PHILADELPHIA – As the Flyers welcomed a middling Calgary Flames club to Wells Fargo Center, they had a chance to snap their funk of three losses in their past four games. This wasn't just any average funk; rather, their past two games saw them blow a late lead and then struggle out of the gate in consecutive games.
Throw a wide-eyed rookie making the first NHL start of his career into the mix, and you can see how much was at stake for the Orange and Black
Not only did the Flyers establish possession right away, they had no problem maintaining it, in a 5-3 win Sunday over the Flames. The premium placed on possession in today's NHL is absolutely no secret, and the Flyers (10-10-3) had no problem controlling the puck for 60 minutes.
Four different Flyers — Roman Lyubimov, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Chris VandeVelde — all posted multiple-point games for the Flyers, while nine players found themselves on the scoresheet. Young Anthony Stolarz also turned away 29 Flames shots, earning a win in his Flyers debut.
Despite the Flyers' strong start, it was actually the Flames that struck first, as T.J. Brodie netted a shorthanded tally at 7:42 of the first period on the Flames' second shot. Michael Raffl countered with a goal of his own 10 minutes later, ending the first 20 minutes with a 1-1 tie.
Jakub Voracek didn't take long to put the Flyers on top, finding twine just 52 seconds into the second period on a power play. Chris VandeVelde redirected a centering attempt from Roman Lyubimov to extend the Flyers' lead at 7:20 of the period — the first-career assist for Lyubimov — and Wayne Simmonds struck on a breakaway 24 seconds later to pad the score.
Stolarz didn't see too much action in the first period, as the Flames (10-13-1) posted just seven shots. They did test him with 12 shots in the second period, though, and 13 more over the final 20 minutes. Only Matthew Tkachuk and Alex Chiasson were able to crack him, but by the time Chiasson scored, the game was already out of hand.
For the second-consecutive game, the Flyers also crossed the 40-shot mark, with a season-high 43 shots. It's the most shots they've finished with in a game since April 7, 2016, against Toronto.
Chad Johnson was solid in his own respect for the Flames, with a season-high 38 saves. There was only so much he could do, though, especially with a lack of consistent goal support.
The Orange and Black return to the ice on Tuesday, closing out their three-game homestand against Boston.
NOTES: Claude Giroux's assist on Voracek's second-period goal moved him past Simon Gagne for 10th on the Flyers' all-time points list (536). … Next up for him is Rod Brind'Amour, at 601. … Travis Konecny left the game early in the first period after an awkward collision into the boards, but returned before the end of the period. … Scott Laughton, Brandon Manning and Nick Schultz sat out as healthy scratches. … Stolarz became the first Flyers goaltender to win his debut since Rob Zepp in 2014-15. … The Flyers are now 2-0 in Sunday games this season.