The Flyers are coming into the game against the Calgary Flames sitting at 27-22-7, on the outside looking in to the playoffs. They are coming off an overtime thriller, with a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks this past Saturday. The primary focus for all the players is gathering as many points as possible on this Western Canadian road trip.
Wayne Simmonds appears to have taken over the leadership role for the Flyers. He was very vocal on Tuesday stating, “Every single thing that we do on this road trip is going to be huge for us. We have to make sure we come back with as many points as possible on this road trip. It would be nice to get the full six, but that is the mindset we are going out there with.”
With the Flyers fighting for their playoff lives Mark Streit has a good outlook on it, “All the playoff teams around us are winning. They are playing good hockey, and we need to do the same thing. We have a great group, a great atmosphere, all the confidence.”
The Flyers must have fed off Streit’s words because they came out firing on all cylinders in the first period. However, they still managed to lose to the Flames 3-1. Michael Neuvirth got another start in net, and was stellar making 21 saves on 23 shots in the loss. Neuvirth appears to be the number one goaltender at this point in the season.
Just 1:30 into the game, the Flyers were buzzing generating four shots on net. Matt Read took a shot on net that was easily saved by Brian Elliott. Read stuck with the puck, and made a blind pass to Nick Cousins. Cousins buried the puck past Elliott for an early 1-0 Flyers lead. It was Cousins 6th goal of the year.
At 15:32 in the first period, Matthew Tkachuk scored his 11th goal of the year. Dougie Hamilton took a wrist shot from the point that was easily saved by Neuvirth. Tkachuk found the rebound, and buried the puck past Neuvirth tying the game at 1-1.
Alex Chiasson took a spearing penalty on Nick Cousins. This was a five-minute major, meaning the Flyers could score at will for five minutes. The Flyers only generated two shots on net for the duration of the penalty. Elliott made both saves keeping the score tied 1-1.
With 6:03 remaining in the first period, the Flyers took a too many men on the ice penalty. The Flames had good puck movement on the power play registering four shots on net. Neuvirth was stellar making all four saves keeping the score tied 1-1.
Sam Bennett took a roughing penalty with just 2:50 remaining in the first period. The Flyers had trouble gaining entry into the Flames zone, and only registered two shots on net for the power play. Elliott made both saves keeping the score tied at one.
The first period ended with the score tied 1-1. The Flyers out shot the Flames 15-8, but lost the faceoff margin 52%-48%
At 9:34 in the second period, Kris Versteeg was called for a high sticking penalty. The Flyers registered two shots on net, but Elliott made both saves keeping the score tied 1-1.
TJ Brodie scored with 7:15 remaining in the second period. Brodie took a slap shot from the point, and Neuvirth had trouble seeing the puck through traffic making the score 2-1 Flames.
The second period came to an end with the Flames leading 2-1. The Flyers out shot the Flames 10-5 in the second period.
The third period was an evenly matched period through the first ten minutes. Both teams registered six shots on net to this point in the period, but the score still remained 2-1 Flames.
At 7:13 in the third period, Neuvirth took a penalty for delay of game. The Flames registered two shots on net, but Neuvirth had the answers keeping the score 2-1 Flames.
Mark Giordano scored on the empty net with 39 seconds left. It was his 7th of the year putting the Flames up 3-1.
The game ended in favor of the Flames 3-1. The Flyers out shot the Flames 34-23 for the game. They also won the face off margin 55%-45%.
The good news for the Flyers is that Neuvirth was solid again in net making 21 saves. The Flyers showed good effort, but they are struggling with the man advantage. They were 0-6 on the power play against the Flames. Your simply not going to win many games when you lose the special teams battle. The Flyers have a quick turnaround, as they play the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 9 p.m. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.
Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports