pads. 

Patrick appeared to have been distracted by a broken stick along the boards that made him hesitate with the puck. The Flyers rookie center could have elevated the puck with his backhand, but by holding onto to it for a split second too long, he allowed Maroon to come up with the takeaway.

• The Flyers got careless defensively in the opening ten minutes of the second period as defensive breakdowns led to some quality scoring chance for the Oilers.

• The Flyers did a solid job of containing last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner McDavid, primarily deploying Scott Laughton’s line along with the Sean Couturier line sometimes during the same shift. McDavid had some extended shifts — three even strength shifts over 1:30 — requiring the Flyers to use a multitude of forwards/defense pairs.

• McDavid left the game briefly in the first period and returned midway through.

• Jori Lehtera produced his best scoring chance of the season when he took Radio Gudas’ outlet pass and attempted to squeeze through a pair of defenders. The plodding Lehtera was unable to gain enough speed for an uncontested shot, but with his strong forearms and hands, he was able to draw a slashing penalty and still put a shot on net. 

• Last season, Giroux didn’t score his 5th goal until November 29th. 

• Both Taylor Leier and Jordan Weal missed Saturday’s game with upper-body injuries. According to general manager Ron Hextall, both forwards are day-to-day. 

• Referee Ian Walsh was honored prior to the game for officiating his 1,000th career game. Flyers captain Claude Giroux presented Walsh with a framed autographed jersey signed by the team with the No. 1,000 on the back.

Lines, pairings and scratches
Giroux-Couturier-Voracek
Lehtera-Filppula-Simmonds
Weise-Patrick-Konecny
Read-Laughton-Raffl

Provorov-MacDonald
Gostisbehere-Hägg
Sanheim-Gudas

Elliott
Neuvirth

Scratched: Weal, Leier, Manning

Flyers-Oilers thoughts: Welcoming the best player in the world to Philly

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USA Today Images/NBCSP

Flyers-Oilers thoughts: Welcoming the best player in the world to Philly

Flyers (4-3-0) vs. Oilers (2-4-0)
1 p.m. on NBCSP, NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports App; Pregame Live at 12:30

The best player in the world comes to South Philly today. Get your popcorn ready.

The Flyers, coming off a 1-0 loss to the Predators, host the Oilers in their first matinee of the season at the Wells Fargo Center. It’s Game 4 of the Flyers’ five-game homestand.

Let’s dive into some pregame thoughts before puck drop.

• Move over, Sidney Crosby. There’s a new sheriff in town. It’s time to anoint Connor McDavid as the best player in the world. Many already have. I’m fully on board now.

This kid is special, and each game he does something that blows your mind. On Thursday night, it was a ridiculous spin-o-rama assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.

What made the play exceptional was who he did it against, Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Between the two are seven All-Star Game appearances, two Norris Trophies and one Conn Smythe Trophy, so that’s no joke.

McDavid has three goals and five assists in six games this season. He has 156 points in 133 career games. He’s 20 years old. He should be the face of the league yesterday.

Market him better. I don’t care that he plays in Canada.

• It’s time to put the Brandon Manning-McDavid storyline to bed. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s overplayed (see story). If Manning is in McDavid’s head, it’s not for the better.

McDavid scored a goal and an assist last season in Philadelphia in his first game against the Flyers since Manning broke McDavid’s collarbone with a clean hockey play.

Then, in Edmonton, McDavid had a goal and two assists. Manning played both games. So if anything, it’s adding extra motivation for the best player in the world.

• It appears Travis Sanheim will remain in the lineup, a positive for two reasons:

1. Thursday against Nashville was Sanheim’s best game.

2. Sanheim’s speed and skating is a plus when having to defend McDavid.

Will Sanheim see much ice time against McDavid? I sure hope not. But the Oilers are a decent skating team, and McDavid’s speed is insane. You want as much speed against them as possible.

• You sure hope Jordan Weal can return after missing Thursday with an injury to part of his body. Weal is an important piece for the Flyers, and without him, Dave Hakstol will have to shuffle up his lines. Simply can’t replace Weal with Jori Lehtera on the second line with Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds.

That unit against the Predators was a disaster. If Weal is out again, I’d insert Matt Read into the lineup. He’s better suited for what the Flyers are doing now than Lehtera.

The good news is Weal practiced Friday. He’s expected to play.

• Three random Flyers stats:

1. Jakub Voracek needs two more points to reach 500 in his career. He will become the 23rd Czech player with 500 career points.

2. Shayne Gostisbehere’s 10 points are the most by a Flyers defenseman through the team’s first seven games dating back to the 1987-88 season.

3. Michal Neuvirth leads NHL goaltenders with a .957 save percentage. He was the worst qualified goalie last season in that category.

• The Oilers again will be without center Leon Draisaitl because of a concussion. Draisaitl practiced Friday but is still feeling symptoms. He hasn’t played since Oct. 9.

• Kailer Yamamoto, the Oilers’ 2017 first-round pick, has seen an increased role with Draisaitl injured. Edmonton has four more games to decide whether it’ll keep Yamamoto or send him back to junior. Yamamoto enters today on a three-game assist streak.

Here is the Flyers' projected lineup:

Forwards
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal-Valtteri Filppula-Wayne Simmonds
Dale Weise-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Forwards Jori Lehtera and Matt Read, and defenseman Brandon Manning.