The Philadelphia Flyers continued on their six-game road trip by taking on the Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena.
Looking to avoid a two-game losing streak after dropping their last game to the Los Angeles Kings, the Philadelphia Flyers traveled to Vegas to face the Golden Knights. On the other side of the spectrum, the Golden Knights were hoping to extend their winning streak to three while salvaging the season-series with Philadelphia. Carter Hart got the nod from Head Coach Alain Vigneault and opposed Marc-Andre Fleury on the other end of the rink. AV also made a change to the lineup, going with Chris Stewart over Nicolas Aube-Kubel in this one.
I can say with complete certainty that the Flyers had a better start to this game than the previous two, as they didn’t allow a goal within the initial five minutes of the first and eventually scored it themselves. Progress! Claude Giroux cashed in on a beautiful passing display from the top line to give his team a 1-0 lead. Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek got credit for the assists, and Philippe Myers deserves some credit for the tally, as well, delivering the pinch that kept the puck in the zone and led to the tic-tac-toe scoring play.
Unfortunately, the next part of the first stanza didn’t exactly go Philadelphia’s way. It went the opposite, actually. Like, a full 180 degrees in the other direction. Vegas quickly shifted momentum and scored three goals within 2:45 minutes of each other to take a 3-1 advantage less than halfway through the period. The Flyers apparently thought defending was an option, leaving Knights wide open, failing to clear rebounds, and flat out struggling to keep up with the pace of Vegas on the trio of tallies. All-Star Travis Konecny, which is fun to say, would make it a 3-2 game with a beautiful goal later on, but the Golden Knights got it right back thanks to Max Pacioretty‘s second goal of the frame to make it a 4-2 affair after one.
Play slowed down a bit in the second, but that didn’t stop the Golden Knights from extending their lead. Cody Glass somehow fought off the defensive efforts of Scott Laughton and sniped a shot from the slot passed Hart for his fifth goal of the year. It didn’t halt the Flyers from getting on the board during the frame, either, as Couturier capitalized on a rebound to make it a 5-3 game heading into the third.
Coots wasn’t finished there, scoring a power-play goal 15 seconds into period number three to cut Vegas’ lead to one. Giroux made an excellent pass from the corner boards to set Couturier up for a ripper in the slot, which was G’s 230th power-play assist of his NHL career. The Flyers pushed for the equalizer as the clock ticked down, and even had a 6-on-3 advantage with 1:29 to go, but could beat Fleury for a fifth time as they fell to Vegas, 5-4.
While it was nice to see the squad fight their way back to within one, it would’ve been even nicer to see them not break down in the defensive zone as much earlier on. I don’t know what’s with this team and playing on the road, but it’s almost like they forget how to defend as soon as they leave the Wells Fargo Center. Time and time again, they left guys uncovered in their own end and paid the price for it in a second-straight loss.
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The Flyers are now 22-14-5 on the year. Next game is Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.