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Fleeting Flyers Thoughts: Flyers pull ahead with three-goal second period

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FlyersatSabres

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking for the sweep in Buffalo.

Welcome to Fleeting Flyers Thoughts. Rather than having just a standard postgame recap, we’re going to go period by period with thoughts, analysis, and whatever comes across our minds.

Sometimes plays that are important in the first period get cut out of the bigger story of the game. Fleeting Flyers Thoughts is an attempt to give an accurate picture of how the game unfolds.

WATCH: Zayde Wisdom shows off hands, physicality in two-point game against Penguins

We’ll update this at every intermission and look for the “Final Thoughts” after the final horn.

Flyers at Sabres second-period thoughts

Score: 3-0 | Shots: 34-18 (21-11 in 2nd)

  • The Flyers had a 69.44 CF% (25-11 shot attempts) at 5-on-5 in the period. They had a 19-9 advantage in shots on goal and 14-6 scoring chances (8-3 high-danger).
    • Stats via NaturalStatTrick

The Flyers were pushing hard late in the first period and that came to a halt early in the second period.

  • Sean Couturier showed just how good he is by taking Jack Eichel to school to enter the zone and then dunking on the center to get the Flyers on the board.
  • Couturier is a huge piece of the Flyers and that’s been evident since returning from injury.
  • 75 seconds after the Flyers’ first goal, they got another. It felt like they deserved a lead in the first period and they quickly went up 2-0 in the second frame.
  • Michael Raffl won a faceoff back to Phil Myers, who fed Robert Hagg for a one-time blast. Raffl was in the slot after the faceoff and deflected it home.
  • The Sabres then had a great chance, but somehow Carter Hart kept the puck out. Brandon Montour appeared to shoot the puck directly into Hart, which will always help.
  • The Flyers got another power play and although they didn’t score, the top unit looked good. Gostisbehere, in particular, is feeling it.
  • It bounced right back with the Sabres getting some offensive zone time after Hagg was unable to handle the puck.
  • Things opened up a bit after that, but Carter Hart made a huge save on Kyle Okposo to keep the Flyers up 2-0.
  • You don’t want to necessarily see a lot of open hockey with a two-goal lead, however. The Flyers got away from that with some offensive-zone time thanks to a fantastic shift by Ivan Provorov to tire out the Sabres defense. He then passed it across to Farabee, and JVR deflected the shot (pass?) in for a 3-0 lead.
  • Here’s the entire shift by Provorov. He’s a machine.

  • The Flyers absolutely dominated the period and it was good to see them get rewarded. Hart’s save might end up being the turning point. It could’ve been a 2-1 game, but instead went in the Flyers’ favor with a 3-0 lead late in the second period.
  • Unfortunately, Voracek took a bad penalty in the offensive zone in the final minute of the period. The Sabres didn’t score but will have a power play to start the third period.

Flyers at Sabres first-period thoughts

Score: 0-0 | Shots: 13-7

  • The Flyers had a 56.52 CF% (13-10 shot attempts) at 5-on-5 in the period. They had the higher-quality attempts, however, with a 7-2 advantage in scoring chances (5-1 high-danger).
    • Stats via NaturalStatTrick

Flyers Sabres heat map

How it happened:

  • Justin Braun‘s delay of game penalty was unnecessary. It’s not a penalty you want to see and that’s why people are so against trying to chip the puck off the glass to clear the zone.
    • Braun has been solid outside of that in Saturday’s game and Sunday’s game thus far.
  • The Sabres’ NHL-best power play got a few shots on goal but Carter Hart answered the early tests.
  • The first period was rather choppy on both sides. The broadcast noted the bounciness of the puck and keeping it simple.
    • Both teams struggled to get shots through and on net in the first half of the period.
  • Kevin Hayes had the best chance of the game thus far with a wraparound try just after the midway point of the period.
  • Curtis Lazar hit the corner of the post with a shot – it appeared that it went in, but that wasn’t the case after review.
  • The Flyers’ third line came down the ice immediately after that with a great chance and drew a penalty. That’s the difference an inch can make.
  • The Flyers hit a post of their own on the power play as Claude Giroux‘s shot rang off iron. They didn’t score, but they looked much better than they have.
    • Their new top power-play unit had an interesting setup, however. JVR was at the netfront with Gostisbehere at the point. Giroux was in his usual spot with Farabee in the slot and Couturier on the other side. It’s similar to the power-play setup that was so good years ago and it seems like a good strategy given their personnel.
  • It was all Flyers in the second half of the period. At the last commercial break of the first period, the Flyers had the last 10 shots on goal.
  • The top pair of Provorov and Gostisbehere with either of the top two lines in the offensive zone is a serious threat. The duo and the second line had some sustained pressure and chances towards the end of the period.
Welcome to your new home for Philadelphia Flyers breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to PhHN+ for all of our members-only content from the entire Philadelphia Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Ryan is a proud graduate of Monmouth University. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers for the better part of a decade at various outlets, including Sons of Penn and Broad Street Hockey. Ryan has also worked for NHL.com and NBC Sports Regional Networks. Whether it's a GIF, quick stat, analysis, or long-form column, he's got you covered.

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