Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Overtime thriller: Brayden Schenn's breakaway gives Flyers 3-2 win

Image courtesy Philly.com
by Hal Greenblatt
Phanatic Hockey writer

Brayden Schenn scored on a breakaway in overtime to lead the Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Michael Raffl and Chris Vandevelde both scored for the Flyers. Jakub Voracek had a pair of assists while Claude Giroux and Nick Schultz each had one. Ray Emery was strong in net for Philadelphia, stopping 38 of 40 Los Angeles shots.

Tyler Toffoli and Mike Richards were the goal scorers for LA, while Drew Doughty and Kyle Clifford would both notch an assist. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick would begin the game shaky, but ultimately stand out while stopping 40 of 43 shots.

Philadelphia came out ready to play Tuesday night against the Kings. The Flyers attacked the Kings zone early and often, and were quickly rewarded as Raffl potted his fifth goal of the season.

As Philadelphia kept the pressure on, Voracek skated with the puck around the net and found Giroux in the slot for a one-timer that would be blocked by Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. Raffl would be “Johnny-on-the-spot” as he spun around and beat Quick glove side to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

“He plays hard. He competes,” Coach Craig Berube remarked on Raffl. “He plays a straight forward game and again, he stopped at the net and got a goal. You want to score goals in this league, you go to the net.”

Los Angeles would strike back at the 13:08 mark, as Philadelphia’s inept second power play unit would allow Toffoli a breakaway opportunity on Emery. Matt Read sent a pass back to Michael Del Zotto, who had the puck hop over his stick, which allowed Toffoli to beat Emery high glove side to tie the game.

The Flyers, badly outplaying Los Angeles for most of the period, would not allow the Kings to head to intermission with the score tied. With just 44 seconds remaining, Voracek again found himself behind the net and saw Vandevelde in the slot for a one-timer that beat Quick.

For the first time all year, the Flyers dominated the first period. Philadelphia pumped 20 shots on net, but despite the dominance, Philadelphia only clung to a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.

The second period would be quite different than the first. After outshooting LA 20-11, the Flyers were outshot 10-7, but with even fewer scoring chances. Despite being outshot and outplayed, the Flyers maintained their 2-1 lead with a solid defensive period, which saw both teams skate nonstop for more than seven minutes.

The Kings would not go quietly into the night, as the team from LA from comes out strong in the third period. Los Angeles would fight off two Philadelphia scoring chances before Richards, the former Flyers captain, would pump in a Doughty rebound passed Emery to knot the game at two with 14:59 remaining in the third period.

Emery would come up big time and time again for the Flyers, including a save on Toffoli late in the third period.

“You take things game-by-game,” Emery said. “It’s nice to contribute and get some points as well.”

The teams would battle hard until the final whistle, but a winner would not be come about without an extra period.

Los Angeles dominated the first half of overtime until a turnover in the offensive zone led to a Schenn breakaway. The fourth-year forward took the puck at the blue line and skated in all alone against Quick. The Kings goaltender made the initial save, but slipped back into the net for the apparent game winner.

The referees would initially declare no goal, but would ultimately go to the control center in Toronto for confirmation.

"Yeah I saw it go over the line," said Wayne Simmonds. "I think they said no goal because I pushed him over. But the puck was over the line far before I even got to the crease."

Simmonds would be correct and the Flyers found themselves on the winning side of a 3-2 game as well as a three-game winning streak to improve their record to 4-3-2.

“You got to stay with it, keep working, and competing,” said Berube.

Notes: Former Kings Schenn and Simmonds were both on the ice for the game-winning goal...Emery has recorded a point for the Flyers in every start this season…Voracek has recorded a point in 8 of 9 games…Shayne Ghostibehere played 12:40 and did not record a shift in overtime…
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