Last Sunday, in our recap of the Flyers’ win over the Hurricanes, we mentioned how that win was unlike many of the Flyers’ games this season: an early lead, a late lead, good penalty killing, etc. By comparison, for almost 59 minutes, this game played out exactly how many Flyers games have gone this season: an early deficit, a furious mid-game comeback, a third-period backbreaker that would put the Flyers back in a hole.
Except this time, the Flyers would finally end one of those games the way they were hoping to.
An extra-attacker goal by Mark Streit with just over a minute remaining pushed the Flyers to overtime, where their two best players would team up on a goal to end the game and give the orange and black a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The win extended the Wings’ streak of futility in Philadelphia, as they still have not won there since 1997.
Still, it wasn’t an easy win. Often in the early-going of this season, first periods have been long, drawn-out struggles, where the Flyers would spend several-minute stretches struggling their way up and down the ice en route to a fully deserved multi-goal lead. Today, they took a slightly different road to a 2-0 first-intermission deficit: a 16-second stretch that saw them give up two goals.
First, an extended shift of defensive-zone struggle saw a shot from Dylan Larkin deflect off a Flyer in front of the net and past Michal Neuvirth, giving the visitors the night’s first goal. And before Lou Nolan could even finish announcing the assists on Larkin’s goal to those in the crowd, Detroit speedster Andreas Athanasiou won a race to the puck in the Flyers’ zone and fired a shot that bounced up off of Neuvirth’s shoulder and into the net.
And that was how a fairly even first period ended up seeing the Flyers in a familiar spot: looking to make a comeback in the second period.
Fortunately (and likely thanks to the fact that they’re familiar with this script by now!), the Flyers came out of the intermission and played like a team that was looking to make a comeback. Hakstol made one change to his lineup between periods — switching Dale Weise and Brayden Schenn to one another’s spots — but whatever else the coach may have said or did between periods, it appeared to have worked. The Flyers would ultimately outshoot the Wings 17-6 (with a 29-14 edge in total shot attempts) in the period, and would cut the lead in half late in the frame as New Dad Chris VandeVelde would score his first of the year off a great pass from the recently-demoted Schenn.
Chris VandeVelde. Dad. Goal Scorer. pic.twitter.com/wc4pd0TeuM— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 3, 2016
Down by one in the third period, the Flyers kept pushing right out of the gate in the third (with the help of a power play that spanned between periods, one that did not see a goal but saw pretty consistent pressure from the Flyers’ top unit). And about four minutes in, a great shift from the fourth line and the Shayne Gostisbehere-Andrew MacDonald pair (I know, right?) culminated in Roman Lyubimov’s first NHL goal on a MacDonald point shot rebound.
The first NHL goal in the career of Roman Lyubimov ties this game at 2! pic.twitter.com/Zpu1FC6f4a— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 3, 2016
However, the familiar script of this season continued to play itself out from there, as that game-tying goal seemed to wake up the Red Wings. They’d control play for much of the rest of the period, and they’d grab a lead near the halfway mark of the period on a mini-2-on-1 between Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg.
The rest of the period was fairly even, with both sides getting some chances, but following a timeout and Neuvirth heading to the bench for an extra attacker, a scramble in Petr Mrazek’s crease would lead to Mark Streit putting the puck in the net past a flattened Mrazek with just over a minute remaining.
Detroit would challenge on the grounds that Mrazek was interfered with, but the refs would correctly rule that Schenn was pushed into him by Frans Nielsen and the goal would stand up.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD GOAL pic.twitter.com/r29lPjWqyO— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 3, 2016
The teams would stall out the last minute and head to overtime, but after two decent Detroit chances, Giroux and Jakub Voracek would break the other way for a 2-on-1, and a perfect pass and a perfect-er shot would cap the comeback and end the game.
GIROUX— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 3, 2016
GAME OVER pic.twitter.com/2Hjrljb3Dh
- Michal Neuvirth got his second start in a row, and while I thought he was better than his final numbers would indicate (22 saves on 25 shots), he was just OK. Tough to blame him on the first or third goals, but the Athanasiou goal was one you’d like to see him stop. Have to think Steve Mason will be back in net tomorrow night against the Islanders.
- Brandon Manning fought Steve Ott, which was very nice of him to do.
- This, in the Flyers’ 11th game of the season, marked the seventh time this season the Flyers would tie a game up after trailing by at least two goals. Eventually they’re going to stop being able to do this every night, right? Maybe not?
- Finally, we’ll have to end on a note of uncertainty: Late in the second period, Schenn jumped and his elbow ended up making head contact with Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, who left the game for the remainder of the period before coming back for the third. You can see the hit here. No penalty was called on the play, and given Schenn’s reaction to it, it appeared to be more of a hit on which he tried to get out of the way and ended up making contact with Smith by accident than a hit on which there was any malicious intent. The fact that Smith was crouched over a bit may also save Schenn from any additional punishment here. We’ll likely hear on Thursday morning if the league has anything to say about it.
Comment of the Night:
Neuvy is using the wrong toothpaste. He needs more Tatar Control.
Brooklyn tomorrow for the Islanders. 3 wins in a row? It’d be nice. Go Flyers.