Going into the third period, it looked like the Philadelphia Flyers were bound to lose another hard-fought battle. They had played well against a strong San Jose Sharks team but were down by a goal when the puck dropped. Four minutes later, the Flyers erupted for three unanswered goals en route to a 5-2 win.
Matt Read, Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux scored three of the Flyers’ four goals in the third period. Giroux had a three-point night, and Steve Mason made 20 saves to earn his 22nd win of the season. The Flyers finished with a 2-1 record on their three-game road trek through California.
During the second period, the Flyers had numerous chances to tie the game. Scott Hartnell missed from a sharp angle. Erik Gustafsson shot the puck over the net. Brayden Schenn flubbed on a slapshot from the blue line. The chances piled up, but the score remained 2-1 in favor of the Sharks.
After a power play for the Flyers had expired early in the third, Sean Couturier, Downie and Read were sent out for a defensive zone faceoff. Couturier won the draw and Read swooped in and grabbed the puck on a set play. Downie and Read sped up the ice and into the Sharks’ defensive zone. Using his speed, Read took a pass from Downie, gained some separation from the defense and scored to tie the game at 2-2. It was Read’s 15th goal of the season.
Just over a minute later, Michael Raffl scored off of a rebound to put the Flyers up 3-2. Erik Gustafsson, who fired a shot from the blue line, was given the primary assist.
The fourth goal may have been the most impressive, not because of the end result but because of what happened away from the play. Hartnell was breathing down the back of Matt Irwin as the puck slid to the San Jose blue line. The Sharks’ defenseman made an ill-advised pass and Giroux picked it off. He skated to the left faceoff dot and scored put the Flyers up by two goals. While Giroux was on the opposite side of the ice, Hartnell stretched his skate to the blue line to keep the play onsides.
The final tally came on a beautiful pass from Giroux to Jakub Voracek.
Mark Streit scored the first goal of the game on a power play. Streit has filled in well on the first power play unit with Kimmo Timonen out. Giroux and Hartnell were each credited with an assist.
The Sharks came right back with two goals from Matt Nieto before the first period ended. Nieto used his speed to score on both occasions. The first came on a Sharks’ power play when he blew by Luke Schenn at the blue line and redirected a pass into the net. Nieto’s second goal was a result of a defensive lapse that allowed him to skate all alone in front of the net. Nieto made a great move to freeze Mason.
This was the first win for the Flyers in 13 tries against the Sharks. The orange and black had also not won in San Jose since 1999.