This afternoon, the Flyers played host to the Ottawa Senators and looked to get back on a winning streak. And it looked pretty good at first, then maybe at last, but the Flyers just couldn’t pull out the W.
When the first period started, the Flyers had a lot of momentum. Then the Senators’ Matt Duchene beat Alex Lyon for the first goal of the game, then things unraveled for the Orange and Black. Derick Brassard scored again less than a minute later to take a 2-0 lead just over halfway into the first period. The Flyers were in shambles after that; they recorded back-to-back penalties but didn’t allow a goal in that four-minute window.
The Flyers started the second period fast, Couturier got the Flyers on the board about four minutes into the period. Play was back and forth but Ottawa’s Chris DiDomenico beat Lyon ten minutes later. Duchene seemed to put the game on ice with seconds left in the second period but the goal was called back because he was offsides.
The third period started and the Flyers pulled Alex Lyon in favor of Michal Neuvirth. They put the pressure on immediately. Unfortunately, Craig Anderson was playing outstanding in net for the Senators. Scott Laughton finally managed to cut the lead to one goal with 5:45 left in the period. At this point, all of the momentum was in the Flyers direction. It all came down to an offensive zone faceoff with 8.5 seconds left in regulation. The Flyers won, Ghost got a shot off and Nolan Patrick got the puck past Anderson to tie the game with 2.6 seconds to go.
NOLAN PATRICK BABY IS HE OUR BABY I DUNNO BUT HE IS TODAY pic.twitter.com/FO7rN51TZM
— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) February 3, 2018
The Flyers pretty much controlled the pace in overtime. The Senators wanted no parts of the Flyers in the three-on-three scenario: they kept retreating to their own zone. The Flyers had a few chances but Anderson continued to stand on his head.
Jordan Weal, Nolan Patrick, Jake Voracek, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, and Shayne Gostisbehere couldn’t get it past Anderson. Mike Hoffman beat Neuvirth to win the game.
This was a super winnable game for the Flyers despite not much going their way. I’m pretty happy to walk away with a point. That said, let’s do three takeaways from this game:
1. Goalie situation.
I thought Alex Lyon played okay today. He did let up three goals, but he made a few nice saves and his team left him out to dry a couple times. (see Giroux misplaying a puck allowing a two-on-one with Hagg as his only help). That said, he definitely needs some work but there could be something there. Starting him today showed me that the Flyers aren’t feeling Neuvirth.
Once Elliott is back from injury the Flyers will probably play him exclusively. I can’t disagree with that, he’s the best they have by a longshot, riding him into the postseason is the best move in my opinion.
2. Dave Hakstol did a pretty good job.
Challenging the Matt Duchene goal was brilliant. It kept the team within reach going into the third period. There’s no way the Flyers would have scored three times in the third period.
Aside from that, he distributed the play time well. The team looked like a well oiled machine in overtime, not giving Ottawa any chances to get an odd-man rush. He deserves to be credited at least a little bit for his efforts today.
3. The kids are still all right.
Travis Konecny: Konecny notched three assists tonight. He’s come into his own and is a legitimate weapon on that top line. He’s cemented himself as the second best #11 in the city and one of the most lethal Flyers on the ice at all times.
Nolan Patrick: The rook potted the game-tying goal. It couldn’t have come at a better time. He really looks at home centering that second line with Voracek and Simmonds at the wings. He’s benefiting from their veteran presence for sure. He’s been coming into his own in recent weeks.
Robert Hägg: Hagger got beat on the odd-man rush which was less than ideal. He’s played a decent game otherwise and isn’t afraid to throw around his body. I would love to see him get on the stat sheet a little more.
The Flyers salvaged a point in Saturday’s game which is good for their playoff hopes. They need to get back in the win column again ASAP, though. They return to action on Tuesday against the Hurricanes in North Carolina.