Flyers top best team in league; move four points out of wild-card

The Flyers welcomed in one of the best teams in the National Hockey League in the Nashville Predators. But they turned the Predators into prey as they dominated most of the game and took the 3-2 shootout victory.

The Flyers looked to be the better team right out of the gate. The Predators iced the puck three times in the opening minutes of the period. Shots on net were hard to come by for Nashville as well. Wayne Simmonds would get the game’s first goal.

Michael Del Zotto took a shot from the point that was first blocked by Simmonds. The puck came out to Braydon Coburn on the blue-line who then returned the pass to Del Zotto. This time Simmonds redirected the shot and found the back of the net for his team leading 23rd goal of the season.

The Flyers dominated most of the rest of the period, until the Predators were finally able to break through in the last minute. Colin Wilson intercepted a pass from Del Zotto and skated the puck back into the offensive zone. Wilson fired a shot that changed direction off the stick of Coburn and found the back of the net behind goaltender Rob Zepp.

The Flyers had outshot the Predators 13-3 in the period, but found themselves tied after one period of play. The two teams traded power play chances in the second, but neither was able to capitalize. It was Ryan White who would put the Flyers ahead midway through the period.

White and Brayden Schenn led a strong forecheck, causing defensemen Seth Jones to cough up the puck. Schenn sent over a pass to R.J. Umberger who then tried to skate through the slot, but the puck rolled off his stick and right back to White. White made no mistake on the shot and fired it behind goaltender Pekka Rinne for his second of the year, and second in as many games.

That would be the only scoring in the period as the Flyers and Predators would head to their respective locker rooms with Philadelphia up 2-1. Things would quickly change once the third period began.

The Predators would tie things up just 23 seconds into the final frame. The Flyers had the puck deep in the offensive zone, but were unable to keep the puck in, leading to a 3-on-2 opportunity for Nashville. Matt Cullen sent the puck over to Mike Fisher, who then found Craig Smith on the right side of the ice. Smith’s shot slipped right through the pads of Zepp and tied the game at 2-2.

Both teams would have golden chances for the rest of the period, but the goaltenders stood tall, sending the game to overtime. It was the second consecutive game the Flyers needed more than regulation. Nashville had more of the chances in overtime, but was unable to capitalize. A shootout was needed to decide a winner.

Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds would both score, while Rob Zepp stopped both shooters he faced to give the Flyers a big 3-2 victory over the Predators.

Wayne Simmonds increased his point streak to a career-high seven games. He has five goals and four assists during the streak. Ryan White’s goal also gave him points in four straight games. It’s the only time White has had points in more than two games in his career. The game was also Rob Zepp’s first shootout where he was able to get the win.

The Flyers hit the ice again right away as they welcome in the Washington Capitals tomorrow afternoon as a part of Hockey Day in America. Puck-drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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Ariel Melendez

Ariel Melendez is a junior, communication major at Cabrini College. Ariel is also the Sports Director for his school's radio station. Sports are a big passion of his and he loves watching and talking about every game that he sees.

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