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It may have been a disappointing afternoon for fans hoping to see Ron Hextall pull off a big trade on deadline day, but the Philadelphia Flyers gave the fans an exciting game against the Calgary Flames in the evening. Things didn't start out smoothly with an early goal against, but from there the Flyers top line took over.
Claude Giroux racked up four assists, while Brayden Schenn scored his first NHL hat trick.
The Flyers then made the finish a bit more exciting than necessary, allowing two third-period goals. The Flyers, in fact, are the worst team in Corsi rating in the NHL when up by three goals or more. Fortunately, they were able to calm things down and Wayne Simmonds added an empty-net goal to set a 5-3 final score.
As mentioned above, the conversation from this game must center around the top line. Simmonds and Schenn combined to score all five goals; two at even strength, two on the power play and one in the empty net. Giroux played a big part in it all, only registering one shot on goal but setting up his linemates for 15 shots on goal en route to four assists.
On the second line, Sean Couturier is still finding his feet after returning to the lineup. He won only 33 percent of draws and finished minus-1. His line still managed some possession though, and did the important job of shutting down the Johnny Gaudreau line. Gaudreau was 1-7 on shot attempts against the Couturier line, but 13-4 against the rest of the Flyers.
Down on the Pierre-Edouard Bellemare line, it was a brutal night for them on possession. In about five minutes against the Flames top-six, they were 2-14 on shot attempts.
The Nick Cousins line was only a little better against the Flames top-six, but they did okay against the Flames third line. None of the Flyers bottom-six were involved in goal scoring, so no harm, no foul at the end of the day.
On defense, the chart shows the odd result of Evgeny Medvedev returning from a few games as a healthy scratch to lead the team in 5v5 ice time and possession. The qualifier to that is that Medvedev and partner Radko Gudas had the easiest competition, and Medvedev didn't get any special teams ice time.
On the Andrew MacDonald pair, Dave Hakstol kept Shayne Gostisbehere away from Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Probably not the best night for either Flyers defenseman, but MacDonald did have a slick assist on Schenn's second goal and Gostisbehere returned to the scoresheet for the first time after three scoreless games with an assist on Simmonds' first goal.
Lastly, Mark Streit and Nick Schultz had the least 5v5 ice time, but the most overall ice time. They combined with the Couturier line to shut down the Gaudreau line, and each finished with one assist and a plus-1 rating. They didn't fare nearly as well against the Mikael Backlund line, however.
Marc Naples is a contributor to Flyerdelphia and Sports Talk Philly. Follow him on Twitter@SuperScrub47.