By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
For most of the season, Alain Vigneault has mentioned getting timely goals and timely saves. Alex Lyon made some timely saves early and while protecting a one-goal lead in the third period. Joel Farabee and Kevin Hayes scored some timely goals during the third period to help secure the Flyers a bounce-back win after a disappointing ending in Pittsburgh.
Both Farabee and Hayes each scored two goals and Lyon finished with 28 saves as the Flyers defeated the Avalanche, 6-3, on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Colorado came out firing from the start, getting several quality chances on Lyon early. With just over six minutes remaining in the period, the Flyers were being out-shot, 8-2.
The Flyers third shot of the game found the net at 13:45, as Matt Niskanen fired into traffic and got a bounce off the shin pad of Samuel Girard and into the net to make it 1-0.
The Avalanche continued to look dangerous late in the period when the Flyers got a huge opportunity. In an attempt to steal the puck, Nathan MacKinnon caught Niskanen with a high stick. MacKinnon went to the box for a four-minute, double-minor giving the Flyers a great chance to extend the lead.
Despite a lot of possession time, the Flyers struggled to get the puck to dangerous scoring areas on the power play in the first three minutes of the man-advantage. Finally, with just 4.5 seconds remaining in the period, James van Riemsdyk set up Hayes at the side of the net for a re-direction that found the net to make it 2-0 Flyers after the first despite an 11-7 lead in shots for Colorado.
The Avalanche were able to get on the board early in the second period to cut the lead to one. On a goal similar to the Flyers first marker, a shot from Nikita Zadorov went into traffic and was deflected by Valeri Nichushkin to make it 2-1 at 2:01.
Just 64 seconds later, the Flyers responded to restore the two-goal lead. Sean Couturier centered off the rush for a cutting Farabee, who tipped it by Philipp Grubauer and in for his sixth goal of the season.
Just seconds later, the Flyers took a penalty and the Avalanche made sure to cash in to make it a one-goal game again. Mikko Rantanen fired home a one-timer from the right circle to make it 3-2 at 4:16.
The Flyers failed to score on a power play midway through the period with Grubauer making a couple of incredible saves on van Riemsdyk shortly after the penalty expired. The Flyers also killed off a penalty in the final 2:10 of the period and drew a penalty in the final seconds to start the third period with a power play.
The Flyers did not score on the man-advantage, but carried the one-goal lead into the middle of the third period. That's when a turnover allowed them to re-gain the two-goal lead. Couturier picked off an errant pass and out-waited everyone before setting up a trailing Farabee, who scored into an open net to make it 4-2.
Again, Colorado had a quick answer, scoring less than two minutes later. On a delayed penalty call, Zadorov fired a shot that left a rebound and Andre Burakovsky scored to make it a one-goal game again with 10:51 to play.
The Flyers got a chance to put the game away with a power play in the final six minutes of the game, but quickly let the man-advantage slip away when Travis Konecny took a penalty. That put Colorado on the power play for 1:23 with 4:23 remaining in the game.
Hayes had already scored two timely shorthanded goals this season, and added a third, disrupting a pass for a steal and then going down the ice on a two-on-one before firing to beat Grubauer and make it 5-3 with 3:27 remaining.
Scott Laughton added a goal into an empty net to cap the scoring.
Lyon picked up his first win of the season with the 28-save performance. Grubauer finished with 22 saves on 27 shots.
This was the first two-goal game in the young career of Farabee. Hayes finished with two goals and an assist for a three-point game. Couturier also had a three-assist game. Burakovsky and Zadorov each had two points for Colorado. MacKinnon finished as a minus-3 in the game and did not have a point.
The Flyers have another quick turnaround, returning to the ice on Monday night on the road in Detroit against the Red Wings at 7:30 p.m.