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Flames down Flyers in overtime yet again

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Brodie wins it in overtime as the Flyers earn an unfortunate point in their quest to the top of the NHL Draft Lottery.

Heather Barry

Rather sleepy start as always to the afternoon games, but Carter Hart got in the action early with a couple of confident saves in his return to the cage.

Near the halfway point of the first the Flyers started to foray into the offensive zone, but Dale Weise whiffed on a pass with numbers in the Flames zone and a follow-up point blast from Travis Sanheim missed James van Riemsdyk’s stick on the doorstep.

Garnet Hathaway, no relation to Anne, would take the games first penalty at the 10:59 mark to send the Flyers to the power play. The NHL’s 31st-ranked power play did notch two power play tallies against Carolina the other night.

A gratuitous deflection would give the Flyers the 1-0 lead at the 12:10 mark, with Sanheim sending a pass off T.J. Brodie’s skate and past David Rittich for the power play goal. The Flyers haven’t scored first much, going just 8-3-3 when grabbing the first goal of the game this season.

Feeling even more generous, Derek Ryan would delay the proceedings and send the Flyers right back to the man-advantage with 4:40 left in the first. Already gifted a power play goal by Brodie, perhaps the Flames would be in the giving mood again.

While the team in front of him was giving, Rittich was not on this particular power play. The Flames’ netminder stopped Wayne Simmonds in tight a pair of times and then robbed a follow-up chance from Sean Couturier as the Flyers’ power play looked very dangerous.

After 20: Flyers 1 (Sanheim), Flames 0

The Flyers converted on one of their two power plays in the first and would start the second with one as well thanks to a Flames bench minor for too much man just 50 seconds in. This one would be far less fruitful, with no shots generated.

Both teams traded good scoring chances just short of the five minute mark with Mikael Backlund denied in close by Hart at one end and Oskar Lindblom stopped by Rittich at the other.

Hart would need another dandy not long after as Oliver Kylington broke in past Sanheim but found the right pad of Hart as the goalie slide from post-to-post to bail out his defenseman at the 14:35 mark.

New Jersey’s own Johnny Gaudreau would even the scoring with his 24th of the season as the teams operated at 4-on-4 after matching minors to James Neal and Ivan Provorov. Time of the goal was 8:51 into the period to make it 1-1 with assists to Sean Monahan and Noah Hanifin.

With 8:20 left in the frame the Flames would again be guilty of putting too much man on the ice with Matthew Tkachuk serving the penalty to give the Flyers their fourth power play of the game. Naturally, the first chance of the PP would go to the Flames, and the Flyers would need a great save from Hart to keep things even.

Shayne Gostisbehere then fired one off the goalpost to the right of Rittich, who never really saw the blast with Simmonds planted in front. More awful puck luck for the Flyers, who never seem to run out of it. After the power play expired Travis Konecny flew in but saw his backhand bid bested by the blocker of Rittich as the goaltender counted to deny the Flyers a go-ahead goal.

After 40: Flyers 1, Flames 1 (Gaudreau)

The Flyers would survive the late second period penalty to Radko Gudas with an ugly, if efficient, penalty kill to start the third against a very good Flames power play.

Remember earlier when we said that Rittich wasn’t being generous? Well yeah, he would end up be awfully giving after all. The Flames’ goaltender came out to play a puck in no man’s land and whiffed on the clear, giving Travis Konecny a shot to beat the goalie well out of his net with a wrist shot through his five-hole to make it 2-1 Flyers 5:57 into the third.

But Johnny Gaudreau drew a savvy penalty on Ivan Provorov not long after, slyly holding Provorov’s stick against his body long enough to get the attention of a referee about a minute after Konency’s go-ahead goal. But again the Flyers’ penalty kill would survive the Flames’ skilled power play chance.

With 6:20 left in the third the Flyers nearly got a much-needed insurance goal but Robert Hagg couldn’t jam it past Rittich, who was sprawled out in desperation in his crease. He’d come up with another stellar stop a minute later on a Claude Giroux backhander to again keep things at 2-1.

Pressure mounted in front of Carter Hart as the Gaudreau line again buzzed around with five minutes left in regulation but Hart stood tall to deny the only real shot from Mark Giordano on the sequence.

Hart wouldn’t be so lucky on the next shift with Matthew Tkachuk finding open space near the circle and firing home a wrist shot to tie things up at 2-2 with his 19th of the season. Time of the goal came with 4:17 left as the Flyers’ defense left a dangerous player with far too much space.

That would be all the scoring in regulation with extra time needed to settle this one with both clubs earning at least one point as a result.

After 60: Flyers 2 (Konency), Flames 2 (Tkachuk)

The opening sequence of overtime was the Flyers watching Gaudreau contemplate how to end them, but failing to do so after about a minute of tenuous play.

An awful Jordan Weal turnover would send the Flames the other way armed with a 2-on-1 and T.J. Brodie put home a feed from Tkachuk to give the extra point to the Flames with a 3-2 final.

Final: Flames 3 (Brodie), Flyers 2