The Flyers ended their post-holiday Western trip with a stop in Raleigh, NC to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. While they managed to collect a point from this game, they weren’t able to tally this one up as a win. Part of this loss is on the team, but some other factors that came into play for sure.
Fine in the First
The Flyers started this game hot. They were hungry for a win and that was evident when Travis Konecny planted one in the back of the net only thirty-seven seconds into the period. The team was doing an excellent job of controlling play, working as a team, and generating offense. Just before the halfway point, they were up 2-0 over the Hurricanes thanks to Michael Raffl.
However, after one more minute of play, Lucas Wallmark put the Canes on the board and cut the Flyers lead in half. This caused a momentum shift and the Flyers seemed to have less and less energy as the clock counted down. The period ended with Warren Foegele tying the score and the Flyers losing their lead.
Second Period Struggles
The second period was the worst of the three for the Flyers. Within the first five minutes, goals from Jake Gardiner and Joel Edmundson took Carolina to a two goal lead with a score of 4-2. Now looking at an uphill battle, the Flyers did anything but rally. They fought hard and kept things afloat, but generating offense was just not happening.
As the period was coming to a close, Nicholas Aube-Kubel beat goaltender James Reimer and potted his second NHL goal.
Tied it in the Third
When they took the ice in the third period, the Flyers looked much more like the team who started the game. They were quicker and more focused, creating offensive opportunities that (almost) quickly paid off. A shot on goal passed Reimer and sat on the goal line. The puck was then poked in by Jakub Voracek but the linesman blew the whistle to call the puck dead just a second before.
If you’ve ever heard the saying, “you can’t un-ring a bell,” then apply that here because you also cannot un-blow a whistle. Since the puck did not cross the line while it was still in play, it was ruled a no goal. However, a hasty whistle was the only thing stopping this puck from going in the net and the Flyers tying it up.
Saving the day, however, Travis Sanheim found the back of the net in old Travis Sanheim like fashion. With the Canes having only three minutes to answer, both teams were awarded a point and the residents of Raleigh were awarded free hockey.
Oh, no. OT.
The Flyers have been relatively successful in overtime this season but tonight was not their night. Battling hard, they controlled the majority of play in the extra minutes but it was one possession that sealed the deal. In a perfect accident, Travis Sanheim lost his stick and Dougie Hamilton was able to beat the five-hole Sanheim and Brian Elliott.
While it was not the desired outcome, gaining any points at all after this road trip is something to be positive about. However, the Flyers are back at the Wells Fargo Center tomorrow night to face a divisional rival in the Washington Capitals. The Capitals will also be on the second half of a back to back, but the Flyers will have home-ice advantage: something they’ve needed desperately since they originally left Philadelphia. The puck will drop at 7:30pm.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre