It was the Brandon Manning redemption game this afternoon, and Flyers fans were not disappointed!
More than halfway through the first frame, the Flyers were looking half asleep. The Blackhawks were living in the Flyers’ zone and the orange and black weren’t putting up much of a fight. Outside of a few 2-on-1 rushes between Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux, it was a boring start for the boys.
Duncan Keith, being the swell guy that he is, decided to help the Flyers out and at the 14:56 mark of the period, Keith made a beautiful pass from behind his own net to feed Giroux in front for a nifty forehand-backhand goal to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. It was the sixth straight game in which the Flyers scored the first goal.
Manning tried to give the home team a little cushion later in the frame as Corey Crawford fired a clearing attempt off the former Flyer, but the puck would slide just wide of the open net.
After a mostly poor period to open the game, the script was flipped in the middle period. The Flyers were all over the Hawks early and often. Wayne Simmonds was robbed on a rebound off a Jordan Weal shot from the slot. Crawford would later make key saves on Konecny and Scott Laughton on mini break-ins to keep Chicago close.
Eventually the Flyers would break through at the 9:12 mark on a monster effort from Sean Couturier. As a Blackhawks power play was expiring, Couturier blocked a Duncan Keith point shot, muscled his way through a Keith tripping attempt, then manhandled former Penguin Chris Kunitz on his way to a power move goal. The Flyers would take a 2-0 lead into the third period.
After failing to convert in the first, Brandon Manning was finally able to put his stamp on his return to Philadelphia. Just 4:16 into the final frame, Sean Couturier came roaring up the wall with speed, powered his way toward the net and threw a shot toward the crease. Manning, adept as always, redirected the puck toward the net and slammed it home with his stick for good measure to give the Flyers a commanding 3-0 lead. A beautiful moment for one of Hakstol’s favorite soldiers.
Nolan Patrick would add an empty net goal with just over a minute left to play to finish off a 4-0 win.
- Flyers now have points in 6 consecutive games.
- Brian Elliott made 33 saves in the shutout and made several key saves along the way to keep the Blackhawks at an arm’s length.
- The streak of consecutive games with at least a goal against on the PK ended at nine games this afternoon, a nice feather in the cap for Lappy and his 30th-ranked special teams unit.
- With his three-point afternoon, Claude Giroux passed Rick MacLeish for sole possession of 4th place on the Flyers all-time scoring list with 699 career points. Next up is Brian Propp with 849.