Two-point nights from both Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell got the Flyers back on track after a two-game losing streak. The Flyers downed the Northeast Division-leading Maple Leafs 4-2, but it was a scary situation with Flyers captain Chris Pronger that had everyone worried.
Parts of the game looked like highlight reels from a decade ago, as Jagr finally scored his first and second goal as a Flyer, in spectacular fashion. Both were near identical, as the first was set up by a lead pass from young star, Claude Giroux, and the other by linemate Hartnell, sending the 39-year-old future hall-of-famer skating past the Leafs defense into the neutral zone to carry the puck in alone against goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.
Flyers’ pest Hartnell, also saw some time on the scoresheet as he scored both his first two goals of the season in the game. The line of Jagr, Giroux and Hartnell looked like the best line all night.
It wasn’t all offense, as lose sticks were the name of the game. Giroux took a stick to the face off the second face-off of the game, and rookie Matt Read, while on a break, received a stick from Joffrey Lupul that cut him open. However, by far the scariest, came when Flyers’ captain Pronger was struck around the eye mid-way through the second period. He looked severely shaken up on the play and immediately made his way to the locker room, where he was seen by an eye specialist.
“It’s a very scary instance for Chris [Pronger],” said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. “Right now he had just a little bit of a cut just on the outside of his right eye here [pointing to the edge of his eye].”
The stick didn’t touch his eye, but only touched the skin surrounding the eye, as indicated by Holmgren. After seeing an eye specialist, it was declared the captain would be on bed rest for about three to four days, and afterwards they’ll reevaluate the situation, hoping that there’s no damage behind the eye. It’s expected he’ll be out 1-2 weeks.
Holmgren went on to discuss the situation concerning Pronger, and said, once he’s back, the veteran defenseman will, all but be required to wear a visor, which he wasn’t wearing during the incident.
On another note, the Flyers seem to have broken out of their slump, and held the Leafs offense to only 26 shots on goal. Sophomore goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky looked great in net, in only his second start of the season, and received his second win stopping 24 of 26 shots faced.
He didn’t see many tough shots, but he made the saves he needed to, including what could have been a back-breaker with about 30-seconds left in the second stanza, as the Flyers held a 2-1 lead. The Leafs had two good point-blank shots that could have evened the score going into the intermission.
The two goals allowed by Bobrovsky on the night, came on strange bounces. The first saw defenseman Matt Walker blow his coverage, and the puck landed right on the stick of sniper Phil Kessel, alone in front of the Flyers netminder. Kessel buried it for his ninth goal of the season in 8-games.
The Leaf’s second goal, ricocheted off the arm of center David Steckel crashing the net, and hit Bobrovsky’s stick and went in. The young goaltender never saw the puck, and had little chance to stop it.
It was a team win that saw the Flyers play well in all three zones of the ice. Two goals were scored at even strength, they scored on 2-of-5 power plays, and killed off all four penalties they received.
Hopefully they’ve regained their earlier momentum, and will be able to carry that into Wednesday’s game against the struggling Montreal Canadiens.