The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout on Tuesday night. The game was scoreless through regulation and overtime before the Blues sealed the deal in a skills competition. The Flyers next game will be against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
The Flyers played a very good first period. It had the feel of playoff hockey. The players were skating fast, hitting, and the goalies stood tall. The Flyers dominated the first ten minutes and had a lot of quality chances. Claude Giroux had the best chance of the period as two Blues defensemen collided with one another creating a 2-on-0 breakaway with Michael Raffl. Giroux elected to pass the puck and Ryan Miller shut the door. Miller made many high quality saves as he kept the Blues in the game. Ray Emery also had a solid period. He only faced a few difficult shots, but he made 11 saves and kept St. Louis off the board.
The Blues controlled much of the play in the second period, although the Flyers had plenty of chances. The best scoring chance of the period came for Michael Raffl. During a 4 on 4 segment of play Vincent Lecavalier sent a pass in the offensive zone to a pinching Mark Streit who found Raffl on the right side of the net. Miller made his best save of the night, robbing Raffl for a second time. The period ended with the game still at a 0-0 tie and the shots in favor of St. Louis 19-18 (8-8 tie in the 2nd).
The third period was a back and forth battle. Both teams played hard and had scoring chances. Once again, both goalies answered the bell to send the game into overtime. The Flyers out shot the Blues in the third period, 9-7. The Flyers were the better team in the overtime period, out shooting the Blues 4-2. Jakub Voracek had the best chance of overtime when he caught a cross ice pass and tried to skate around Miller.
As the overtime period ended with a 0-0 tie the game went into a shootout. TJ Oshie scored on his first attempt (shocker!) and Lecavalier was stoned by Miller. Both Steen and Giroux were denied in the second round, once again Miller made an outstanding save. Then, in the third round, Kevin Shattenkirk scored to win the game for the Blues.
-To lose in shootouts in back to back games against the best two teams in the NHL (record-wise) is quite an accomplishment. This Philadelphia Flyers team may not win the Stanley Cup this year, but they are showing that they can hang with anyone.
-Erik Gustafsson looked fantastic, as usual. His speed allowed him to make a few good defensive plays to go along with his puck moving ability.
-This is the first time since 12/31/13-1/2/14 that Claude Giroux has gone two straight games without a point.
-Ray Emery was lights out. His game against Chicago recently, combined with tonight’s game, has made me more confident in him down the stretch.
-Ryan Miller was simply superb. The Flyers had a bunch of grade A scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the game. If one of those goes in, its a whole new game.
-Andrew MacDonald led all Flyers with 27:25 of ice time. He was second in the game only to Alex Pietrangelo (28:04).
-At the moment, the Flyers are one point behind the New York Rangers with one game in hand. The Rangers are playing the Canucks tonight, so the standings could change.