Flyers

Flyers steal a point, fall to the Penguins 5-4 in overtime

Joe Sargent | NHLI via Getty Images

In a perfect world the Flyers would have traveled west to Pittsburgh, punched the Penguins in the mouth, and walked away with two points by way of a regulation win. Of course, this isn’t the world we live in. In this world, the Flyers went out to a 1-0 and 2-1 leads, fell to 3-2, evened it at 3-3, and fell to 4-3 until the last forty seconds of the game. Luckily the Flyers had enough to force overtime, but didn’t get much more than that.

The Flyers started the scoring early when Travis Sanheim absolutely sniped Matt Murray to set the tone of the game.

Jordan Weal got the assist on the goal.

Shortly after, the Penguins evened the score when a defensive breakdown led to a Derick Brassard breakaway goal against Alex Lyon.

The Flyers regained the lead when Jordan Weal fed Brandon Manning the puck and he beat Matt Murray.

Just before the period ended Jake Voracek took a cross-checking penalty which carried over into the second period.

Voracek’s cross-checking penalty led to a game-tying goal early in the second period. Patric Hornqvist got the power play goal to tie the game at two.

Jordan Weal got called for a penalty almost immediately after the Penguins tied the game. No one found out what the call was as the Penguins took advantage of the six-on-five and took a 3-2 lead. Alex Lyon was pulled after that goal.

I thought Lyon was playing well up until that point. He was let down by poor defensive play and a bad (read: selfish) penalty by Voracek which led to a power play goal. At any rate, Mrazek came into the game.

The Flyers finished the second period strong and Jordan Weal notched his third point of the game in the form of a power play goal to tie the game.

The Penguins broke the tie (again) early in the third period when Sidney Crosby beat Petr Mrazek to take a 4-3 lead. This lead stood the test of time for the better part of 19 minute until the Flyers pulled Mrazek in favor of an extra attacker. Sean Couturier potted his 31st of the season and the Flyers took the game to overtime.

In the overtime period the Flyers couldn’t get things going offensively and eventually lost on a deflection by Bryan Rust.

This was a huge point for the Flyers who are tied with the Blue Jackets with 89 points, but it’s hard not to think of what could have been.

Here are 4 takeaways from the Flyers overtime loss:

1. (In)Consistent Coaching.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand Dave Hakstol. As I mentioned earlier, I thought Alex Lyon was playing a good game until he got pulled. It wasn’t his fault that his team failed in front of him. I understand that Hak was trying to jumpstart his team but I’m not sure it was worth messing with Lyon’s confidence.

The only thing consistent about Hakstol’s coaching is that if a young guy makes a dumb mistake, he’ll pay the price. If a veteran does something stupid (re: Voracek’s cross-checking penalty) Hak won’t do a thing.

This isn’t to say I want to see Voracek on the bench for an extended period of time, but there should be some repercussion for taking a bad penalty.

2. Strange defensive help.

The Flyers got a lot of help from the defenseman on Sunday afternoon. Travis Sanheim and Brandon Manning both scored goals while Shayne Gostisbehere added two assists.

It was good to see the Flyers get some help from their blue liners on offense but they kind of lacked on the defensive side of things. Take for instance the defensive breakdown that led to the Penguins first goal of the night.

On the bright side, Travis Sanheim is playing really good hockey. He earned his spot on the roster and is one of the best defenseman out there. Plus, his goal was a thing of beauty.

3. Time to eat crow.

After Thursday’s game I said that Jordan Weal’s stock was trending downward. At the time this was a fair take. He was very cold going into Sunday’s game. He came out hot and had his first three point game of his career. Weal looked good on Sunday. I like him on the third line with Filppula and Simmonds.

4. Captain obvious analysis.

The Flyers have six games left and they need points in as many games as possible. They currently have 89 points and sit in the first wildcard position. They’re tied with the Blue Jackets who hold the third seed in the Metro, they hold a three point lead over the second wildcard Devils, and a six point lead over the Panthers who aren’t in playoff position yet.

The Orange and Black aren’t out of the woods yet, they need to play their best hockey down the stretch and try to snag that third seed from the Blue Jackets.

The Flyers head to Dallas to take on the Stars on March 27.


You can follow Anthony Mazziotti on Twitter (@AntMazziotti) and e-mail him at anthonymazziottiwriting@gmail.com.

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