In what feels like a lifetime, the Flyers won a hockey game that went to a shootout. It was a great effort from the youth for the Flyers as they took the ice in Pittsburg against the rival Penguins. Carter Hart and Wade Allison, who made his NHL debut on Thursday night, both had great games and fueled the Flyers to victory. Jakub Voracek and Sidney Crosby had the goals for the Flyers and Penguins in regulation, and Giroux and Couturier had the shootout goals for the Flyers.
The game started shaky for the Flyers as the Penguins had multiple opportunities to get on the board. Early penalties for the Flyers gave the penguins more chances to find a goal, but Carter Hart was up for the challenge. Hart was great on the night saving 31 of the 32 shots he faced from the Penguins. Tonight was also the first look at Flyers legend Jeff Carter in a Penguins uniform, which did not look right to me. The first period ended with a very rare score of 0-0 for the game.
The Penguins got on the board first in the second period from a goal off the stick of Sydney Crosby that was assisted by Kris Letang. The Flyers put on a lot of pressure after the goal from Crosby to find an equalizer, but could not find one in the period. Rookie Wade Allison had a couple of great hustle plays that lead to chances for the Flyers in the period, including 2 massive scrums in front of the Penguins goal that somehow couldn't get the puck into the net. The Flyers went into the second intermission with momentum looking to tie the game in the final frame.
The third period started fast for the Flyers, as Voracek netted the game tying goal in the first two minutes of the period. After tying the game up, both teams made chances looking for a winner, but Hart and Jarry of the Penguins were great in goal. Hart late in the game made an incredible save on a 2v1 opportunity for the Penguins to keep the game locked at 1-1 and headed to OT. The Penguins had the upper hand in OT, until the Flyers got a power play for the last 2 minutes of OT but could not capitalize. The Penguins went 1-3 in the shootout and the Flyers went 2-3, finishing the game with a beautiful save from Hart, who showed a lot of emotion after making the game winning stop.
It was great to see young guys step up and put some life into this team for a change, and Carter Hart is starting to look like the goalie he was last year now. Hart in the month of April has a save percentage of .910, which is much better from his .815 in the month of March. This team obviously would have to pull off a miracle to make the playoffs still at this rate, but it's good to see young guys who could be on the team next year stepping up now. The Flyers power play is still abysmal and needs to be worked on a lot in the coming offseason, but let's not focus on too many negatives for now, the Flyers actually won a shootout! The Flyers play the Capitals at home on Saturday next.