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.
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
Scratched: Weal, Leier, Manning