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Flyers rally late, fall to Canucks in shootout

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They dominated the third, but Jacob Markstrom and company were just too good tonight.

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First Period

OH BABY, it’s the first #FlyersAfterDark game of the season folks and the team is 2-0 let’s get ... ah, well, it’s 1-0 Vancouver. The Canucks would score shortly after the five minute mark of the opening frame, as Brock Boeser made no mistake on a rebound chance from a point shot by Tyler Myers. There’s really not a lot of blame to go around on a goal like that, it was a good break for Vancouver and a bad one for Philadelphia, just one of those goals.

It would have been nice to see the Flyers respond after that, and although they did in the immediate aftermath of the goal, the Canucks quickly took control of the period. They had their skating legs with them in the early going and it definitely caught the Flyers off guard a bit. Although none of their pressure resulted in a goal it sure created some hectic moments.

Vancouver would receive a power play late in the period after Carsen Twarynski made a rookie mistake, coming in with a cross check in a scrum after Scott Laughton tried to lay a big hit on Jake Virtanen. But this is the 2019-20 Flyers damnit and the penalty kill is good now! Well ... they’re good so far, it’s three games, but it’s definitely still fixed and good now. Anyway, the Flyers killed it off and held the Canucks scoreless for the rest of the period.

Not gonna lie, that was pretty rough! That was the first period this season where you looked at it and said: “yeah, they looked like the inferior team.” Which to be fair, it’s good that it took six periods of hockey to have that happen, but still. Winning puck battles were a major issue in the first, and it killed them multiple times.

Second Period

So getting off to a good start this period was going to be huge for the Flyers and they did just that. Justin Braun fed a succulent pass to Twarynski who made up for his earlier mistake, and scored his very first NHL goal. A perfectly placed shot and a perfect decision was just what the doctor ordered. Prior to the goal, the Flyers dominated on a power play after a too much man call on Vancouver, but failed to finish.

With the game ti — oh come the hell on guys. After being hemmed in their own zone for a good while, the Flyers finally got the puck out of the zone but with one problem. They iced it, leaving tired bodies on the ice for the face off. Vancouver won it, and Tanner Pearson deflected a shot down low by Hart, to put his team up 2-1.

That would be all the scoring for the period, setting up a one goal lead for Vancouver heading into the third. Overall, the Flyers played a much better period I thought than they did in the first. They were much tighter defensively outside of a few breakdowns, and having sustained offensive zone time came a little bit easier to them.

Third Period

Needing to get some offense going in a hurry, the Flyers opened the final frame with a barrage of shots. Unfortunately for them, Jacob Markstrom was still playing like Patrick freakin’ Roy out there and was denying each Flyers shot that came his way. Both teams would trade chances but there’s something that happened that ah, well. I truly don’t understand.

Tyler Myers, Canucks defenseman, loses his helmet. Now before this season, Myers making a play without his helmet would have been fine, but there’s a new rule this season to disallow that. The rule is you have to immediately make an effort to put your helmet back on, or get off the ice unless directly invovled in a play. Even though Myers did exactly that, by body checking James van Riemsdyk, it wasn’t called. What is the point of all these new rules if the referees aren’t going to call it? Mind-boggling stuff, here.

Late in the period, the Flyers would finally get the equalizer. After looking like utter garbage to start the late power play, the second unit hit the ice. Offensive Dynamo Matt Niskanen entered the zone with a beautiful move, set up Travis Konecny who fed a gorgeous pass to Oskar “The Swedish Stank” Lindblom for the game-tying tally.

Despite late chances from the Flyers who absolutely dominated the period — including a Travis Sanheim ripper off the post, this game would go to overtime.

Overtime/Shootout

I have nothing to say about that overtime except for the fact it was terrifying and that “throwing the stick” call on Couturier was some high-level bullshit. Thank you for your time. Now, the shootout.

Boeser ... NO

Voracek ... Markstrom could you not

Pettersson ... unfair

Giroux ... YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY

Pearson ... of course he did

Hayes ... Markstrom stopped him because of course he did

Flyers lose 3-2 in the skills competition for their first loss of the young season.

Three Stars

1. Carter Hart

Hart was superb tonight for the Flyers, keeping them in it when Vancouver was all over them. He didn’t have to make any miraculous saves tonight, but he made some huge ones when it mattered most.

2. Ivan Provorov

Provorov along with his defense partner Justin Braun had a stellar game, but Provy to me stood out in a big way. His ability to be shutdown defensively along with moving the puck efficiently was extremely noticeable.

3. Oskar Lindblom

His entire line was incredible yet again, but Lindblom’s game-tying goal is the reason the Flyers were able to get a point out of this one.

Answering the bell

1. Will the penalty kill hold steady?

They did! The Flyers’ penalty kill was two for two tonight and looked good in the process. It’s of course an extremely small sample size, but there’s a lot to like so far with their efforts.

2. Will the big names continue to stand out?

Actually, it was more so the depth tonight. Twarynski and Lindblom get the goals and although Lindblom is a part of the top six, he’s on the second power play. We know how much the second unit has struggled over the past few seasons, so it was nice to see them chip in.