It is incredible what happens when the Philadelphia Flyers carry the puck into the offensive zone instead of routinely dump-and-chasing. Most of the seven goals scored against the Pittsburgh Penguins in tonight’s 7-2 victory began with fluid passing in transition. As Alex Lyon captured his first victory of the season, Philadelphia seemingly played some of their best hockey.
Three Flyers finished with as many points this evening. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek continued to produce, but Joel Farabee found his way. Those players finished with three points, but the way Giroux obtained his stood out the most. Aside from scoring two goals, his ability to produce in any scenario helped Philadelphia win. Giroux scored an empty-net goal, an even-strength goal, and logged an assist on the powerplay.
Voracek moved into the top ten of all-time Flyers point-scoring. Securing his 602nd point when Robert Hagg scored, the lead scorer this season keeps proving any critics wrong. He and Giroux remain vital to Philadelphia as they age like wine. Not too often does a franchise have two top ten franchise point scorers actively in the same lineup.
Tonight, we saw a glimpse of how the Flyers look at their optimum. Seven goals against a playoff Penguins team feels good.
Where was this energy in four games against the New Jersey Devils a week ago?
The Lyon King
In four starts, Alex Lyon improved to 1-3-0 after tonight. With this victory, he becomes the third Philadelphia Flyers goaltender to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. Without question, the Flyers were the better head-to-head team (the best of the two in Pennsylvania.)
Early in the first period, Lyon potentially made the best save for Philadelphia this season. For my money, it remains a tad better than Shayne Gostisbehere‘s effort minutes later. Lyon saved 94.6% of the shots he faced. It’s the first time this season he matched or eclipsed 90%.
“Everyone was happy of his battle and compete level.”Alain Vigneault; 5/3/21
You would have to go back to 2017-2018 to find the last time he saved higher than 94.6%. He accomplished that on the road against the New York Rangers during his first NHL victory.
“If I just do the things that I know I can do, I can play here.”Alex Lyon; 5/3/21
Lyon played behind the worst defensive personnel he had throughout his career. He played one of his best games despite that. After Brian Elliott finishes his NHL career, the Flyers need to make a crucial decision regarding the goaltending rotation. Who will back up Carter Hart? Will Lyon receive the call, or does Philadelphia look to free agency?
If Lyon can do this consistently as the season comes to an end, maybe he does deserve a closer look.
Business As Usual
During post-game press conferences, Jakub Voracek shoots from the hip. Tonight, he treated his career milestone like any other game. His demeanor is the mark of a veteran who has been there before. Scoring points is the expectation. Voracek treats it as such.
Securing his 602nd NHL point puts him one ahead of Rod Brind’Amour. In sole possession of tenth place all-time in Philadelphia Flyers scoring, Voracek considers it a testament of how long he’s been with the franchise.
“I’ve been playing here a long time, especially ten years in Philly. I don’t make much of it.”Jakub Voracek; 5/3/21
Team play takes precedence over personal milestones for Voracek. He seemed more refreshed when acknowledging taking an early lead. The Flyers had to play from behind too often this season.
“It was nice to get a lead to be honest.”Jakub Voracek; 5/3/21
Yes, it was, especially from a spectator’s point of view.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre
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