It was as close to a must-win as a game could be. The Philadelphia Flyers, who are currently fighting for a playoff spot, find themselves as one of nine teams separated by a mere five points in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Having only won three of their last nine games before heading into last night’s contest with the San Jose Sharks, the Flyers were in desperate need of a fuse that could get them going again — or at least headed in the right direction. With a win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Flyers knew that if they could win in San Jose they would at least remain in a nice position in the playoff race rather than dig themselves in too deep of a hole.
Grabbing leads and keeping them has been difficult for the Flyers so far this season. After losing a 1-0 lead in the first, the orange and black were able to grab it right back in third period. The key to this game was scoring — period. San Jose came into last night’s game with 24 victories when scoring first, but the Flyers had other plans and grabbed the first goal of the game to prove that stats sometimes don’t matter.
San Jose hasn’t been too familiar with playing on the penalty kill this season either. The Flyers caught a huge break when they were able to draw a big penalty against the Sharks just minutes into the game.
Philadelphia’s defensive lines have been having woes all season long, but the unit was able to stay poised when they needed to. The absence of Kimmo Timonen proved to be nothing Philly couldn’t handle. Philadelphia’s defense was able to make the Sharks chase around the ice and held a team that averaged 35.2 shots per game to a mediocre 22.
It was the perfect way for Philadelphia to end its California road trip that saw them go 2-1. Philadelphia will play the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night and the Calgary Flames Saturday afternoon before starting their Sochi Winter Olympic break.