Jake Voracek was out of gas. “Yeah, I was dead,” he said, but he powered through and won the game for the Flyers.
It was a hell of an effort by Voracek to finish off a great performance by both him and Claude Giroux. The two veteran leaders carried the Flyers to a much-needed win.
Voracek’s overtime shift was 111 seconds –– nearly two minutes. The Flyers only got two overtime units on the ice, and he was a part of the second one.
It was an important 111 seconds for Voracek and the Flyers.
The shift starts out strong. Voracek hopped over the boards and pressured Keith Kinkaid in the corner. Kinkaid whiffed on his initial attempt, then sent the puck around the boards. Voracek got to the puck first, but couldn’t win the battle. However, after the puck squirted across the ice, Voracek pressured Alexis Lafrenière. The rookie whiffed on his pass as well, creating a one-time chance for Giroux.
That shot was blocked, but Voracek got the puck, turned away from Filip Chytil, and passed the puck back to Giroux. Unfortunately, Giroux couldn’t tee up the shot and, with Voracek open down low, elected to go across the ice to Sanheim, who was forced back into the Flyers zone.
Once Voracek was back into the picture, he played solid defensively. He didn’t do anything special, but he stayed with his man until the puck went back out to the neutral zone.
With Voracek defending the near side, the Rangers nearly had a breakaway chance on the far side. That pass didn’t connect, luckily, and Voracek stayed in the slot before once again pressuring the Rangers and forcing them back into the neutral zone. Mika Zibanejad may have had a chance to rush in around Voracek –– over a minute into his shift ––, but the Flyers forward was in good position. The Rangers were content with just controlling the puck in overtime, but it came back to haunt them.
Voracek had to be fatigued as he stayed in the slot for most of this next clip. Panarin eventually shot high, causing the puck to go up the boards. Voracek got tangled up with Trouba –– possibly a penalty during normal play –– and the puck cleared the zone.
Jake Voracek was caught up ice, leaving Travis Sanheim –– nearly 90 seconds into his own shift –– in a one-on-one situation to defend Panarin. Sanheim did a tremendous job to stay with the skilled winger, take away his lane, and eventually poke the puck up ice. We all know what happened from there.
Voracek stole the puck and deked Kinkaid out of the rink.
What a move by Voracek to win it.
Jake Voracek has received a lot of flack over the years about his play. Whether it be him not shooting enough, being lazy defensively, or whathaveyou, he silenced all his critics on Monday night. He and Giroux showed that can still be just as good as they ever were and are capable of willing the Flyers to a win.
Let’s close this out with Voracek’s 111-second shift in its entirety.