After a near perfect defensive game helped the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New Jersey Devils, defense is what cost the Flyers Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Manny Malhotra picked Mark Streit’s pocket and beat Steve Mason on a breakaway with 2:20 remaining in overtime to defeat the Flyers 2-1. The loss dropped the flyers to 4-9-1 on the season.
This game served as a microcosm of the Flyers season thus far. Seven of the Flyers’ then losses this year have been by a one-goal margin. Close but not close enough.
Defensive miscues from Streit, Nicklas Grossman, and Claude Giroux led to the Flyers loss. Grossmann iced the puck with little time left in the third period, which gave the Hurricanes an offensive zone face off. The Flyers were 53 seconds away from victory when Jordan Staal pocketed the game tying goal thanks to an assist from his brother, and Hurricanes captain, Eric and poor defensive play from Claude Giroux. Mason got a piece of the puck, but he should not have had to make that save.
After playing scoreless for most of the game, the Flyers were given a golden opportunity with five minutes left in the third period. Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe and Flyers defenseman
Mark Streit got into a scrum and were each assessed a two-minute roughing minor. Gerbe took the scrum too far in the eyes of the officials and was charged with two additional minutes in the penalty box.
Almost a minute into the power play, Scott Hartnell redirected a shot from Kimmo Timonen past Peters to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead with four minutes to play. Then the orange and black broke down.
“It obviously leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” Hartnell said. “We couldn’t get the other point.” – Scott Hartnell
Mason, who once again deserved a better fate, had another spectacular game, made 36 saves on 38 shots. Justin Peters, who had a 0-5 with a sub-.900 save percentage going into tonight, stopped 28 of 29 shots and did not have to make many difficult saves throughout the night.
Tonight began a stretch of 13 games where the Flyers would play nine opponents whose record was under .500. Tonight was not a good start. The team will come home to the Wells Fargo Center to play the New Jersey Devils at 7:00 p.m.
In their last three games, the Flyers have been outscored 9-2.
Against the Devils not a single Flyer had a face off percentage lower than 50 percent. Tonight the team won 41 percent of the draws.