The Flyers and Senators made some noise outside of the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
The big hits and the fights got the crowd vocally active in the Flyers 2-1 win over the Senators, and it will get the NHL's head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan vocally involved sometime in the next couple days.
The highlight of the extracurricular activities came midway through the first period. Flyers winger Harry Zolnierczyk came flying across the ice to deliver a massive hit on Ottawa's Mike Lundin.
Zolnierczyk left his feet to deliver the hit, driving his shoulder into the head of Lundin. Lundin was knocked out of the game due to the hit, and Zolnierczyk got a five-minute major for charging and a 10-minute game misconduct.
(Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk lays out Mike Lundin as Zac Rinaldo looks on. AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Major penalties, desperation saves and a lot of bad blood were thrown into the pot Saturday afternoon.
Those were the ingredients in a violent 60 minutes between the Flyers and Senators. Ilya Bryzgalov won the goalie battle and he helped lead the Flyers to a huge 2-1 win over Ottawa Saturday afternoon to cap the home stand.
And most importantly, the Flyers got to .500 for the first time this season. After six previously failed attempts, their seventh try at evening up their record was successful.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo fights along the boards with Daniel Alfredsson. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Six times the Flyers attempted to get their record back to .500 and six times they have failed so far this season.
At 9-11-1, you have to start to wonder why that has been the case. It happened again last night when the Flyers dropped a home game 4-2 to the Maple Leafs, playing flat for the first 50 minutes of the game.
Is it mental? Are they snake-bitten? Or is this all just one big coincidence? Regardless, the Flyers need to earn every point they can get their hands on because this is a shortened season and every point matters just a little bit more if a team wants to make the playoffs.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov cannot stop a rebound shot by Mikhail Grabovski in the third period. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
The last man on the ice for warm ups was James van Riemsdyk.
Fans were decked in orange and black as well as blue and white no. 21 jerseys all through the Wells Fargo Center before the Flyers 4-2 loss on Monday to Toronto. Decorated with signs, there were a handful of people awaiting the return of the man they call "JvR."
So when the Toronto Maple Leafs left winger finally walked down the visitor's tunnel for the first time and hopped onto the ice, he received some scattered applause from the fans who were ready to acknowledge the returning young star.
(Pictured: James van Riemsdyk shoots on goal against his former team. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
It has been very apparent that the Flyers have struggled to get a consistent effort from any of their forwards this season.
Top players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have struggled, young players like Tye McGinn have been taken in and out of the lineup, and enforcers like Tom Sestito have made lineup changes even more interesting. It’s tough to think of a player that has provided a consistent effort while performing his specific role.
When you get down to it, Zac Rinaldo may very well be your guy.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo reacts after scoring in the third period on Monday. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Only days after a candid interview in which he told reporters there has been a lack of effort on the ice by the team, Claude Giroux backed up his biting words with a two-goal effort, leading the Flyers past the Islanders, 7-0.
It was Giroux's first two-goal game of the 2013 season, and he snapped a seven-game goal drought in the process.
(Pictured: Claude Giroux celebrates with Jakub Voracek in the first period after scoring. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Scott Hartnell’s return to the Flyers lineup is inevitable.
Certainly it’s going to be a huge bonus getting back the team’s leader in goals scored last season with _. But a bit of a dilemma will hit head coach Peter Laviolette when his star left-winger does return.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the guys for them who are playing their best hockey are the guys who aren’t doing the scoring. And those who need to step their game up and perform better are those relied upon to put the puck in the back of the net.
(Pictured: Mike Knuble battles for a puck on February 11. Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP)
24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in the 2nd period. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)
Maybe there is something Peter Laviolette knew that no one else possibly could.
Two years without any goals? No problem. A reputation of being a goon that can’t do anything else? Players can change.
Brought to Philly in a controversial trade that no one agreed with? You have to work with the players you have.
Laviolette has been scrutinized every time he has worked Tom Sestito in the lineup. He is a player that Flyers fans usually love to hate. His reputation is terrible, and he has never given people a reason to think otherwise about him.
But with the injury to Wayne Simmonds, Sestito was placed into the lineup again. And as cliché as it is, it was a reason for him to prove himself.
(Pictured: Tom Sestito scores the first of two goals in the second period. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)