Eating crow comes with the territory, so my prediction was off regarding my earlier “Spying on the Saboteur” piece heading into this game against the Ottawa Senators. With the Philadelphia Flyers scoring the all-important first goal of the game, the momentum seemed to be in their corner. Contribution surfaced from unlikely sources during this game and the Flyers still need to turn around some woes they had on Wednesday. Part of being a team that is at the bottom of the league is that you have nothing to lose, which makes the Senators dangerous. Last night, Ottawa was dangerous and Philadelphia sank.
More times than not, the team that scores the first goal of the game has a high likelihood of winning. Tyler Pitlick scored his first of the season against the Ottawa Senators, which should have been a confidence boost. That was one thing that was improved upon since Wednesday. Pitlick was able to possess the puck in a high scoring area, right in the slot, sniping the top corner above Anders Nilsson’s glove. The end of the first period finished with the Philadelphia Flyers up, 1-0.
Following the first period was when the Philadelphia Flyers began to play on their heels. A team can only allow so many shots on net before one is bound to find a way in. That is exactly what happened when Tyler Ennis’ shot trickled by Carter Hart’s skate, who was deep along the goalline. A rare powerplay goal was scored against a very stellar Flyers penalty kill unit. Late in the second period, the Ottawa Senators would then take the lead, 2-1, when Filip Chlapik replicated Tyler Pitlick’s goal from the slot.
Down by a goal in the third period, the Philadelphia Flyers had to once again play catch up. As the sentiments sang out from their game against the Washington Capitals, the Flyers need to play three full periods of hockey. Tonight, the second period cost Philadelphia. Claude Giroux attracted a double-minor penalty after blood was drawn from his mouth on a high-sticking penalty. With the rest of the third period practically on the powerplay, Anders Nilsson and the Ottawa Senators stood tall, securing a 2-1 victory.
Shoot It, Shayne!
There was a point this season when Shayne Gostisbehere was taking shots that were hitting the boards behind the net for about a minute on a powerplay. While the shots weren’t always on target, they were being taken. That provides an opportunity for deflection goals on the powerplay and for rebounds to be fired back on goaltenders. The Philadelphia Flyers are passing the puck a little too much to find the perfect take when quantity sometimes is the answer. Scared money doesn’t make money!
In the second period, the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t as tidy as they should have been against a team that has won three of their last four games. The Ottawa Senators took full advantage of that and redeemed their first period with a two-goal answer. When you are in the driver’s seat with the first goal of the game to your name, you have to put the pedal to the metal. There isn’t time to slow dance, but the Flyers paid for that second period, playing on their heels. Deservingly so, tip your cap to Anders Nilsson, who performed lights out in the final four minutes of the third period.
A First of the Season
There is a silver lining to this game. Tyler Pitlick found the back of the net for the first time this season. He’s been a grinder on this team, earning his minutes on the back lines. Pitlick finally paid off for the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but it just wasn’t enough to get the job done. Here’s to hoping he becomes a familiar fixture alongside the rest of the Flyers youth.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are home at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania against the New York Islanders. This game takes place today, November 16th at 7:00 pm. Be sure to give a follow for more Flyers coverage at EricReesePSN on Twitter and follow Philly Sports Network at PhiladelphiaSN!
Mandatory Credit – Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports