Third Line Leads Huge Comeback in Detroit

The Flyers 3rd line, led by Couturier, dominated the Wings on Wednesday night.

The Flyers 3rd line, led by Couturier, dominated the Wings on Wednesday night.

When you think about the Flyers success (or lack-thereof) in Detroit over the past two decades, it should come as no surprise that things looked pretty bleak when the good guys trailed 3-1 late in the second period.  After all, this organization had pulled off just one victory at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit over the past 24 years; and the Flyers haven’t exactly been comeback kings this season.  But Matt Read managed to cut the Red Wing lead to just one (3-2) with a late second period goal, and the orange and black never looked back.  The Flyers came out firing in the third and were able to pull out their most unlikely victory of the season, 6-3.

Let’s take a closer look at this surprisingly high-scoring affair:

  • The number of penalties called were completely disproportionate, but it was actually the Flyers who managed to take advantage of their few opportunities.  Philly finished 3-3 on the PP, while Detroit only managed to go 1-7.
  • The “third line”, if we can still call them that, had an absolute monster game.  Sean Couturier led the way with two goals and two assists;  Read finished with a goal and two assists;  meanwhile, Steve Downie finished with a goal and an assist.  But, quite possibly, the best part about this line is the way they play the two-way game.  All three forwards are defensively responsible, especially Couturier (whom Pierre McGuire compared to Patrice Bergeron during the broadcast).  It’s easy to see that Berube trusts these guys to shut-down the oppositions most dangerous players when it matters most.  And the offensive production is just gravy.
  •   Wayne Simmonds continues his strong play but still can’t seem to get out of his scoring funk.  He came out pointless once again despite being one of the Flyers most active and dangerous forwards.  Sooner (hopefully) or later the puck will start going in the net for the hard-working power forward.
  • It was nice to see Claude Giroux continue to fire the puck, especially when on the PP, as he managed to net the game-tying goal.  For those who’ve seen my past post’s, one of my biggest complaints about this squad has been their aversion to take the best available shots, but that wasn’t the case tonight.
  • Much-maligned first-line wingers, Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek, both had a productive game.  Hartnell managed to score on one of his vintage one-timer’s from Giroux on the PP; while Voracek was noticeably active, despite being held off the score-sheet.
  • Steve Mason wasn’t his usual dominant self, but he still came up with some huge saves when the team needed him most.  There were plenty of close calls, but #35 still hasn’t allowed more than 3 goals as a Flyer (knock on wood) and we certainly hope that trend continues.
  • I’m not going to complain about the officiating, as the Flyers certainly deserved most of the penalty calls, but there seemed to be some inconsistencies when it came to the play of the Red Wings.  Maybe it’s just my “homer vision”, but I thought Detroit got away with quite a lot.
  • This was just the Flyers second win at Joe Louis arena since 1989.
  • The orange and black now find themselves tied with the Rangers for 3rd in the Metropolitan division with 28 points, and trail Washington for 2nd by just two points.

The Flyers will look to continue climbing up the standings on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m.) in Dallas against a dangerous Stars squad. Tune in.

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