It was the fifth opportunity for the Flyers to reach the .500 mark last night as they welcomed the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Wells Fargo Center. They went back and forth in the first period before Phil Kessel beat Ilya Brygzalov on a side angle shot that should’ve been stopped to give the Leafs a 1-0 after the first. The second period featured steady pressure from the Maple Leafs as the Flyers appeared to be on their heels. The Flyers withstood a barrage from Toronto before Nazem Kadri found Nikolai Kulemin wide open after a bad Flyers line change and Kulemin beat Bryzgalov on another stoppable puck to put the Leafs up two. Despite having no momentum the Flyers cut into the Maple Leafs lead Jake Voracek found Scott Hartnell on a gorgeous cross ice pass for Hartnell’s first goal of the year. The Leafs would take a 3-1 lead when Mikhail Grabovski scored after a mad scramble in front of the Flyers net. The Flyers would get four minutes of power play time after a double minor from James van Riemsdyk and both ends of the ice. The Flyers wasted no time as Voracek beat Ben Scrivens to cut the lead to 3-2. That is as close as they would get as they had opportunities late but couldn’t capitalize. Toronto would add an empty netter and win 4-2. More here.
The Eagles part ways with two of their mainstays on the defensive line yesterday. In moves largely dictated by their salary cap space and the dire need for fresh air in the locker room, the Eagles parted ways with defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. Jenkins was signed in 2011 to a five-year, $25 million deal. He was due $5.5 million next year and they Eagles are on the hook for $1.5 million if he does not sign elsewhere. Patterson was the longest tenured Eagle and spent his entire career in midnight green after he was drafted in the first round in 2005. More here and here.
The Chicago Blackhawks are playing unbelievable hockey. They entered last night having recorded a point in each of their first 18 games to start the season, which was an NHL record. Chicago took on the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center. Edmonton opened the scoring with a Jeff Petry shorthanded goal. The Blackhawks responded on the same power play on Patrick Kane’s 10th goal of the season. The 2012 No. 1 overall pick, Nail Yakupov, got into the action in the second period with his sixth goal of the year. Trailing in the third period, Viktor Stalberg tied the game for the Blackhawks. The game would go to overtime which ensured the Blackhawks would extend their streak to 19 games. That was not enough as Marian Hossa ended the game less than two minutes into overtime on his ninth goal of the year. Chicago is now 16-0-3 on the year. More here.