Philadelphia Flyers: Alex Lyon keys impressive win over Avalanche

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Faced with the difficult task of shutting down the high-powered Colorado Avalanche, Alex Lyon and the Philadelphia Flyers delivered a big 6-3 victory on Saturday.

Carter Hart remains out with an injury for the Philadelphia Flyers, and his expedient return is critical for the team’s long-term success.

But on Saturday, for one night at least, it was Alex Lyon‘s show.

After Brian Elliott lost on Friday night in Pittsburgh, the second half of the Flyers’ back-to-back fell to Lyon. And even though he surrendered three goals, he was sensational in the victory. I was able to attend the game on Saturday night, and I attempted to approach the Flyers’ performance critically.

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As a whole, the club in front of Lyon was fairly sloppy. They looked flat-footed and tired against a fresh Colorado team for long stretches, and the Flyers flirted with disaster on numerous occasions by failing to clear the zone. But through it all, Alex Lyon bailed them out in the 6-3 win.

His numbers, 28 saves on 31 shots, look pedestrian on the surface. But accounting for timeliness and quality, the Flyers could not have asked for anything more from the 27-year old netminder, who fully earned his first NHL win since March 22, 2018. The Flyers had Matt Read in the lineup that night. That’s how long ago it was!

Regrettably, Lyon didn’t even garner a “Three Stars” selection on the night, though he would have been my top selection. But, at the same time, I suppose it’s a good problem to have when your club has all three stars in a game and the goalie, who was excellent, isn’t even one of them.

Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee each scored a pair of goals, and Sean Couturier was all over the ice with three assists as he bounced back from a down game the previous night in Pittsburgh. Worthy stars all, but I keep coming back to Lyon’s big game.

Colorado was energized early, and the Flyers could have easily found themselves trailing after ten minutes or so. But Lyon was composed and made several difficult saves. Later on, he managed a pad stop against potential MVP Nathan MacKinnon on a partial breakaway, then stopped a full-on breakaway in the third period with the game hanging in the balance.

Some times, the numbers don’t tell you the full story. But if you evaluate something in its totality, you can make educated assessments. And while I’m not saying that Alex Lyon stood on his head like nothing I’ve ever seen, I came away genuinely impressed with the way he played, especially considering that the team wasn’t very crisp in front of him.

Colorado’s first goal was a long one that Lyon never saw, plus it was deflected on the way in. You could maybe make the case that it should have been stopped. But Lyon had zero chance on the second and third goals by the Avalanche while turning away several other dangerous opportunities. Most importantly, MacKinnon was held pointless over his 21:31 of ice time, which was the highest total among all forwards on either team in the game.

Next. Flyers: Disappointing Result in Pittsburgh. dark

With the talent that Colorado has, this game could have gone very badly for Lyon and the Flyers. But full marks to the man in net for assuring that this was a successful weekend for the team as they collected three out of a possible four points.