Road struggles continue for Flyers with a 5-4 loss in Vegas

Flyers Golden Knights Hockey
Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) skates around Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Imagine, the game starts according to plan for once. Philadelphia got on the board early and came out firing with a ton of energy. However, their fast start was soon overcome by a surge by the Golden Knights en route to a 5-4 loss in Vegas.

A Crazy Game

This game wound up having a little bit of everything. Nine total goals, a Scott Laughton penalty shot, and some crazy saves by both Hart and Fleury.

The Flyers would bring their spark and energy quick into the game. For the first time on the road trip, the Flyers would not be playing catch up. Claude Giroux broke the seal about seven minutes into the game.

However, Vegas responded, and they responded in bunches.

Soon after, the Golden Knights rallied off three goals in under three minutes. Vegas’ Jon Merrill played his first NHL game as a forward and scored on a beautiful move-in tight. Travis Konecny, the All-Star, would get the Flyers within one soon after off a beautiful move of his own.

This wild ride of a first period would come to an end soon after Max Pacioretty’s second goal of the period. After a hot start, the Flyers soon found themselves down after one. This momentum would carry into the second period as well, as Cody Glass found twine midway through the period, putting Vegas up 5-2.

On a more positive note, that would be the end of Vegas’ scoring for the game. Sean Couturier led the charge for a comeback for Philly, scoring two consecutive goals of his own. However, Philadelphia’s chance of a comeback came up short.

Special Teams

The Flyers’ penalty kill would continue to struggle early, as Max Pacioretty scored quickly on their first powerplay of the game. The good news, though, is that this was Philadelphia’s lone PK of the game.

As for the powerplay, Philly was able to convert on one of their three tries, (one of four, if you count Laughton’s penalty shot). 33.3% isn’t bad in the broad sense of things, however, they were gifted with opportunities they needed to convert late in the game. Couturier was able to sneak a late goal in to save the powerplay, but they just could not control tempo while a man up.

Carter Hart

Carter Hart’s road woes do continue, but his stats are a bit skewed from this game.

The Flyers’ first-period defense can be summed up by one word:

Atrocious.

Philadelphia’s defense was lacking coverage, playing more of a zone style defense. This is okay, however, defenders looked to be getting mesmerized by the puck, chasing Knight’s behind the net, and simply did not back check.

Hart had a goal or two let up that maybe a “great” goaltender could have saved, but this loss does not fall on him.

Up Next

Philadelphia has another tough opponent in the second-to-last game of this road trip. They will visit Arizona to take on the Coyotes at 8 p.m. Saturday night. Coverage can be caught on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

AP Photo/John Locher

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