Last night’s game had the feeling of a resilient Flyers win. However, the St. Louis Blues came alive in the third period to salvage the game 6-3. The odds were stacked against the Flyers coming into this one. The Blues were 13-2-4 at home this season, and former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock had a .660 winning percentage coming into the tilt between the two teams. The Flyers like they have been all season long came from behind, but lost their legs in the third period and it doomed them.
Wayne Simmonds before the start of the game stated, “The game against the Devils last Wednesday was the worst game we played all season.” Whether if it was that comment or Sean Couturier’s return to the lineup that sparked the Flyers who knows, as the team came out flying in the first ten minutes of the game.
The Flyers got on the board first just 3:25 into the contest when Brayden Schenn threaded a pass through the slot to Travis Konecny, who then passed it back through the slot to Wayne Simmonds for an easy slam dunk goal. It was Simmonds 17th goal of the year. One of the commentators for the game, Pierre McGuire stated, “The Flyers are flying and Hextall has restocked the cupboard. The Flyers are going to be lethal for years to come.”
About ten minutes later Claude Giroux took a penalty for holding, to which Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a blast just 18 seconds into the power play making it 1-1. The Blues then made it 2-1 on yet another power play goal. Robbi Fabbri scored with a wrist shot from the top of the circle with 5 seconds remaining on the power play. The first period ended 2-1 Blues.
The Flyers out hit the Blues 16-13 in the first period and won 67% of faceoffs at the end of first, but were outshot 11-5. But they got an early power play in the 2nd period. As soon as the power play ended Provorov shot a puck from the point which was deflected by Nick Cousins, off a Blues player Gunnerson’s leg and into the net. This tied the game up at 2. It was Cousins 4th goal of the season.
The period went on evenly matched with the exception for shots. The Flyers were outshot 9-4 in the second period, and at the end of the second period the shots were 20-9 in favor of the Blues. Fortunately, the score was 2-2 heading to the 3rd period. The Blues however, out hit the Flyers in the 2nd 9-6 bringing the total 22-22 for both teams at the end of the 2nd period.
The Flyers began the third period flying with crisp passing and it lead to an early power play. Brayden Schenn scored late into the power play on a give and go from Gostisbehere and Simmonds for his 10th goal of the year. It was also his 7th power play goal scored this season. That made the score 3-2 and everything was going in the right direction.
Just 1:40 later David Perron from the Blues scored on a deflection making it 3-3. Former Flyer Scottie Upshall scored 1:20 later for his 4th of the season making it 4-3. Things unraveled from there as Robbi Fabbri scored his second goal of the game late into the third period making it 5-3 on his 10th of the year. Fabbri then scored an empty netter with about 3 minutes left in the game giving him a hat trick for the game and a lead of 6-3.
The Flyers then had a late power play with 2:06 to play but could not cash in. The Flyers lost the game 6-3 with a third period to forget. They seemed to have lost their legs 5 minutes into the third period and it doomed them. They were outshot for the game 25-20 and the Blues out hit the Flyers 30-29. The loss against the Blues makes the Flyers 9-3-1 in the month of December. Hopefully they can rebound on Friday night with a tilt against San Jose at 10 p.m. Stay with me for full Flyers coverage against San Jose.