The Philadelphia Flyers entered their five-day holiday break playing some of their best hockey of the season. Unfortunately, they may have left their 'A' game in the kitchen after Christmas dinner.
Playing against an Anaheim Ducks team that has struggled to score goals all season, the Flyers allowed them to light the lamp four times, eventually falling to the Ducks by a score of 4-2. Corey Perry scored twice for Anaheim, while Ryan Getzlaf and Shawn Horcoff added tallies of their own. Flyers goalie Steve Mason made 33 saves, but it was nowhere near enough to exit with the victory.
The Flyers got off to a promising start, spending the first few shifts of the game in the Anaheim zone. But the contest quickly devolved into fisticuffs. A high hit by Clayton Stoner on Scott Laughton inspired Brandon Manning to drop the gloves only two minutes into the game. Shortly thereafter, Philadelphia jumped to the defense of Mason after Corey Perry interfered with him after the whistle, creating mass bedlam in and around the crease area.
Getzlaf took full advantage of the subsequent power play, beating Mason to give the Ducks the early lead. And while Jakub Voracek would respond later in the period to tie the contest, Anaheim took full control of the game following the fights and never relinquished it.
Still, Philadelphia proved opportunistic even if they remained the inferior side. Michael Raffl took advantage of an early second period Sami Vatanen penalty to put the Flyers in front. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Corey Perry struck back with a power play goal of his own. Anaheim carried the play through the remainder of the second period, but could not dent Mason again, setting up a 2-2 game entering the final period of play.
Once the third period began, the tie wouldn't last long. Less than one minute in, Perry scored his second of the night, beating defenseman Evgeny Medvedev wide before slipping a poor-angle shot past Mason. The Flyers did fight back, and a holding penalty on Vatanen gave Philadelphia hope that they could tie the game once again. Instead, Anaheim slammed the door shut, as Shawn Horcoff took advantage of a Shayne Gostisbehere turnover to score on a breakaway chance. The rest of the period saw the Flyers ramp up their forecheck, but create little in the way of tangible results.
Comment of the Night:
flyers have more guys in the box than they do the bench