Flyers squander lead, blanked in a shootout in Montreal

Flyers' Carter Hart scored on by Canadiens' Nick Suzuki
Montreal Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki scores against Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart during the shootout in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

A season ago, the Philadelphia Flyers lost frustratingly to the Montreal Canadiens in a similar way. On March 13th, 2022, Rem Pitlick scored with less than a minute left in regulation, and Cole Caufield scored the game-winner in overtime.

Last night, Caufield scored with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation. In a shootout, Nick Suzuki scored the deciding goal. The Canadiens stole a victory from the jaws of defeat, 5-4.

The Flyers jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period. Travis Sanheim and Owen Tippett beat Jake Allen. Not long after, Christian Dvorak slammed home a loose puck in the crease, and before the end of the first, Caufield added a powerplay goal. Mike Matheson turned the tide in the second, but Tippett scored from the faceoff dot to tie the game. Kevin Hayes continued the best start of his NHL career in the third, giving another lead to Philadelphia, but it all unraveled when Caufield forced overtime.

It was a game the Flyers should have won, securing two points while excluding Montreal.

Mismanagement (-)

Not how you think it means. Mismanagement last night is not a direct indictment on the coaching staff or front office, as the discourse usually dictates. It falls on the players and the decisions made on the ice. There wasn’t a lack of effort. Philadelphia put themselves in a position to win after trailing, showing resiliency.

Kieffer Bellows and Scott Laughton put the Flyers down two men. When the penalty kill is ranked 27th in the league, that cannot happen. Originally, Laughton served for cross-checking, but the official booking reads misconduct. Caufield cashed in on the five-on-three.

Later, Philadelphia couldn’t get out of the defensive zone.

John Tortorella noted the panic his team displayed. Before his stick broke, the inability to clear the puck by Zack MacEwen stands out. Instead of looking up ice and setting his feet to clear, MacEwen tried for a backhand that acted as a pass to reset the Canadiens’ attack.

“We played hard. We had a ton of good hockey. We just don’t know how to manage a game. We have so much to learn in momentum; total panic when we had the puck trying to end the game.”

John Tortorella; 11/19/2022

Caufield scoring with 1.9 seconds left deflated the team. Montreal had every chance to put the Flyers away in the single overtime period, but Carter Hart forced the shootout.

Owen Tippett (+)

Tippett secured the first multi-goal game of his career. He has five points (3G, 2A) and a point per game over the last seven. The current stretch is the best of his career, not exclusive to Philadelphia.

The Flyers are losing players at a rapid rate due to injury. Travis Konecny did not insert into the lineup following a loss to the Boston Bruins. Last night, Joel Farabee didn’t finish the game after taking a stick to the face. Tippett stepped into his role with confidence while two top-six veterans were absent.

First, Tippett beat Allen after flicking a wrist shot following a clean offensive zone entry. Then, on the faceoff, Tippett flashed the same skill one would expect from a star player.

“He’s taking people on, trying to beat people one-on-one, makes a great passing play to Frosty in the first period; it’s short term and long term. I look at some of the long-term, there’s some really good growth going that way.”

John Tortorella; 11/19/2022

Despite the result, Tippett is taking shape in Philadelphia.

(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)