The Philadelphia Flyers started their Californian road trip the wrong way Thursday night. They lost to the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks 5-3.
The Flyers looked good in the first period, although they came out of the period down by a goal. The Flyers controlled much of the play and had an abundance of offensive zone time. However, the Ducks struck first. Former Flyers draft pick, Patrick Maroon, opened the scoring just over halfway through the period. The goal was a floating shot that was deflected right in front of Mason. The Flyers countered only a few minutes later on their second (of three) first period power plays. Erik Gustafsson skated the puck up the left wing, beat a defender, and threw a pass across the ice to Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier’s shot trickled through the legs of Frederik Anderson, although Anderson absolutely robbed Vinny a few minutes later to make up for the leaky goal. The Flyers continued to control play, and looked like they would be going into the intermission tied. Unfortunately Ryan Getzlaf was able to tip a point shot past Mason with only 35 seconds remaining in the period. The Flyers went into the first intermission down 2-1, but leading in shots 10-5.
The second period was a rough 20 minutes. The hits increased and the game got chippy. In one particular instance, Sean Couturier tussled with Corey Perry. Couturier’s helmet was taken off as he continually shoved Perry. The play was controlled by the Ducks in front of Mason for much of the period. About half way through the period the Ducks had a 4-on-2 rush, led by Ryan Getzlaf. He sent a pass to an open Corey Perry who gave the Ducks a two goal lead. The Flyers went into second intermission down 3-1. They were outshot in the second period 12-9.
The third period featured good spurts by both teams. The 11-11 tie in shots is indicative of the way play went both ways. The Flyers made it a one goal game less than six minutes into the period from a Matt Read goal. Sean Couturier made a beautiful drop pass to Mark Streit who threw the puck at the crease. It deflected off of Matt Read and into the net. With 8:34 remaining in the game the Flyers, who were down by a goal at this point, were given a power play. Unfortunately, instead of tying the game, they allowed a shorthanded goal. The Flyers tried to press for the remainder of the game, but were unable to solve Anderson. Saku Koivu cemented the victory for Anaheim with an empty net goal in the final minute of play. Michael Raffl scored with only nine seconds remaining to make the final score 5-3.
-Zac Rinaldo drew two penalties in the first period and looked good in his return to the line up. In his 7:44 of ice time, Rinaldo did a good job of agitating without crossing the line.
-In the third period the Flyers made a lineup change. Simmonds joined Couturier and Read, while Downie was moved to play with Schenn and Lecavalier. It will be interesting to see what Berube does with the lines for the rest of the road trip.
-Mark Streit led all Flyers skaters with 23:51 of ice time. On defense, Gustafsson logged 19:22 and Coburn skated for 19:11. Grossmann (16:58), Timonen (15:55), and LSchenn (15:48) all saw their ice time reduced to below their average. Gustafsson had another strong all-around performance.
-I still think Kimmo Timonen is one of the Flyers best defensemen, however I’m losing confidence in him on the first power play unit. He made multiple bad passes from the power play point tonight, one of which led to the heartbreaking SH goal. The Flyers have both Streit and Gustafsson who can do a great job on the power play. I love Kimmo and I think he is a great help to this team. But it may be time to take him off the first PP unit.
-Sean Couturier played a quielty good game. He logged 16:59 of ice time and made many smart plays, including his assist.