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Red Wings 5, Flyers 4: This all feels about right

My, my, my, how the tables have turned.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, guys? How are we all doing? Do these 7:30 starts mess with you as much as they do me? They really shouldn’t, right? It’s not that big of a difference? But here we are, feeling weird. But, oh, what’s that? We have a hockey game to talk about? Fine.

The Flyers squared off against the Red Wings tonight in the arena named for bad pizza (I’m told), and things went just about how you would have expected. The first forty minutes were bad. Very not good. The Flyers hit a hungry team and were about half burned for it (which sure feels very familiar, no?). They gave them the win but still picked up a point of their own when they probably didn’t deserve it. But let’s get on to the tape.

It feels like every time I do these recaps, the Flyers kick things off by winning the opening faceoff and then promptly icing the puck. Which is pretty lame of them. But that didn’t happen tonight. The Patrick line got the start and immediately had to get to work, breaking up a shot attempt by Larkin just after the opening faceoff. They were able to corral the puck and shuffle it around a bit in the neutral zone, before heading off on a change. So a quiet start to things.

The quiet held for the next minute or two, as we hit a period of chipping the puck into the zone, breaking up chances, battling it out in the neutral zone--you know, all the things that make for a bit of a dull showing. But maybe we shouldn’t have asked for more excitement, because what came next was a series of breakdowns in the defensive zone that led to a handful of quality chances for the Red Wings. With some lucky bounces and some help for Mrazek by Filppula (the birthday boy!) getting set up to share his net, the Flyers were able to escape that push unscathed, and we were breathing sighs of relief for it.

The Patrick line got things moving in the other direction, as they got set up in the offensive zone and ushered in the best chance for the Flyers of the evening. It saw a blocked shot from the point, a bit of sharp passing, and a shot from Voracek that Howard was able to handle, and which sent us into the tv timeout. There was no goal to be had, but it helped get the Flyers back on track.

And then… and then… OK, we can all agree that we don’t know what happened after that. The Flyers got back into that thing they do where they get the puck into the zone and then have their play broken up, or try to make a stretch pass and miss, and then let the Red Wings recover and get into the zone, and then break up their play, and then repeat. We were mesmerized by the back and forth motion and totally, 100 percent, did not zone out. We are good hockey fans. We would never do that. Nope.

But hey! This is a thing! It’s a bad thing though. Gudas has been called for interference. We’re off to the penalty kill.

After two initial clears, the Red Wings got set up in the zone and were able to get the puck to Larkin, who took the first shot. Lehtera blocked it, and sent the puck out of the zone again. The next rush saw one more shot, which Mrazek blocked with his mask and sent out of play. And by now we had six seconds left, and then zero seconds, and the Flyers had killed the penalty.

And we’ve got some more activity! We got some more of that back and forth but there was some good after it! After breaking up a shot in traffic, Mrazek was able to get the puck away from the Red Wings, and Voracek kicked off a rush into the offensive zone. It was a shot by MacDonald, and a bit of traffic in front that saw the Flyers so close to doing something, but no luck. It would be another rush by Voracek and Patrick to close out the period, but we were still without any goals. I’m sleepy already.

AFTER ONE: Flyers 0, Red Wings 0. Shots 13-9 Detroit

We’re back from intermission, the Flyers are having trouble getting set up in the offensive zone, and the broadcasters are telling me about how the Flyers had a real hard time generating offense in the first period. So there’s that.

But things seemed to be turning around. The Flyers surged into the zone and set Lindblom up with what could have been a quality chance right in the crease, had he not been hooked. But, hey they got a power play out of it!

(We’re still waiting on the power play, as Howard lost his whole skate blade, after having his mask broken in the first period.)

And do we even want to talk about that power play? The first unit couldn’t really ever get set, and the second unit had two nice chances, but couldn’t close on them. Sigh.

Things would get worse from here, unfortunately.

We got a scoring chance for the Flyers that was played too loosely, and it sent the Red Wings moving out of their own zone and Larkin sprung on the rush. He beat Gudas, and then Mrazek who came out to challenge him, and gave the Red Wings their first lead of the game.

And then, on the next shift, a Provorov turnover gave Detroit another quality chance in front.

A Simmonds chance was then broken up by a slash, but the slash earned them a power play. It didn’t get off to a great start, as again they struggled to ...

Yep. That would be space opened up for the Red Wings to make a rush of their own, and a Glendenning shorthanded goal.

But wait! The bad’s over! With the first unit back on, Giroux’s shot rang off the post but left the puck sitting in the crease for Couturier to collect. He fanned on the first shot but got it on the second, bringing the Flyers within one and (finally) notching his 30th goal of the season.

And then before I even finished typing that last section, things were getting bad again. The Flyers got caught in the zone and gave the Red Wings three (3) quality chances in front, and they closed on the last one, exploiting the space Mrazek left them. So the deficit was back to two, and you know what this meant …

That’s right, it’s Lyon time!

We dipped into another bit of quiet, like we talked a lot about way up above, so Lyon didn’t have much activity to fend off in his first few minutes. But he’s in and he’s doing fine so far.

But hey! A bit more excitement! Laughton on a rush! But he couldn’t get the shot off. That sounds about right.

What’s that? I’ve just been informed that we’re 16 minutes into the period and the Flyers have registered two whole shots on goal. I’m no expert, but something tells me this is not how you win hockey games. But don’t take my word for it.

And we’ve ticked down to the last few minutes of the period, and it’s a whole lot of nothing that we were looking at, until it was under three seconds to go, and Couturier fanned on a pass in front of the net, turned the puck over, and gave Lyon one more shot to fend off before time expired. Whew.

AFTER TWO: Red Wings 3, Flyers 1

And we’re back! And Hakstol’s done that thing again where he’s kind of put his lines in a blender. Not really, but he’s flipped Giroux down to the line with Patrick and Voracek, and moved Lindblom up to the top line. We’ll see how that goes.

If nothing else, the Flyers had noticeably more jump in this third period,. They put up five shots in the first four and a half minutes, and looked like they were clicking as well as they had all game. The newly arranged Patrick and Couturier lines were generating chances and working to get themselves back on track. They brought us three chances for Konecny in front of the net, as he chipped away at the puck, but Howard still had the answer. But the surge wasn’t nothing.

But wait! It wasn’t even either of those two lines that did our next big thing. It was a shot from Laughton from the left faceoff circle, directed in by Matt Read, that brought them back within one goal of the Wings.

And now some more good news! Provorov was clipped by a high stick on the next shift and earned a delayed penalty, drawing a penalty. They had a bit of delayed penalty time, but couldn’t do anything with it. And off to the official power play they went.

The first 30 seconds saw the Flyers getting the puck into the zone and promptly having it tied up along the boards. They were able to get it back, and after missing on the first pass, Giroux got the puck back, settled, and off to Gostisbehere. And it was Simmonds with the screen set, leaving Ghost free to laser the puck high short side, and tie the game up.

And now that we are all amped on our couches, the Flyers are keeping their collective foot on the gas. They established pressure in the zone and were not letting up.

But all that good work was pretty quickly undone, as a coverage breakdown with just under six minutes to go left Larkin uncovered and free to wire the puck past Lyon. Sigh.

Were you too upset about that? That the Flyers were losing again? Well they’ve got you covered. On our very next shift, Couturier sent the puck in on net and saw it deflected off Konecny and in. The officials initially called it not a goal, as the net was knocked off its moorings, but this happened after, and they confirmed it was a Good Hockey Goal. And Konecny delivered us the biggest mood once again.

(The Eagles won the Super Bowl.)

And then the next two minutes were all Flyers all the way. Set up like it was a power play, they cycled the puck around the zone, worked to get it on net, and chased down any loose pucks before the Red Wings could hope to gain control. Simmonds had a chance, with the puck just rolling across the crease, just missing the post that would keep it in, but the momentum was there.

The final minute of regulation saw one last rush for the Flyers, a chance in front, and a crosscheck on Konecny that would earn the Flyers a power play to end the period. The first unit came out on fire, and put up two very close chances, but they wouldn’t go. Time expired. Off to overtime.

AFTER THREE: Flyers 4, Red Wings 4

The Flyers, with the man advantage to start, won the opening faceoff and took control in the offensive zone. They worked to get set and collapse the crease, but their chances were neutralized and the puck cleared. The power play expired and we hit four-on-four for a hot second.

The Red Wings got things moving in the opposite direction, and found themselves robbed point blank as Lyon made a huge save. And it earned a whistle and we hit our proper three-on-three.

It was less great news from here, as the Flyers spent a shift hemmed into the zone, but weathered it, and their top unit got a chance of their own. Voracek rang a shot off the post and we went the other way, for Lyon to make another bug glove save.

A whistle. Are we breathing? I am not.

With under a minute to go, Detroit maintained control and Lyon had to make another save, and get the puck back to the Flyers. They had their chance was broken up as Konecny was stripped and Lyon had to make another save on DeKeyser. And time expired again. To the shootout!

AFTER FOUR: Flyers 4, Red Wings 4

Nielsen: Goal

Voracek: No goal

Nyquist: No goal

Weal: No goal

Larkin: No goal

Patrick: No goal

FINAL: Red Wings 5, Flyers 4

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