KC Medico, Staff
The Toronto Maple Leafs visited the Philadelphia Flyers in a star-studded battle. The Leafs come into this game second in the Atlantic Division and the Flyers fourth in the Metropolitan Division. What was sure to be a close offensive battle quickly turned into the Leafs dominating the Flyers for three consecutive periods.
What started this domination was an extremely controversial goal scored by William Nylander in the second period to make the score 1-0. The play started in the neutral zone where Justin Holl intercepted the puck to stop the Flyers’ breakout. Holl passed the puck to Michael Bunting who quickly dished it to Auston Mathews waiting on the blue line. Mathews one-touch passes the puck to a speeding Jake Muzzin who was gaining the Flyers zone. Muzzin attempts to throw the puck to the net to create a chance for Nylander but takes a high awkward bounce off Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim. While in the air, it seemed to perfectly land at Nylander’s foot. It then appears as if Nylander kicks the puck in the net. The call was originally no goal. Upon further review, the refs indicated that he did not kick the puck in the net and it was a good goal. When asked about the goal Nylander stated he didn’t know if he kicked it in or not.
“I didn’t really know if I kicked it in or not but when I got back to the bench they told me it was a goal. So I was pretty confident it was a goal,” said Nylander.
Nylander would go on to score another goal this time on the power play in the third period and Ondrej Kase would seal the deal-making it 3-0 with five minutes left to play.
The Flyers struggled on the power play going 0-4. The Flyers’ power play this season has been below average as they are ranked 18 in the league in power-play percentage. During their power play, it seemed that they had a tough time possessing the puck as the Leafs had a very aggressive defense style. Head Coach for the Flyers Alain Vigneault stated in his post-game interview, “our power play drained us of a little bit of momentum and energy. We weren’t very efficient so we’ll be better next game.”
The Flyers play their next game against the Carolina Hurricanes who have the 10th best penalty kill in the NHL. If the Flyers want to find success they will need to figure things out on the power play.