Flyers Comeback Falls Short in Wild Affair vs Wings

The Flyers and Red Wings combined for 12 goals in regulation in what was one of the most wildest games of the season.
The Flyers and Red Wings combined for 12 goals in regulation in what was one of the most wildest games of the season. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a wild affair in Detroit on Friday night. The Flyers came in having beaten the Wings the last four games. The two most recent, one last week and one last season, were both shutouts. But the Wings turned the table in this one. A shootout would be required to decide this one, as Detroit would score twice to get the extra point in the wild 7-6 victory.

There was a lot that happened before that, however.

Five Goal First

Detroit came to play right away as they would score five goals on the Flyers in the first period. Carter Hart, who hadn’t played in a few weeks, didn’t get much help in front of him. It was 2-0 just over eight minutes into the frame as Patrick Kane would score both of them. Daniel Sprong and J.T. Compher would score 33 seconds apart with under five minutes remaining in the first. And Shayne Gostisbehere would cap off the five-goal period with 18 seconds remaining. 

Bobby Brink did get the Flyers on the board 44 seconds after Kane’s second goal. But the first period was largely dominated by the Wings.

Flyers Furious Comeback

The Flyers of old may have lost even worse than 5-1. But this team has shown time and time again that they can come back from any defect. Going down four goals isn’t ideal, but the Flyers showed Detroit they meant business in making this a game again. And they may have Nick Seeler to thank.

Seeler was tossed from the game after a fight with Christian Fischer. The latter first checked Seeler into the boards after hooking him. The gloves were dropped, but 27-penalty minutes were handed out to Seeler. He was handed a two-minute instigator, a five-minute major for fighting, a 10-minute instigator misconduct, and a 10-minute game misconduct. And he let the referees know just how angry he was about it. 

Sean Couturier, who is beginning to look like the Couturier of old, got the comeback started over three and a half minutes into the second period. That came just 30 seconds after Seeler’s ejection. Morgan Frost scored his second goal in as many games, the first time he has scored in back to back games in his career. That goal came 24 seconds after Couturier. That would bring Philadelphia to a 5-3 deficit they would face heading into the third period.

Garnet Hathaway brought the score to within one just under six minutes into the third period. Shortly after killing off a penalty, Scott Laughton tied the game with six and a half to go. And, somehow, the Flyers took the lead with just over five minutes remaining, thanks to Owen Tippett.

That was five unanswered goals from Philadelphia. Surely they would be able to hold on for the win, right? Unfortunately, Dylan Larkin would tie the game back up just 37 seconds later. It wasn’t a particularly great goal for Hart to give up, as the shot was taken from a tough angle. Hart didn’t have the post sealed off enough, allowing Larkin to squeeze it through.

Hart Stands Tall in Overtime

While the tying goal to Larkin wasn’t good, Hart more than made up for it in overtime. He made numerous tough saves, none bigger than one by Gostisbehere in the dying seconds of overtime. Overall, Hart would make six saves in the extra period, all of which were Grade-A chances. 

While the Flyers would’ve liked to have come away with the victory, they have a lot to like heading into the holiday break. They are 7-0-2 in December and currently sit in second place in the division. They are miles ahead of where they were a season ago. The last two losses have been tough, but it is not all bad in Philadelphia.