After four high-scoring, lopsided games, the Flyers found themselves in a close, low-scoring one.
Knights forward Cody Eakin scored the game’s only goal with 1:25 remaining in regulation to give Vegas a 1-0 victory.
Will the Flyers be down another forward following a controversial hit?
Here are my observations from the Wells Fargo Center:
• Flyers were very conscious in limiting the Golden Knights and their speed throughout the neutral zone where they killed opponents last season. Defensively, the Flyers clogged up the area between the blue lines with good gap control, forcing the Knights into seven giveaways in the first period.
• The Flyers’ penalty kill did an outstanding job on the Knights' two power play opportunities, especially on their first two minutes. They never allowed Vegas to get set up, often disrupting their entries at the blue line. That has been the key for the Flyers’ PK so far in the season — when they negate the opposing power play from a clean entry, they typically have success. The Golden Knights' power play is now O-for-16 this season.
• Something doesn’t seem quite right with Ivan Provorov with the puck on his stick. There were a couple of occasions when Provorov fumbled the puck with poor stick handling, as well as, some poor decision-making in the defensive zone. There was a blind backhand pass from the boards that was very un-Provorov like. Whatever the case, it’s an area to monitor moving forward.
• With the injury to Nolan Patrick, Jordan Weal jumped up in the lineup to center Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny. While they had just the one primary opportunity, there wasn’t all that much strong play in the offensive zone. However, Weal played solid positional game in the defensive zone limiting the Knights attack.
• Even though the end result yielded no goals, Jake Voracek was tenacious on the puck whether it was carrying the puck into the Knights zone, or fighting to maintain possession. Voracek forced Vegas to fight for every inch and at the same time he didn’t get caught making very many high risk/low reward plays.
• I’m not quite sure Brayden McNabb’s hit on Oskar Lindblom deserved a penalty on the initial hit, however, did McNabb drive Lindblom’s head unnecessarily into the glass? That’s where the refs have a tough decision and a tough call to make in real time where the hit happens so quickly. In slow motion, it always looks more deliberate. I can see that play going uncalled. Either way, the Flyers simply can’t afford to lose another forward as Lindblom left the game and didn’t return.