What more can you say about this Flyers team? There is just no quit in them.
Tuesday night did not get off to the kind of start they had anticipated. The Blackhawks scored a dirty goal in front of the Flyers net after a scramble just 2:29 into the first period. Flyers goaltender Ray Emery, who had not started a game since February 8th, looked a little rusty early on as he could not handle a Duncan Keith blast to put Chicago up 2-0 less than four minutes into the game.
The Flyers got one back two minutes later when Scott Hartnell scored a strange goal when his centering pass to Claude Giroux hit Blackhawks’ center Marcus Kruger’s skate and beat Antti Raanta. Later in the first period, Matt Read and Claude Giroux went to work along the boards when Giroux dug it out from behind the Blackhawks net and slid the puck into the slot where Hartnell beat Raanta on a one-timer.
All tied up after a beyond-shaky start for the Flyers. Philadelphia dominated the rest of the first period. The second period was pretty evenly matched between the two teams but the third period was not.
The Flyers outshot the Blackhawks 14-5 in the third period and thought they had the go-ahead goal with just over six minutes remaining. The Flyers had a shot from the point re-directed by Vinny Lecavalier in front of the net and it may or may not have hit Raanta then the post. Brayden Schenn was there to deposit the goal.
Unfortunately, the goal was waived off as they said the puck was played with a high stick and right to a teammate, not touching Raanta. Another tough call for the Flyers late in a game who were on the wrong end of another tough call just a week earlier.
The Flyers and Blackhawks forced overtime as each team got a much needed point but there was still another point up for grabs.
It was a back-and-forth overtime but both teams looked like they had some tired bodies on the ice. With less than 10 minutes left, Giroux knocked down a Kris Versteeg cross-ice pass in his own defensive zone. Mark Streit picked up the puck and passed it back to Giroux who streaked through the neutral zone towards the Blackhawks net.
The Flyers captain unleashed a nasty wrist-shot that beat Raanta over his shoulder to win the game for Philadelphia with 4.2 seconds remaining in overtime.
The win extends the Flyers record to 18-2-1 when their captain scores and the team is rolling right now as they are 11-3-1 since February 1st.
Despite winning the Stanley Cup on the Wells Fargo Center ice in June 2010, the Blackhawks might not want to visit Philadelphia in the regular season anytime soon. They have lost 10 consecutive regular season games in Philadelphia and have not registered a regular season win in the City of Brotherly Love since November 1996.
This continues an impressive stretch of hockey for the Flyers and they get back at it on Thursday against the Dallas Stars at 7:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center.