By ANDREW PORTER
Flyers Beat Writer
The Flyers finished up their four-game annual New Year’s west coast trip Sunday with a win, holding off the Western Conference point leading Detroit Red Wings, 3-2. This win wasn’t just a typical regular season win, however. This win was slightly bigger.
The win allowed the Flyers to escape their dreaded four-game road trip with a decent 2-2 record and salvaging the trip, improving their overall record to 24-10-5 and increasing their point total to 53, equally Pittsburgh and Detroit for the NHL lead in points.
The win will give the Flyers much needed momentum to propel them into their home and home with New Jersey on Jan 6th and 8th, before yet another four-game road trip, this time in the east.
But the game for the Flyers, for the franchise, was a little special, as the Flyers snapped a 22 year winless drought in Mo-Town. After 22 years of 16 straight winless games in Detroit, including two Stanley Cup Finals games in 1997, the Flyers picked up the elusive road win against the Red Wings.
James Van Riemsdyk (21 years old), who wasn’t even alive during the Flyers last win in Detroit, opened the scoring in the 2nd period for his 9th of the year. JVR has really been hot as of late, and he is flying around on the ice. His adding production to the scoring could be huge for the Flyers down the stretch.
Later in the 2nd period, Dan Carcillo scored his first goal since October 29th, and then Scott Hartnell capped the scoring for the Flyers, giving them a 3-0 lead before the start of the third period.
Detroit tallied two unanswered goals in the 3rd to narrow the lead to one goal, and despite a heavily Detroit pressured and nerve-wrecking end to the game, the Flyers and Boucher (25 saves) held on to prevail 3-2 in Detroit. It was easily the Flyers strongest defensive game since Pronger’s injury, a good sign for a great team, headed into a new year.
Andrew Porter also runs The School Philly, a website focusing on Philly sports and women. Hit it here to check it out.