Philadephia Flyers Beat Minnesota Wild at Home, Sweet Home

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IJanuary 9, 2009

Sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division belongs to the warriors in orange and black.

The Philadelphia Flyers had their first home game last night in over two weeks and made it looked like they had been waiting six months for it. The crowd at the sold-out Wachovia Center made this team feel at home, and the team needed it last night with how they played.

The Flyers beat the Wild 3-1 in a game the Flyers didn't really deserve to win. But in the NHL, a hot goaltender can carry any team, and thats just what Marty Biron did for the Flyers.

Biron stopped 27 of 28 shots last night, and was the main catalyst in his team's victory. The Wild had a total of eight power plays to the Flyers' one, but that one for the Flyers only lasted seven seconds as Mike Knuble put away his 16th goal of the season.

“It’s a little frustrating. It seemed like everything we did, they were either falling down and getting the calls, or we were just trying to give a guy an extra shot, and it seemed like they were calling it on us all night," said Scott Hartnell, who scored his 16th goal last night.

"That's part of the game," Biron said. "Minnesota is one of the least-penalized teams in the league, and we all knew that."

Last night's win was the Flyers' first regulation win in four games.

The Flyers are 22-10-9 at the halfway point of the season, two points ahead of the New York Rangers in the Atlantic Division.

It was very important for the Flyers to take this one last night in their own building. The Wild came out and tried very hard to knock the Flyers down at home.

"I think the tendency is you come home, the trip is over, and you want to relax, and you can’t," said John Stevens after the game. "Minnesota came out, they were jumping and they are trying to take advantage of us in our building. I thought we regrouped very well in the second period."

In the previous eight games, opponents had converted 10 of 39 power-play chances against the Flyers. However, the penalty kill was very effective against the Wild, and after the Flyers survived a five-on-three Minnesota advantage midway through the second period, the game had turned to the Flyers' favor.

Marty Biron has been like a concrete wall as of late, even when the team hasn't offered efficient goal support. Also, Scottie Upshall scored his sixth goal of the season last night.


Philadelphia is 31-for-85 at home on the power play (36.5 percent).

The Flyers have outscored their opponents 36-17 during the seven-game home winning streak.

Philadelphia reached the halfway point of the regular season.

Minnesota fell to 10-2-1 against the Eastern Conference.

Hartnell has 13 points in the last seven home games (8 goals, 5 assists).

The Flyers are 6-9-4 when their opponent scores first, 4-7-3 when trailing after the first period, and 5-4-3 against the Western Conference. (Daily News)