The Hat Trick: Flyers Engulfed By Flames

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You know the feeling. The same song plays like a broken record, missing the same parts at all the same times. That’s how the Philadelphia Flyers have been the last couple weeks. It’s the same song about closing games and losing in shootouts. The topic of discussion is the broken record.

Both teams played competitively in the first period. The shaken up line of Claude Giroux, Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny stirred a good scoring opportunity. David Rittich made the save, not allowing a Philadelphia Flyers goal in that period. At the other end of the ice, Carter Hart played just as well. At the end of the first period, the score remained tied, 0-0.

Give the edge to the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period as the attack stayed hungry. Late in the period, right after David Rittich made a point-blank save on Oskar Lindblom, Travis Sanheim’s shot trickled through the five-hole where Jakub Voracek was able to catch a break. Voracek dove at the puck and swiped it to the back of the net to give the Flyers the lead. It’s just in time for Voracek too, as he has been the focus for what Philadelphia veteran players need to step up. The Flyers closed the period with a powerplay opportunity, but they were unable to score.

Two periods of good hockey from the Philadelphia Flyers meant that the third period was going to be questionable. One minute into the third period, Morgan Frost had the puck stolen from him in the slot. Andrew Mangiapane let a wrist shot go that beat Carter Hart to tie the game at one. Under four minutes to play in the game, Joel Farabee swoops in to knock the puck loose from David Rittich, allowing Kevin Hayes to backhand a goal. It looked like the Flyers were in the driver seat, but the Calgary Flames had the extra attacker and made it count when Elias Lindholm scored.

To tie the game, the Calgary Flames needed a slapshot that played off the boards behind the goal to be shot into the net from Elias Lindholm. In overtime, the Philadelphia Flyers needed to be the ones to score before the shootout. Under three minutes in the overtime period, Ivan Provorov had a great look at Oskar Lindblom alone on the crease, but David Rittich came up big. Rittich went on to make saves against Joel Farabee, Claude Giroux, and Sean Couturier in the shootout. The Flames lone goal in the shootout came from Matthew Tkachuk, giving them the 3-2 victory.

Penalty Killers

The Philadelphia Flyers penalty kill was a perfect three-for-three against the Calgary Flames. In a game as tight as this one, it’s good to see that one side of the special teams is sharp. The production on the powerplay wasn’t present from either team. While that is a slight against the Flyers, it shows that they were defensively intact again when being a man-down. The clutch gene is one that Philadelphia needs to catch wind of.

Two-Thirds Isn’t Complete

Observing those first two periods, the Philadelphia Flyers were the more tenacious team. You want that in the NHL because the team that is naturally more physical is the one that will generally win the game. Being up 1-0 with a full period to play by no means shows a lead with insurance. That lead was erased within a minute into the third period and it was anyone’s battle. This battle was one that was for the Flyers to lose.

The Need to Close

It’s a mystery when you watch a team that was down by two goals and rallied to win a couple of nights ago, then you watch a team that was up by a goal after two periods and found a way to squander. The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t been able to close games. They’ve been able to put up good efforts against good teams lately but almost doesn’t count. The veterans did their part this game for Alain Vigneault, but it wasn’t enough. It’s the same song on the same broken record.

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers are at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania against the Vancouver Canucks. This game takes place on Monday, November 25th 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 – © Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

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