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Philadelphia Flyers: Capitalization Of Special Teams Leads To Win

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


It took four games, but the Philadelphia Flyers finally found the win column for the first time in this shortened 2013 season.

Thursday night’s victory over the New York Rangers was an inspiring one. The team played well in every aspect of the game, especially on special teams, an area in which the Flyers have struggled heavily during the first three contests. Not only did the Flyers finally score on the powerplay (compliments of Jakub Voracek), but they also did a heck of a job killing it.

The third period consisted of threatening consecutive 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 powerplays in favor of the Rangers. Behind the roaring orange and black crowd in the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers killed off 3:59 of penalty time. It was an incredible atmosphere, one that hockey in Philadelphia has grown accustomed to. Special teams were the main reason the Flyers defeated their rivals on Thursday night.

But it wasn’t the only reason.

Since the first drop of the puck, the Flyers were the aggressor, hitting anything in their path. Just 2:37 seconds into the game, forward Tom Sestito dropped the gloves with Stu Bickel. Then, during the second period, rookie call-up Tye McGinn, who played in his first career game, fought Kris Newbury, though it wasn’t much of a fight. McGinn repeatedly delivered blows to the head of Newbury and really got the crowd and team fired up.

The Flyers defeated one of the preseason Stanley Cup favorites with an injury-ridden roster. Forward Scott Hartnell will miss four to eight weeks with a broken foot, Daniel Briere is almost ready to return from a sprained wrist and Zac Rinaldo is still out due to a lacerated thigh. Not to mention, Brayden Schenn was suspended for one game. Unfortunately, they couldn’t escape this game without injury, as defenseman Andrej Mezsaros left early with an apparent upper body injury. He will be reevaluated on Friday and would obviously be a huge loss to a team with question marks already surrounding the blue line.

This is the exact type of game that the Flyers can build off of to to get back among the leaders of the Atlantic Division. It was gutsy, inspiring and physical.

It was Flyers hockey.

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