If you stayed with the game last night then you certainly got rewarded with quite the Christmas gift. The Philadelphia Flyers looked like a team that was ready to start the holiday break by the end of the first period as they went into the locker room down 2-0. Things wouldn’t get much better at the start of the 2nd period, however playing much better they just couldn’t seem to put the puck into the net.
One defensive breakdown lead to another at the 9:11 mark in the 2nd period when the St. Louis Blues put themselves ahead with a commanding 3-0 lead as a result of a Magnus Pääjärvi breakaway goal. The Flyers seemed all but done with hockey at this point of the night as moments after surrendering the 3rd goal Claude Giroux would go to the box for hooking infraction. Then a Christmas miracle happened, as the Blues were entering the neutral zone on their ensuing man advantage, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare intercepted a cross ice pass from Kevin Shattenkirk that lead to a nifty east-west move on a breakaway only to be stopped by goaltender Jake Allen with the puck literally inches from crossing the goaline. Chris Vandevelde followed up the play and was able to finish the job Bellemare started and suddenly the Flyers had some life trailing 3-1.
From then on out the game belonged to the Flyers. As a few minutes later dynamic rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere would make a tremendous play to spring Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds for a 2 on 1. Simmonds would make no mistake roofing the perfectly placed feed from Voracek and getting the Flyers within one goal of the Blues.
Towards the end of the 2nd period the Flyers would receive another gift, a high sticking penalty with 30 seconds left.
The Flyers would take the remaining 1:30 left on the ensuing power play to start off the 3rd period and that’s all they needed to make it a tie game. Simmonds would tip in a Voracek shot to knot the game at 3 for his 2nd goal of the night, Gostisbehere was also credited with the secondary assist. The Flyers would then top off their comeback with just over 4 minutes left to go in the game, Ryan White would make a nifty backhand pass in the slot to the pinching Evgeny Medvedev who sniped a beautiful snap shot to take the lead.
It’s a miracle the game went from the Flyers being down in a 3-0 hole to see them rally, not give up, and reel off 4 straight goals to win the game. The Flyers suddenly find themselves 3 games over the .500 mark at 15-12-7 while going 10-4-4 over their last 18 games. They will have a 5 day break for the holiday and won’t return to action till next Sunday when they travel to Anaheim to start a 3 day California road trip before ending the 2015 calendar year.
Note: This article also appears on Buzz on Broad
Photo: Philadelphia Flyers