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GIF Rewind: Travis Konecny shines, Sean Couturier keeps Flyers’ hopes alive

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Couturier goal

It was another must-win game for the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. Not only was it a must-win, but it was a must-win-in-regulation. The Boston Bruins were six points ahead of them in the standings with two games in hand coming into today’s game.

The Flyers got the job done on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. They fell behind early, but came back to take a lead in the first period thanks to goals by Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere. The Bruins tied it up in the second, but the Flyers scored the decisive goal thanks to a great play by James van Riemsdyk, Joel Farabee, and Sean Couturier, the goalscorer.

Brian Elliott made 30 saves on 32 shots in the win.

Let’s get right to it.

First period

The Flyers came slow out of the gates on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins had the first seven shots on goal of the game.

The Bruins may have had another shot on goal added to their total if it wasn’t for Ivan Provorov. Provorov went down in a lot of pain and limped off the ice after blocking a shot.

 

The Russian Machine didn’t miss a shift, though.

The Bruins had the better of the play early on and they took advantage of a defensive breakdown by the Flyers.

Brian Elliott left the puck for Shayne Gostisbehere behind the net. Gostisbehere turned it over and before Elliott could really get set again, Patrice Bergeron beat him with a shot from the slot.

 

A lot of the fault for this goal is on Gostisbehere for the turnover, but you can’t leave Bergeron alone in the slot and expect to get away with it.

Fortunately, that was the Bruins’ lone goal of the first period.

The Flyers picked things up as the period moved along, though.

With just over eight minutes left, they got on the board. Robert Hagg‘s point shot produced a juicy rebound for Travis Konecny to fire into the back of the net.

 

It was all tied up despite the Bruins dominating most of the first period.

Konecny scored the first goal and then drew a roughing penalty after a shot on the rush. It all started with a nice breakout pass by Gostisbehere from behind the net.

 

Jeremy Lauzon got two minutes for roughing, but he should’ve got two for flinching as well.

 

The Flyers went to work on the power play.

Gostisbehere and Konecny helped get the power play, and they combined to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Konecny hit Gostisbehere with a perfect pass and Ghost tipped it home.

 

It was a good passing play all around with James van Riemsdyk getting it started.

 

The Flyers took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Second period

The Flyers continued to play well in the second period, but they weren’t rewarded.

Konecny drew another penalty in the first minute of the period, but the Flyers man-advantage didn’t do much. They couldn’t get set up and even took an icing.

Then, with 22 seconds left in the power play, Nolan Patrick took a tripping penalty to even things up.

Surprisingly, the Flyers penalty kill played well and were able to kill off the 1:38 of shorthanded time.

Claude Giroux‘s line had a good cycle after that. However, they couldn’t get anything past Swayman and Travis Sanheim took a penalty in the neutral zone.

The Flyers penalty kill came up big again against the Bruins’ first full power play of the game. Brian Elliott made a big sliding save on David Pastrnak to keep the Flyers up 2-1.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really matter. 39 seconds after the penalty expired, the Bruins tied it up.

Samuel Morin lost Jake DeBrusk in the slot, and the Bruins forward had an easy one-timer from the slot.

 

The Bruins had two goals thus far and both were scored by an unmarked man in the slot.

The Flyers weren’t deterred by the goal. They kept the pressure up, but overpassed a bit in the offensive zone. They couldn’t get many quality chances despite cycling the puck and putting pressure on.

It was a 2-2 tie through two periods of play. The Bruins outshot the Flyers 11-7 in each of the first two frames.

Third period

The Flyers nearly paid the price after a bad turnover early in the period. Hayes’ cross-ice pass was picked off and the Bruins had a two-on-one rush.

Morin defended the rush the best he could and may have gotten a piece of the pass to change the direction of the puck just enough.

 

It was a back-and-forth period, but the Flyers pulled ahead.

Joel Farabee chased down a puck and started a cycle. James van Riemsdyk sent it into the slot to Farabee, who found Couturier in the circle. Couturier corralled the puck and slid it home to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead.

 

The Flyers have overpassed in the past, including this game, but the one extra pass by Farabee worked here.

 

The Bruins then had a few prime opportunities to tie it up.

Hayes was called for crosschecking shortly before the midpoint of the period. He wasn’t happy with the call.

 

And who can blame him? The same thing happened to him and it wasn’t called.

 

Then, the Bruins got another power play when David Pastrnak drew a tripping penalty on the rush. The Flyers killed it off yet again.

It looked like the Flyers took a two-goal lead on this blast by Gostisbehere.

 

However, it was waved off due to goalie interference after a challenge.

 

The Bruins kept coming.

Brad Marchand had a clean look off a faceoff win, but Elliott made a flashy glove save.

The flyers did a great job of keeping the puck away from Elliott in the final minutes.

Farabee just missed the empty net in the final seconds, giving the Bruins a final chance with nine seconds left. The Flyers held them off for the win.

This was a game that the Flyers absolutely needed to win in regulation and they got the job done. They’re now four points behind the Bruins, who still have two games in hand.

The Flyers will get right back at it on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres.


Photo: Heather Barry Images

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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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