Coming into tonight, the Ottawa Senators hadn't scored a single goal in the shootout. That's right: three total shootouts, 10 total attempts, zero goals, zero wins. What's the best antidote for shootout woes? The team with the worst all-time shootout save percentage in NHL history, of course. The Philadelphia Flyers.
Seriously, go to NHL.com's stats page on all-time shootouts. The page fits 30 teams, and you need to click through to the second page to find the Flyers (thanks, Atlanta). Not counting tonight, the Flyers have played in 69 total shootouts since they became a thing in 2005-06, and they've compiled a .574 save percentage in those shootouts. That's friggin' awful.
So you're welcome, Senators. Enjoy the extra point in tonight's game, because you definitely needed it. You guys are already up there talking about missing the playoffs up there, so I'm sure the extra point feels good.
Let's talk a bit about the rest of the game, a seesaw of an evening that ended up a 5-4 loss thanks to a skills competition.
* Michael Raffl scored his first career goal, and that was neat. Early in the game, the line of Raffl, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn really looked sharp -- getting pucks deep, winning puck battles, all that crap -- but it didn't seem to continue throughout the game.
* For the most part, it felt like a pretty even affair. The numbers were roughly even at 5-on-5 (maybe a slight edge to Ottawa), and each team had a power play goal. Overtime was pretty dull, with maybe one chance per team.
* The Flyers definitely lost the battle in the neutral zone, however. Ottawa was flying through the neutral zone all night long with little impediment. With the exception of the third line, the Flyers had a lot of problems cracking the Senators blue line. It seemed like the difference in the game, in my opinion, as the Sens were just more dangerous when they did break into the offensive end of the ice.
* Ottawa seemed to dominate the Flyers in front of the net as well. A lot of dangerous pucks were thrown on net from the wings, where Senators players had good looks at pucks. One of these pucks went off Luke Schenn's skate and into the net in the third period, and another deflected off of Clarke MacArthur and into the back of the net. Those chances are going to happen from time to time, but Ottawa seemed to get a ton of them tonight and they scored several goals as a result.
* "Bobby Ryan, Cherry Hill Native" count: 3.
* Mark Streit screwed up three times tonight and gave up scoring chances as a result. And those are only the ones I noticed. Insert sad face here.
* Defensive zone draw with 30 seconds left in regulation? Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Matt Read are your forwards. Defensive zone draw with 30 seconds left in overtime? One forward. Sean Couturier.
* Just me, or did that Ottawa crowd seem booooooring tonight? Rihanna was louder than them on at least two different occasions, and an audible "Let's go Flyers!" chant broke out in the second period. Probably time to move them to Seattle.
* Steve Mason gave up four goals the other day and four goals tonight. I'm not saying the losses are his fault, because it'd be tough to make an argument that either tonight or Saturday were his fault. But he's definitely seeing a bit of adversity now -- maybe it's bad bounces, maybe it's bad defense, maybe it's a combination of the two -- and I think now is when we see what the Flyers really have in him. He's wilted under pressure before. How's he hold up now?
* Offense from the defense is important. Two tonight: one from Luke Schenn, one from Kimmo Timonen, both on shots from the point that got through.
It wasn't the best game, but it wasn't the worst game either. The point helps the Flyers considerably in the standings, as they're only two points back of third place after the evening. I'm more worried that games against the Wild, Stars and Senators in the last week were totally winnable, and the Flyers dropped all three. Next up? Chicago, Montreal and two big in-division games against Washington. Gonna need some wins, and those games won't be easy.
Comment of the Night
New FO drinking game: drink everytime you have to scratch a $4 million defenseman.