The Philadelphia Flyers may need to petition the NHL to join to the Pacific Division after back-to-back wins over the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. After ending their 10-game losing streak in Calgary on Monday night, the Flyers took down the Oilers 4-2 on Wednesday for their first consecutive wins since October 14 and 17.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play, Leon Draisaitl gave the home team a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at the 3:41 mark of the second period. Connor McDavid made a great backhand, cross-ice pass behind Shayne Gostisbehere that Draisaitl one-timed past Brian Elliott.
Jordan Weal tied the game with a power play goal just over five minutes later by finishing off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play. Claude Giroux passed over to Sean Couturier in the left circle who quickly fired to Weal in front of the net for the tap in goal, his third on the season.
Giroux had a big part in giving the Flyers a 2-1 advantage at 14:45 of the sandwich frame as the visitors got another from an unexpected secondary source. The captain won the race to a loose puck and fed it to Dale Weise, whose wrist shot from above the left circle somehow found its way behind Laurent Brossoit.
Michael Raffl continued his hot streak by doubling the Flyers lead four minutes into the third period. Jakub Voracek settled down an errant pass by Kris Russell just inside his blue line and sent Raffl on a breakaway with a stretch pass where he beat Brossoit for his fourth goal of the season, all coming in the last seven games.
The Oilers dictated the play after the Raffl goal and made the Flyers work for their second straight win. Milan Lucic had a golden opportunity during a 2-on-1 rush, but was denied by Elliott.
Edmonton scored shortly after Elliott’s big save to cut the lead to 3-2 at 13:20. Patrick Maroon passed from below the goal line to Mike Cammalleri out front, but his one-timer from his knees was stopped by Elliott. Unfortunately, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was in the right place at the right time to put the rebound into the net.
The Oilers would get a power play with less than four minutes remaining thanks to a holding call on Scott Laughton, but, fortunately for the Flyers, Elliott and the penalty kill were up to the challenge and kept them off the board.
Wayne Simmonds iced the game with an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to close out the scoring. Valtteri Filppula and Ivan Provorov were credited with the assists on Simmonds’ ninth goal on the year.
The Flyers will have a chance to sweep their trek through western Canada at the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow night.