Mason Stops 32; Flyers Hold Off Blues
The Flyers continue their hot streak against some of the NHL's top contenders, a run that has come to a surprise.
Despite facing a barrage of shots, the Flyers penalty kill and Steve Mason hold off the St. Louis Blues, 4-1, in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon. It was the fifth straight win for the Flyers, who are 12-2-1 since Feb. 1.
“We’ve proven that we’re a good hockey team," Mason told reporters. "We’re beating teams that come playoff time you’re going to have to go through to the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup. Guys are gaining confidence from this so it’s a good sign.”
Mason's 32 saves earned him first star honors, and the penalty kill did an admirable job fighting off six power plays to one of the best units in the NHL. Claude Giroux took an uncharacterstic four minors as well in the game.
St. Louis took the lead 6 minutes, 22 seconds into the game thanks to Jared Schwartz's 22nd of the season.
The Flyers didn't retaliate until the opening minute of the second period. Scott Hartnell took a hot pass from Jakub Voracek, beating a sprawling Ryan Miller to even the score up 1-1.
Hartnell's goal, his 19th of the season, set up the Flyers' four unanswered goals.
Later in the second, Wayne Simmonds set up Brayden Schenn for the eventual game-winner. The assist, coupled with an empty net goal in the third, kept Simmonds on his current hot streak, giving him 54 points, second best on the team.
The Flyers led 2-1 after two periods. They started the third period off with their entire top line in the penalty box, a rare sight for any team.
“(Giroux) was pretty upset about it, but me and Hartsy (Hartnell) were kind of laughing about it," Voracek said. "Honestly it doesn’t happen every day, but hopefully it’s not going to happen again.”
The four penalties aside, Giroux continued to find ways to put up points.
His two-assist game, earning the helpers on Hartnell's and Voracek's goals, gave him 50 on the season and a team-high 74 points. His 74 points ties him for third in the league with Phil Kessel (his 50 assists are fourth).