Will the real Flyers please stand up? From a fantastic performance from “Stone Cold” Steve Mason in the first period, to “Stolie the Goalie” standing on his head for the Flyers in a 2-0 loss, San Jose retained dominance their 13-year dominance over the Flyers, winning 2-0 last night and going 14-1 during this span dating back to February 16, 2004.
The Flyers were 8-8-1 on the road this season coming into the tilt and riding a three game losing streak away from home. Before the game Steve Mason stated, “Overall we have to do a better job of taking time and space away. We have to be a lot better. We have some tough games in the next couple of days and if we get the same type of play, we are going to end up on the losing end again.” The Flyers must of heard his voice, but it took too long to find their legs and wound up losing 2-0.
The Flyers came out lackadaisical in the first period, often finding themselves trapped in their own zone for thirty seconds at a time. They were beaten at every facet of the game as the Sharks seemed faster and stronger.
Steve Mason made four early strong saves to start, as the Flyers were trying to find a rhythm. The away team did not get their first shot on net until 16:30 in the game. The shots were in favor of the Sharks 9-3 ten minutes into the game.
Aaron Dell, a former goalie for Flyers coach Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota, had a fairly easy first period making seven saves. The Sharks scored on their 2nd power play of the period. With 3:31 remaining in the first, Mark Vlasic blasted a puck from the point to which Patrick Marleau pounced home the rebound and made the score 1-0.
The Flyers had their first power play with 1:49 to play in the first, but could not cash in. The period ended 1-0 Sharks, and if it was not for Mason,it could have easily been 3-0. The Flyers were outshot 12-7 and the Sharks had the edge in faceoffs winning 56% to the Flyers 44%. This is a key stat because it shows the time of possession time spent for the Sharks. The one stat the Flyers won was out hitting the Sharks 9-2.
The second period began with Anthony Stolarz “Stolie the goalie” in net. Mason appeared to tweak his left wrist on a save he made late in the second period. The period started with the Flyers on a power play down to a penalty that was extended from the first. The Flyers could not cash in, but that seemed to send a surge through the Offense.
The Flyers started to finally even out the zone possession time. This got them a power play at 12:16 in the period, but the Flyers could not cash in. Andrew Macdonald took a holding penalty on Michael Boedker at 11:32 in the second, to which the Flyers and “Stolie the goalie” killed it off.
The second period went on evenly matched with both teams splitting possession times in their own zones. The second period ended 1-0. San Jose outshot the Flyers 9-7 in the second, which extended the shot total in favor of the Sharks 21-14. The Flyers had the edge in faceoffs evening the total to a shared split of 50% for the game. The Flyers did out hit the Sharks 7-4 in the second for a 16-6 total for the game thus far.
The third period was evenly played with the puck possession time in each others zone near equal in time. Stolarz made save after save, trying to keep the Flyers in the game. However, at 15:23 in the third period Justin Braun scored for the Sharks on assists from Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau making the score 2-0.
The Flyers tried solving Aaron Dell the goaltender for the Sharks, but they could not on this night. The Sharks won 2-0 out shooting the Flyers 34-21 for the game and 13-7 in the third. The Flyers slow start costed them two points in this game, and they have now lost four straight. This makes the Flyers 9-4-1 during the month of December, and they have officially closed out this calendar year with an impressive 44 points at 20-14-4. The Flyers will look to get back on the winning track Sunday at 8 p.m with a game against the Anaheim Ducks. Happy New Year to my readers and please be safe throughout the holiday.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports