Playing on the West Coast and the second half of a back to back, running out of gas is always the likely scenario for a team. The Flyers were faced with that when they took on the Kraken 24 hours after the Canucks. And having only been out West for only three days, Philadelphia was certainly still feeling the effects of changing time zones. They had to, as teams often say in these scenarios, empty the tank and give it all they had.
It showed in a game against the Kraken that was largely uneventful for the away squad. It was evident that Seattle was the one with fresh legs as they largely carried play, especially in the latter periods. The Flyers are also dealing with the same bug that is going around the entire league. Flu season anyone? So combine that with an already tired group and Friday’s game is the outcome. That didn’t stop the daunted power kill from striking.
Travis Konecny is one of the players that has been dealing with illness recently. He had to leave the third period against the Canucks because of it. But he, just like the rest of the group, gutted through this one. He looked no worse for wear when scoring his fourth short handed goal of the season and the team’s ninth on the year. They are now tied for first in the league with the Flames in that category.
But as the game wore on, it was easy to see which team was fresh and which one wasn’t. Carter Hart, who hadn’t played much as he was dealing with an illness of his own, kept the Flyers in front for a long stretch of time. He was easily the team’s best player in the second period. The Kraken largely carried the play and it showed in their 9-4 shot advantage. That’s almost 70% of the shots taken. Diving slightly deeper into the numbers proves the point even more as they carried a 61.11 CF% in the second. The fact that they didn’t score is where Hart came in.
The Flyers couldn’t fend off Seattle’s attack forever, though. In a bend but don’t break mode, Philadelphia finally broke late in the third period. The power play could’ve turned the tide for the Flyers if they scored on any of their three opportunities. Instead, it was Seattle who broke through on the man advantage to tie the game with under six minutes remaining. Now it was truly about gutting it out to earn a point and try to steal the second in overtime.
Hart once again tried his best to give the Flyers the chance to do that. He made three saves in the extra period, including a massive glove save on a shot by Oliver Bjorkstrand. It was Bjorkstrand who would help the Kraken get the last laugh as he set up Justin Schultz for the game-winning goal.
The Flyers do move their season-high road point streak to nine games. They have lost three of their last four games, though. Philadelphia has one more game in the calendar year as they’ll ring in the new year against the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.