Orange and Black get two points
It will show up as two points in the standings, which is really all the Flyers care about. A desperately needed 2-1 win for a team that probably didn’t deserve it.
But when virtually nothing has gone right all season, and when you’ve already seen a coach get canned, and the rest of the team seems to treat the puck and the opposing net like it has some kind of contagious disease, you don’t ask questions. You thank the hockey gods and accept their gift.
“We caught a break there,” said Max Talbot, after J.T. Miller’s tying goal early in the third period was disallowed when the replay officials ruled it had been kicked in. “:Sometimes they call your side and sometimes they don’t. I feel like it’s a break we needed because we didn’t have much from the beginning of the year.”
Given a reprieve, Steve Mason made Braydon Coburn’s third-period game-winner stand up, kicking out 30 shots, including 10 in the third when the Rangers controlled play yet couldn’t get the equalizer. The only time he was beaten, Coburn was involved as Brad Richards’ sharp-angle attempt caromed off Coburn’s leg past a startled Mason late in the first to cancel out Matt Read’s earlier short-handed goal and tie it 1-1.
That’s how it remained until Coburn used Wayne Simmonds’ screen to blast one past Cam Talbot, making his NHL debut due to an undisclosed injury to Henrik Lundqvist. Ironically, both of Coburn’s goal this season have won the game, the only games the Flyers have won. The Orange and Black would like to believe this one may help them turn a corner, despite having to yet score three goals in a game.
“Finally going into the third period with a tie game and coming out with a win, it’s huge for the team’s confidence,” said captain Claude Giroux, who was sweating it out in the box when Miller’s goal was nullified. “We want to be a team that can play good in the third period. Tonight I think we played really well in the third.”
At least it’s a start.
“I think everybody is trying to pull in the same direction here and it’s a matter of just putting it all together,” said Coburn, who’s been here longer than anybody. “We’ve got a lot of good pieces here and it’s just a matter of executing it. I think early in the season one thing we’ve lacked is execution.”
This time they got it done, with a large assist coming from Toronto, site of the NHL replay headquarters.
“It was just a kicking motion,” insisted Mason. “I knew it right away. Right call.”
Depends who you ask.
“Obviously they saw something that I didn’t,” said Miller, as the 2-6 Rangers neared the conclusion of a nine-game road trip to open the season. “I didn’t necessarily think I kicked it. I tried to shoot it, and it just caught me off guard. It would’ve been a big goal.”
Instead the goal didn’t count. The Flyers went on to win and finally fans could leave the building smiling.
Now comes the hard part. Doing it again.