• May 27, 2022

Flyers Honor Mark Howe with Defensively Strong 3-2 Win Against Red Wings

The Flyers retired long-time defenseman Mark Howe’s #2 in a touching ceremony that preceded tonight’s puck drop with the Detroit Red Wings. He suggested in his speech that he was hoping to return to the Wells Fargo Center in June for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between both of his former clubs.

I’d rather they face the Houston Aeros than the powerhouse that is Detroit, but they managed to pull together a very defensively strong 3-2 win.

The Red Wings drew blood first, capitalizing on miscommunication in the Flyers defensive zone. Henrik Zetterberg backhanded the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov, who had his glove down.

It was the first shot for the Red Wings, but just one of two they’d put on net the whole period.

Jake Voracek tied the game after Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald left the puck behind the net and Doug Janik overskated. Voracek scored on a wraparound attempt that bounced off another skate and in.

Claude Giroux put the Flyers up with just 1:49 left in the first after jumping on a breakaway.

The Flyers carried their momentum through the second period, although the Red Wings began to even the scoring chances quickly.

At the 7:37 mark, Voracek corralled a loose puck at the boards and proceeded to skate forward when he collided with defenseman Niklas Kronwall. The hit knocked Voracek into last week and he left the game immediately after.

The hit was completely legal and should teach Voracek to keep his head up in the future. The Flyers responded well by relentlessly forechecking anything that moved. Hartnell deserves additional recognition for trying to challenge Kronwall to a fight in defense of his teammate, but Kronwall declined.

The increase in physical play and intimidation earned them two penalties from the officials, but the penalty kill, galvanized by the hit on #93, was particularly aggressive.

Giroux captured another breakaway attempt while shorthanded. He wasn’t able to get much of a shot off with the Red Wings hooking him, but Max Talbot scored on the rebound.

“Yeah, I just tried to get a shot on net,” said Giroux. “They had kind of two guys on me so I just tried to get a shot on him. I didn’t know Max was even behind me and he was able to get the rebound.”

Jaromir Jagr left the game before the end of the period with what was later announced as a “lower body injury.” One has to assume his groin is hurt again. Depending on whether he and Voracek are both capable of playing on Thursday, the Flyers may be forced to use their third of four available emergency recalls.  If one is available, they may just slide Jody Shelley back into the line-up.

There seems to be some confusion on the team about whether Claude Giroux “officially” has a wrist injury or not. Giroux only took two face-offs (0 for 2) while Hartnell took sixteen (7 for 16).

Talbot: “Yeah, well, he’s a strong guy. He wouldn’t be playing if he wasn’t able to play tonight. At the same time he’s banged up, was battling hard…”

Giroux: “I guess Hartsy’s good at face-offs.”

Peter Laviolette: “Did somebody say he wasn’t 100%? Well Hartsy’s been doing a good job. I think he was our leading guy tonight… What are you chuckling at [Tim Panaccio]?”

The absence of Voracek and Jagr also took the Flyers out of the game offensively, as they only mustered 14 shots in the final 40 minutes. Credit Bryzgalov for holding the Red Wings to just one more goal after they released 37 shots (not including the 24 blocked shots as well).

“He made some big saves,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “That first period was quiet. The second period they had lots of shots but they seemed like they were from the outside for the most part and in the third period, he really got tested and he came through.”

A start for Bryz against the Florida Panthers on Thursday would mark his 10th consecutive start. One has to think Sergei Bobrovsky will see the ice in one of the back-to-back games this weekend.

For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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  • Met him & his wife last night. Class act, nice man. Great D-man. Best wrist shot I’ve ever seen on this team. Even better than Rick MacLeish. God, I hope Bryz is finally coming around. I believe he is 10,3 & 2 in his last 15. I might be off a game or two, but he is playing a lot better lately. More injuries. I can’t take Jagr anymore. I wanted them to resign him in the off-season, but now I’m reconsidering that thought. Save that $$$, along with Carle’s & Hartnell’s & sign Weber & resign Grossmann.

  • Hard to see this as a strong defensive game when the Wings almost had 40 shots in the game, but I see your point. Bryz looked Big again and was reading the plays. Positioning was very good and he looked confident. Hopefully, he has turned a corner. Nice win with all of the injuries.

    @DCar- what is your problem with Hartnell? Last time I checked he had 31 goals with 15 of those on the PP. He and Simmonds have been killers on the PP. He is also only going to be 30 in April. Why would you want to get rid of him? And they won’t bring Jagr back. Not with the way his body is breaking down. He is like Forsberg all over again.

  • I am so sick of Rick Tochett — every time I see him all I think about is gambling and NJ troopers ——————- now he dismisses that head hunter Niklas Kronwall cheap shot as a good hit on Vorecek —— I hate Comcast Sports Net for hiring Rick Tochett
    Great game Bryz

  • DCar- Its not inconceivable that they re-sign Jagr, but it would likely occur only if he would take less $$$. His age and injury history work against him, but he’s been a great teammate with great work ethic.

    Bugsy- Good point about the questionable headline. My thought was that they blocked a lot of shots and shut down the Wings late in the game when they were applying a lot of pressure. The score could have been worse, but the Flyers tied them up in the crease much better than they had a month ago.

    Eagles- I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who think Kronwall’s hit was a cheap shot. Voracek admitted himself that it was a good hit and he should have kept his head up. It stinks to see anyone get hurt, but Kronwall has a clean history.

  • Josh, I can see where you are coming from. Many of the shots were unscreened, from long range or from bad angles. Zetterberg goal was nasty. Would of liked to have seen Bryz stay upright for it though. If he is standing on the post there is nothing to shoot out.

  • Wonder paulman is still hating on bryz?

    Hit on voracek was a hit to the head and kronwal should get something for the hit. Everyone else gets something for hits to the head. Sure vorcek should have his head up but the way the NHL hands out suspensions it would be unfair for him to get a free pass. I would bet he gets a free pass as shanahan loves his red wings

  • Bryz has definitely stepped up his game of late which is great to see…
    Maybe there is some hope this Spring for the Flyboys after all..
    Maybe he has just said “F-It” , I am just going to play Hockey and let me natural instincts take over instead of thinking too much out there..

  • bugs, I don’t have anything against Hartnell, but this is the first time he is living up to his expectations here, & with this being a contract year, he will command too much $$$, for all of the needs we will have on DF. Pronger is done, Timonen ain’t far behind, Carle, Grossmann, & Urbina all are FA’s, Coburn is an overpaid bum, Mesaros has regressed & Lilja shouldn’t be in the NHL. Before this year, everyone, including myself wanted Hartnell traded along with Richards & Carter. That’s all I’m saying. Don’t put words in my mouth, that I didn’t say. Where in any of my above comments did I say I have a problem with Hartnell!?

  • BTW, upgrade your reading comprehension, before you make assumptions & accusations. Dope!

  • JJ, I doubt with all of the holes on DF, the cap situation, the play of the young guys & all of his chronic injuries, that he will be back. Unless like you said, he comes back at a minimal salary. I think they should continue the young trend. I also would put out feelers for Coburn & Briere. Briere is almost impossible to get rid of, with his NTC & his custody of his kids. We’ll see. Let’s do some damage this year first.

  • Rumor has it the salary cap could go up to $68 million, so there may be some cap flexibility again next year.

    Also DCar, Hartnell has one more year left on his current contract.

  • JJ, OK, thanks for clearing that up for me. Much appreciated. Then my point is moot. 😀

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