Photo credit: Heather Barry (@HeatherM_Barry)

Only the Flyers could score five goals in one period, have a three-goal lead, blow that lead, and then win the game in a shootout 6-5. Sound pretty specific? Well, that’s because that’s exactly what happened last night, as the Philadelphia Flyers took on the Florida Panthers inside the Wells Fargo Center.

The game started off with Giroux, Couturier, Voracek, Provorov, Gostisbehere and Elliott as the Flyers’ starters, up against Dadonov, Barkov, Bjugstad, Yandle, Ekblad and Hutchinson for the Panthers.

The first period proved to be incredibly boring, with the Flyers spending most of the time in the defensive zone.

Elliott had a couple of really big stops and looked solid to start off the game, while the rest of the team scrambled to match his energy.

Konecny was then called for interference and the Flyers entered their first penalty kill, which looked solid. The penalty kill has been solid this season, though nothing stellar. But after last season, solid is much appreciated. This kill was nothing fancy, but it was enough to get the job done and keep the other team from scoring.

The issue came the second the Flyers returned to even strength. The moment the penalty was killed, everything else scattered which resulted in a scoring opportunity for the Panthers.

Not long after, Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad received a penalty and the Flyers went on the power play. And what a power play it was. The Flyers were quick and dominant, with a lot of pressure and scoring opportunities. But alas, the Flyers failed to bury the puck.

Right after the power play, with just about two minutes left in the first period, the Panthers’ Vatrano found the top shelf and buried it past Elliott for the first goal of the night. Malgin and McCann were credited with the assists.

The first period came to a close with Florida out-shooting the Flyers 12-5 and out-scoring them 1-0.

The first period may have been slow and uneventful, but the second period was anything but. The Flyers come out with the energy and, dare I say grit, that they were missing in the first period.

Travis Konecny missesd a pass that would have resulted in a prime scoring opportunity and the crowd went crazy. Remember that five-goal period I mentioned earlier? Here we go.

The energy from Konecny’s near-goal had the Wells Fargo Center buzzing and after 1:18 in the second, Wayne Simmonds tipped in a goal from his signature spot in front of the net. Sanheim and Gudas had the assists.

Simmonds’s goal was the spark the Flyers needed, and around the six minute mark, Jordan Weal netted his first goal of the season to make the score 2-1 Flyers. Hagg and Konecny got the assists.

The goals just kept coming as Captain Claude Giroux scored an unassisted wrist shot off of a turnover to make it 3-1 Flyers.

The momentum slowed a bit as Elliott made an awful read and failed to clear the puck, allowing Vatrano to score his second goal of the night, making it 3-2.

But this mistake didn’t stop the Flyers, and the train kept on rolling as Wayne Simmonds netted his second goal of the night, making it 4-2. Folin delivered a beautiful flip pass up ice to Sanheim, who dropped it off to Simmer for a backhand goal. Finally Folin did something useful, and it paid off big time.

Simmonds isn’t the only Flyer to net two goals last night, as Claude Giroux did the same 17 minutes into the second, with assists from Weal and Gostisbehere.

Then the momentum heads south as a big fight breaks out and Hagg is handed a roughing call while Simmonds gets a roughing call and a 10 minute misconduct. This leads to a power play goal for Barkov, making it 5-3.

The change in momentum from the penalties carries over into the third period, where the Flyers become sloppy and shaky.

Five minutes into the third period, Florida’s Dadonov buries the puck and it’s 5-4. Gostisbehere and Provorov were beat to the net and failed to play defense, allowing Dadonov to score his first NHL goal.

After Dadonov’s goal, Calvin Pickard replaces Elliott between the pipes, but nothing changes and the Flyers continue to fall apart.

Barkov scores his second goal of the night to tie the game at 5-5 with 12 minutes left in the game.

Shortly after Barkov’s second goal, Dave Hakstol calls a 30 second time out, which is very unlike him.

A lot of penalties go uncalled against the Panthers and the crowd isn’t happy.

The third period ends and the Flyers head into overtime, with Provorov, Konecny and Couturier being the first group on the ice. This is a surprising decision by Hakstol, given Konecny’s struggle to make himself seen in the beginning of this season. Nevertheless, I approve of this decision, given Konecny’s history of success in OT.

Overtime ends with a lot of good scoring chances on Philadelphia’s side and a penalty on Florida’s side, but no luck for either. The Flyers head into the shootout.

The Flyers keep Pickard in net, and Voracek shoots first and scores. Florida’s Trocheck shoots and is denied. Giroux is up next and is also denied. Barkov scores. Jordan Weal scores the game-winning shootout goal, as Pickard denies Valtrano to end the game.

 

A very eventful, nail-biting game results in a shootout win of 6-5 for the Philadelphia Flyers.

My takeaways:
– Claude Giroux received first star of the game, but if it were up to me, it would have gone to Jordan Weal. Weal hasn’t stopped fighting for his roster spot, and it’s really shown. He was always where he needed to be, quick and aggressive, aware of the ice, plus his regulation goal and OT goal made him really stand out last night.
– We cannot give up leads like we did. It’s unacceptable to be up 5-3 and just give that lead away.
– Scott Laughton continues to be one of our best players on the ice and it’s so impressive to see.
– The team needs more out of Gostisbehere and Provorov.
– Simmonds is back in action and ready to stay that way, and I can’t wait to see where the Wayne Train goes this season.

The Philadelphia Flyers will play the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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