After only five minutes into the second period, it looked like it was going to be a long night.
Losers of three consecutive games against three division opponents and being held scoreless for over 98 minutes, the Philadelphia Flyers managed to lose two separate leads almost as quickly as they had gained them.
Facing a formidable Toronto Maple Leafs club that could pull within three points of the Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings with a win, Thursday night was a chance for a struggling team to turn the ship around.
While the first five minutes of the second was disappointing, it was the final five minutes that proved to be the game.
Following a goal by Claude Giroux to take the lead, it was Brayden Schenn who scored around the five-minute mark to give the Flyers enough to hold on for a 4-3 win.
There is one simple fact to always remember when discussing the Philadelphia Flyers.
The team goes as Claude Giroux goes.
Merely two points off the league lead, Giroux is attempting to become the first player in Flyers history to win the league’s scoring title. Not to mention, that finishing the season with a triple digit point total is a realistic possibility.
However, there is one snag in the fairy tale that has been Giroux’s season to this point.
Even the most casual of fans can tell you that Wayne Simmonds is the classic example of the kind of athlete that Philadelphia fans love to call their own.
Hardworking, physical and largely underappreciated away from Philly, Simmonds is the kind player that doesn’t always come to the forefront of your mind when discussing skills, but is always number one when you talk about heart.
However, that doesn’t mean that Simmonds doesn’t have skills.
Although it may not be his forte, it’s ill advised to underestimate the 23-year old’s ability to contribute to the offensive phase of the game.
This was made evident on Thursday night when the gritty forward scored two goals against the Nashville Predators.
The Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers met for the third time this season on Tuesday night and Bryan Little would be the deciding shooter in the shoot-out to give the Jets the extra point in a tight Eastern Conference match up.
Due to the unfortunate injury to right-winger Jaromir Jagr, rookie Brayden Schenn is getting the chance to play on the top line alongside Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
Although he has struggled with injuries and consistent play this season, Coach Peter Laviolette had the confidence in Schenn to gave him the opportunity to play on the team’s top line. He doesn't usually play on the wing, but he fit in quite nicely at the position.
Saturday's game against the Devils was his first chance to play on the line. It was the perfect circumstance for the 20-year-old to catch a break and finally get his game going.
In a time where the Flyers' top right-winger got hurt in the early stages, Schenn stepped up and did what he had to do for the remainder of the game. He met Laviolette’s expectations and played just how the coach hoped he would.
After the 4-1 victory, it was reported that Jagr would be out indefinitely. There wasn't any doubt as to who would play on that line in place of him. Schenn would continue to fill the role as best he could. A good test for the kid, as the next opponents would be the physical Boston Bruins.