Apparently, the other end of that proverbial saying also is true. All bad things come to an end as well.
After 25 games without turning on the red light, Sean Couturier finally broke the spell. That started a trend as defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who hadn’t connected in 21 games, took advantage of a lapse by the defense to skate right in and break a third period tie.
Then to cap it off, faceoff specialist Adam Hall deposited his first into an open net, clinching the Flyers 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators and putting an end to one other bad thing: their poor play on home ice.
Suddenly, the team that couldn’t shoot straight or do much right the first month of the season, is on a roll. Since a players’ only team meeting following a 3-0 loss to the Devils two weeks ago, the Flyers have gone 4-0-1. Not only that but their big guns, particularly captain Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn are starting to hit the target.
And now they’re even getting the breaks, none bigger than when defenseman Niklas Grossmann came to goalie Steve Mason’s rescue by using his skates to keep Kyle Turris’ point blank shot out of the net and keep it a 2-2 game. After a video review confirmed it wasn’t a goal, the Flyers erupted with two goals in a 23-second span to completely swing the momentum
“Obviously a couple weeks ago we were down and we weren’t getting bounces,” said Wayne Simmonds, who made it 4-2 right after Timonen soloed in on Robin Lehner. “Times have turned. We’re starting to get bounces and now we’re getting more confident and getting better going late into games. Coming back off a three game road trip, we did a really good job tonight.
“We played the way we had to play and we got the two points.”
They also won their second straight in their own building, after starting off 2-7. But it wasn’t without a struggle, as the Sens erased a 2-0 deficit on goals by Clarke MacArthur and Turris to tie it early in the third, before Grossmann’s skates preserved the tie and set the stage for Timonen and Simmonds.
“It was pretty lucky there,” admitted Grossmann. “I didn’t see it right away.
“I think it was more reflex than anything. I think it came off my left skate, up on the knee, off the back off the right leg and I just kicked it.”
No one was more appreciative than Mason, who stopped 32 shots, including a late third period Turris penalty shot.
“When I was out of position there, I had a pretty good look at it,” said Mason, as the 8-10-1 Flyers moved within two points of the Rangers for the final playoff spot in the East. “I didn’t see it go over the line. We caught the break there. But we haven’t been a good hockey club at home. We’ve had leads going into the thirds, let them go and lost a lot of valuable points. So it was nice bringing it home.”
Especially on a night where the snake stopped biting the Flyers and so many bad things finally came to an end.