The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes tonight by a score of 3-2. The Flyers will play again on Thursday night in Columbus.
This game followed a trajectory that looked familiar to many Flyers fans through the first 43 minutes. The Flyers looked bad in the first period. They registered three shots on goal and were just awful. They escaped the period down only 1-0. In the second period, they started to slowly pick things up, but they were still a step behind. With about six and a half minutes remaining in the second period, a bouncing puck hopped over the stick of Luke Schenn and Nathan Gerbe was off to the races on a breakaway. He pulled off a nice move (the same one that Tomas Hertl made famous earlier in the season) and put the Hurricanes up by two.
However, towards the end of the second period, the Flyers started to come alive. They generated some pressure and were able to score a goal with 35 seconds left. Giroux banked a puck off of Anton Khudobin from the goal line. The Flyers then came out and asserted themselves at the beginning of the third period. They scored a power play goal only three minutes into the period and another comeback looked inevitable.
Unfortunately, the Flyers went flat after the they tied the game. Carolina, much like they had in the first period, controlled play and held Mason siege for minutes at a time. Hurricane’s forward Jiri Tlusty scored the game-winning goal with only 6:10 remaining in the game. The Flyers put on some pressure in the final minutes, but they were unable to score a tying goal.
-Steve Mason did not play particularly well, nor did he play poorly. He made quite a few momentum saves and definitely gave the Flyers a chance to win. It was not his best showing, but the blame for this loss is squarely on the players.
-This is the first game this season in which Claude Giroux has scored a goal and the Flyers have lost in regulation.
-Wayne Simmonds, Steve Downie, and Jake Voracek looked good tonight. The rest of the team looked very slow. Maybe the Hurricanes are just a fast team, but the Flyers looked dreadfully slow.
-I saw the Read-Couturier-Downie line reunited for one shift, and they controlled play in the Hurricanes zone. Oh how I wish they were put back together permanently.
-Also, there was a short period of time in which Coburn and Streit were on the ice together. Many people have suggested that they be put together on a pairing because of their different but complementary skill sets. I was skeptical, but in that short period of time they seemed to play off of one another’s strengths. That could be a quality 2nd pairing in the future… or we may have to settle for it being our top pairing next year.
-The Flyers did not lose any ground in the standings tonight. However, if they do not get at least a point tomorrow night, they will be leap frogged by the Columbus Blue Jackets.