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Recap: Martin Jones and the Flyers Get Their Revenge on the Canucks

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Thursday night, sweeping both games of their back-to-back and winning their first game in Vancouver since 2017. The Flyers are two games into their three-game road trip in Western Canada, with the Calgary Flames coming up on Saturday night. The Flyers find themselves 4-1-1 early on in the season thanks in large part to some spectacular goaltending, great special teams, and up-tempo and spirited hockey; all of which were exhibited in tonight’s win.

The Flyers were coming off a big victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday and were flying in the first period, as expected. As it is with the second leg of a back-to-back, the first period is where you try to dictate the game and pace, which is exactly what they did. The Flyers outshot the Canucks 15-4 in the first period and had it not been for some timely saves by Jaroslav Halak, the score could’ve been a lot more lopsided than 2-1. 

22 seconds into the game, Martin Jones rimmed the puck around to Ivan Provorov, who pushed it ahead to the corner. Claude Giroux backhanded it out of the zone to a streaking Travis Konecny, who found himself on a 2-on-1 break with Sean Couturier. He one-timed it past Halak and gave the Flyers an early 1-0 lead. 

Less than two minutes later, after winning a defensive zone face-off and sending the puck down on a simple dump and chase, the Canucks gathered the puck and passed it effectively. Quinn Hughes took a simple shot from the point that hit the post then hit the heel of Jones’ skate and bounced into the net. 

On the first of two Hughes penalties, the Flyers orchestrated the perfect power play by scoring 10 seconds into the man advantage. Giroux worked some magic off the end boards as he used them to get the puck to Couturier, who one-timed a pass into to the crease to James van Riemsdyk for a fantastic goal. It was his first of the season after playing very well over his last several games.

The Flyers dominated the first period and were robbed several times after taking the lead, but the second period was a much different affair. The Canucks ended up outshooting the Flyers 16-5 to have the shots tied at 20 after two periods. 

The Flyers have had issues staying out of the box in their last 2 games, taking 7 penalties against the Florida Panthers on Saturday and 4 against the Oilers, with 3 of them coming in the first period. It was much of the same undisciplined effort as they took two in the period that really stunted their first period momentum. 

Jones was sharp and he had to be on several occasions. Former Canuck Zach MacEwen dropped the gloves with former Flyer Luke Schenn in a spirited bout that left the former with a bloody cut on the side of his face. 

The third period was a tale of two halves as the first half was a tightly contested battle. Play opened up completely in the latter half of the period as penalties and power plays took over the pace of the game. The Flyers had two power plays in the period while the Canucks had three, but some stout goaltending on both ends by Jones and Halak kept things locked in at 2-1.

Some of that stout goaltending Included several chances for the Canucks on a 4-on-4 midway through the period that Jones had to push away. Halak did his best to counter Jones by coming up big against the Flyers’ top unit on the ensuing short Flyers power play. He stopped Konecny in the slot, Giroux on a blast from the face-off circle, and Couturier on the rebound to keep Philadelphia off the board again.

With 80 seconds remaining in the third period, the Flyers took yet another penalty with the Canucks swarming with their net empty. Martin Jones came up with yet another huge stop prior to the penalty being called, stopping Brock Boeser on a one-timer wide open in the slot. 

The Canucks swarmed as best they could, but the Flyers’ penalty kill came up big yet again and Jones made several stops as the Flyers were able to hold off the Canucks and exact revenge from their opening night loss.

Martin Jones made 27 saves on 28 shots, Sean Couturier had a goal and assist, James van Riemsdyk scored the game winning tally, Claude Giroux had 2 assists, and Travis Konecny recorded an assist. Travis Sanheim led the Flyers in ice time with 23:21, Ivan Provorov was right behind him at 23:11, and Justin Braun skated for 22:37. 

The Canucks out hit the Flyers 41-13, Halak made 26 saves on 28 shots, with Hughes scoring their lone tally. Schenn and Matthew Highmore recorded the assists. Schenn also led the game with 7 hits, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson and J.T. Miller had 5 hits apiece. 

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