Almost immediately, the Philadelphia Flyers (25-16-6) seemed a little sluggish. Special teams helped the Flyers gain momentum by successfully defending on the penalty kill and a pair of conversions on the powerplay from Yegor Zamula and Joel Farabee. After two periods, Philadelphia led but couldn’t close out the Ottawa Senators (17-24-1).
The Flyers didn’t put forth their best effort. They were favored to win but didn’t capitalize on their lead. The Senators managed to outshoot Philadelphia, 34-25, en route to a comeback victory on the road.
“We did not spend enough time in their end zone. We didn’t generate enough. Against that team, you let some of their skill play more on your end, it’s a recipe for not a really good game.”John Tortorella; 1/21/2024
Now, the Flyers will play three games before the NHL All-Star Break, hoping to break away from back-to-back losses. They’ll compete versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Boston Bruins before the layoff.
Flyers vs. Senators
One positive in the Flyers’ loss was the powerplay. In the first period, Zamula scored on an unconventional play in which everyone on the ice — including the officials — believed the puck was getting hacked at in the crease. Zamula located the puck first, scoring on an open net, 1-0. Then, he added another later in the period, 2-0. During the first intermission, Zamula had this to say about the strange scoring play:
“I just see the rebound, I see everybody start looking a different way and I see [the] open net and it’s pretty simple put puck in net. I see it’s wide open so it’s pretty lucky a power play goal.”Yegor Zamula; 1/21/2024
Farabee added his insight:
“Yeah, that was one of the weirder goals I think I’ve ever seen in my career. When I shot it, I actually had no idea where it was and then I saw Z [Zamula] skating to the far side. It was just a weird, weird, weird goal, not really sure, but obviously we’ll take it.”Joel Farabee; 1/21/2024
Zamula got involved in the second period but took his share of lumps. He missed a routine pass from Ryan Poehling, and Zack MacEwen scored on the breakaway to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
On the powerplay, halfway through the second period, Farabee accepted a pass from Zamula and scored from the high slot, 3-1. Mads Sogaard surrendered his final goal of the game and second while Ottawa was on the penalty kill.
Though they trailed, Ottawa largely outplayed the Flyers in even-strength situations. It didn’t take long for the Senators to tie the game after Claude Giroux scored on a botched puck transition between Ersson and Sean Couturier, 3-3. Giroux collected the loose puck and backhanded it past the goal line.
“The part of the game I’m concerned [about] is we didn’t make enough plays, we didn’t establish forechecking, we were just one and done in the second half of the game. They generated so much momentum off of their goals. We score that third goal, we have to play with a two-goal lead for a while, just for five or six minutes. We can’t get hurt right away and they generated momentum off of it. Give them credit.”John Tortorella; 1/21/2024
A penalty on Cam Atkinson in the middle of the third period gave Ottawa their first opportunity at a lead, but Ersson kept the puck out of the net in a sequence of saves. The Senators did take the lead with under five minutes left in regulation when Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a two-on-one, 4-3, assisted by Mathieu Joseph.
Flat, Philadelphia saw their lead evaporate. Leading most of the game, the Flyers fell apart in the third period to the Senators, including an empty-net goal by Stutzle, 5-3.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday at 7pm.
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)