Photograph by Justin Nolan
Wednesday’s game challenged belief strucures, physics and probability. The Flyers scored on the power play, killed penalties and avoided being swept by the Washington Capitals. The game showed a distinct change in play by the Flyers as noted adroitly by their prodigal goalie Michal Neuvirth; “That was one of the reasons that we won the game, that was our goal. And we didn’t take any stupid penalties. Just a great team effort for 60 minutes. That’s the way we’ve got to play.”
The Flyers knew the severity of a loss; their season and playoff run would be over and needed to set the tone and build some confidence.
Little Miss Jen
@FlyersFanLMJ – If you are ever going to score on the power play again, do it now Flyers.
@mishybell215 – a power play goal would be great… but could be too much to ask for
Enter: the Ghost Bear. At 5:51 into the first period NHL rookie Shayne Gostisbehere gave himself a fabulous 23rd birthday present by opening scoring for the Flyers. On the power play. Seriously, that really happened on the power play. He was assisted by Captain Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
“It was a relief, we’ve got a lot of bounces and they weren’t really going our way. So it was good to get on the board early, especially. I think it set the tone,” said Gostisbehere of his first period happiness maker. “It was huge, It’s like taking a monkey off your back,” he said “We battle so hard in front of Holtby to get power-play goals and goals in general. Just to see that one go in really early was nice.”
Gostisbehere’s assistant in scoring Wayne Simmonds expressed his relief over getting on the board first; “So it was nice to be able to come out tonight. We were actually really focused on that unit and it was nice to get us kick started.”
The first period had fear intermingled with their hope when Flyer Scott Laughton was taken from the Wells Fargo Center by stretcher to the hospital as a precaution after a push into the boards from Capital John Carslon at what appeared to be a very awkward angle of impact. Players of all team affiliation came to check on a very still Laughton. He spoke with medical personnel and did not seem concussed, neck and spinal injuries were the main concern. The crown gave him a standing ovation for the injured player. He stayed over night as a further precaution and all tests came back negative.
“You never want to see that happen. It’s just one of those plays that you feel like you do a lot in the game, and it never ends up like that. I feel for him. I hope he’s fine. But I don’t know. I’m not going to let him walk to the net,” John Carlson said of the play gone awry and the player who was injured by it.
Little Miss Jen
@FlyersFanLMJ – This is really scary. I hope this is just precautionary. Be Ok, Laughts!
Shayne Gostisbehere dedicated their efforts and win to the injured Laughton; “This W is for him.”
Little Miss Jen
@FlyersFanLMJ – Wait, not only do the Flyers have 2 goals in this game but MacDonald scored one? It’s a miracle!
In the start of the third period, the Capitals got on the board early at 2:38 in an attempt to break the Flyers momentum and mount a comeback with the goal scored by T.J. Oshie. However, Philadelphia was able to maintain their one goal lead and extended their season.
@mishybell215 – FLYERS WIN!!!! Force a game 5!!
Little Miss Jen
@FlyersFanLMJ – YES!!!!! THERE WILL BE MORE FLYERS HOCKEY!!!!
After some tough and somewhat embarrassing losses with goalie Steve Mason in net, Michal Neuvirth returned to the net for the Orange and Black, making 32 saves.
“I felt a little rusty early during the game,” Neuvirth said of his extremely effective and morale building return. “The guys did such a good job in front of me. I was just finding my rhythm. I think from the second period I was feeling really good. Just really happy with the effort tonight.”
Watch the highlights below to see and believe the wild happenings that took place during the game.
Video from YouTubes Official NHL Channel
This game is just one more chapter added to the unlikely fairy tale story that is this season; the slow start, the rookie prince saving the day for both the team and the loyal fans watching, the play offs and now letting the season go on for one more game. It would on the same level of filling the pacific ocean chocolate pudding awesome if this season’s story ended with finding the holy grail we call the Stanley Cup.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Andrew MacDonald, Michal Neuvirth and Scott Laughton all get a gold star right in the middle of their forehead, except for Laughton, who may put his some place not bruised and painful.
Claude Giroux’s post game snack was an extended grilled cheese sandwich of victory, because that is what series and season extending winners eat.
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