January 2 Philadelphia Inquirer:
DETROIT – For the Flyers, the Curse of The Joe is over.
A three-goal second-period eruption and Brian Boucher’s strong goaltending tonight carried the Flyers past the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2, for their first win at the Joe Louis Arena since Nov. 4, 1988. The victory ended a 16-game (0-14-2) drought.
With the win, the Flyers moved atop the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division. They are tied with Pittsburgh with 53 points, but the NHL places the Flyers ahead of the Penguins because they have played one fewer game.
James van Riemsdyk, Dan Carcillo, and Scott Hartnell scored second-period goals to spark the win and even the Flyers‘ record at 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
The Red Wings dominated the third period and got to within 3-2, but the Flyers survived.
Van Riemsdyk scored from a bad angle deep in the right circle, firing a shot that appeared to deflect off the leg of Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart and then off the stick of Valtteri Filppula after 51 seconds of the second period. The second-year winger has nine goals in his last 18 games – after going scoreless in his first 17 games.
A little less than five minutes after van Riemsdyk scored, Carcillo tipped in Andrej Meszaros’ point drive for his fist goal since Oct. 29, giving the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
With 5:36 left in the second period, Hartnell made it 3-0 as he gathered a rebound and lifted a slot shot past the slumping Jimmy Howard for his 10th goal.
The second period was one of the Flyers‘ best 20-minute efforts of the season. They kept the puck in Detroit’s end, crashed the net, and outscored the Wings, 3-0, while outshooting them, 19-11.
Chris Osgood replaced Howard at the start of the third period.
In their previous five games, the Flyers had allowed a total of 21 goals.
“The last two games of the road trip were a wake-up call,” Hartnell said. “We hadn’t played the right way defensively. Offensively, we’ve been slow. Tonight was a different story.”
Fifty-one seconds into the third period, Filppula undressed Meszaros with a gorgeous move and beat Boucher with a high shot inside the right post. That got Detroit within 3-1.
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