Flyers Rally, Drop Opener to Canucks in Shootout
For their opening act, it really couldn't get much better for the Flyers. They were fast. They were winning battles. They were creating turnovers. They were really doing it all.
Then in the second period, all of the demons of last season came back into the picture. The Canucks struck for four goals in the second period and the Flyers were left shellshocked and rather lifeless. That was until the final three minutes of the third, when a power play helped them get some life and rally back. Two goals in 65 seconds somehow evened the score again.
It ended as a 5-4 loss in the shootout for the Flyers on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers came out buzzing right off the opening face-off, and turned that into an early power-play opportunity. While they did not score on the man-advantage, they were able to break through in the seconds that immediately followed.
Keeping the cycle going, Ryan Ellis got the puck to Joel Farabee for a one-timer. The shot was stopped, but the rebound deflected off a Vancouver skate and in for the first Flyers goal of the season at 6:15.
The Flyers kept the pressure on for the rest of the period, finishing with a 14-5 lead in shots.
That strong first period vanished instantly for the Flyers. Less than three minutes into the period, the Canucks were on the board as Vasily Podkolzin fired a shot high on Carter Hart for his first NHL goal off a rush.
On a power play less than two minutes later, the Canucks scored again as Elias Pettersson's shot wide came back off the endboards and hit the skate of Hart and went in to make it 2-1 Vancouver.
On a 5-on-3 for 35 seconds, Vancouver cashed in again. This time, J.T. Miller set up Alex Chiasson for a backdoor play and as Travis Sanheim attempted to clear the puck, it banked off Chiasson and in to make it 3-1.
The Flyers did respond less than three minutes later. They were able to get the puck moving and quickly executed a perfect passing play as Farabee found Cam Atkinson in front for a goal to make it 3-2 at 12:17.
With just 2:53 left in the period, a rather harmless-looking play turned into another goal for the Canucks. Pettersson threw the puck from the wall on net and surprised Hart. He made the save, but the puck was stuck under his skate and wedged into the net by Miller, making it a 4-2 game.
The Canucks also held onto the puck long enough in the closing seconds of the period to get a full two-minute power play to start the third period. Shots through two periods were 24-18 Flyers.
The Flyers were able to kill off the penalty, but were not able to generate much else. That was until a penalty gave the Flyers a chance with 2:24 remaining.
It took just seven seconds for the Flyers to strike, as Travis Konecny roofed a rebound to make it 4-3 with 2:17 to play. Just 65 seconds later, a bank pass off the endboards by Sean Couturier came to Claude Giroux, and he fired high off the head of Thatcher Demko and in to tie the game with 1:12 to play.
The Canucks dominated possession in overtime, out-shooting the Flyers, 6-2. In the shootout, both Pettersson and Miller scored, while Couturier and Giroux could not convert, allowing the Canucks to escape with the extra point.
Demko finished with 31 saves in the win. Hart stopped 35 of 39 in the loss.
Miller had a three-point game with a goal and two assists for Vancouver. Chiasson and Pettersson each had two-point games. Farabee finished with a goal and an assist for the Flyers. Couturier, Ellis and Keith Yandle each had two assists.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Monday night when they take on the Seattle Kraken at 7 p.m.
- PHI Joel Farabee (1) (Ryan Ellis, Ivan Provorov) 6:15
- VAN Vasily Podkolzin (1) (Tyler Myers, Oliver Ekman-Larsson) 2:36
- VAN Elias Pettersson (1) PP (J.T. Miller, Alex Chiasson) 4:07
- VAN Chiasson (1) PP (Miller, Quinn Hughes) 9:36
- PHI Cam Atkinson (1) (Farabee, Keith Yandle) 12:17
- VAN Miller (1) (Pettersson, Conor Garland) 17:07
- PHI Travis Konecny (1) PP (Sean Couturier, Yandle) 17:43
- PHI Claude Giroux (1) (Couturier, Ellis) 18:48
- No Scoring
- PHI Sean Couturier - Miss
- VAN Elias Pettersson - Goal
- PHI Claude Giroux - Save
- VAN J.T. Miller - Goal
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.