Flyers-Red Wings: Postgame Review
Well, that was something.
The Flyers were in complete control, on their way to a win, when the Detroit Red Wings made a goalie change and turned the game around, rallying back for four goals to force overtime.
The Flyers won in overtime, 6-5. In the end, it doesn't matter how the points come, as long as they keep coming. But against the lowly Red Wings, this was a game that the Flyers needed to lock down and didn't do it. Sure, they survived, but it sets the stage for a difficult game to come on Sunday in the back end of a home-and-home.
More in our Postgame Review.
- Building the Lead - The Flyers had a sloppy first period, but did take advantage of an opportunity early with Shayne Gostisbehere's goal off a great setup by Nolan Patrick. In the second, they got two more quick goals from Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton to make it a 3-1 game and played really well from there in the period to secure the lead. Early in the third, Jake Voracek and Patrick each added goals on rebounds. Just like that, it was 5-1.
The Flyers took advantage of a fragile Anaheim Ducks team a week ago and were manhandling the Red Wings to that point. The second period was easily their strongest and they opened the third with a push and two goals that said they were trying to go for the dagger early.
It should have been the dagger, but we'll get to that.
Still, for the Flyers to build up a 5-1 lead and get goals from a range of players was an impressive showing. It bodes well for the team to get contributions across the board as this run continues.
- The Third-Period Collapse - So once it was 5-1, the game should have been over. The Red Wings managed to pull off the comeback, getting four goals over the remainder of the period, including the tying goal in the final seconds.
Here's the breakdown for you. Detroit's first of four goals came off a Flyers turnover. Ivan Provorov tried to dish the puck behind the net to the other side for the outlet and was picked off by Dylan Larkin. Larkin put the puck in front to Tyler Bertuzzi. It was here that Carter Hart made a mistake, dropping early and getting out of position. Bertuzzi was able to wait him out and score.
Thomas Vanek's goal just 44 seconds later was one that came off a transition play. It's a four-on-two for Detroit with Vanek controlling the puck the whole way. Andrew MacDonald takes Nick Jensen, the defenseman up on the play. Shayne Gostisbehere is guarding the backdoor pass for Anthony Mantha. Phil Varone backchecks and picks up Frans Nielsen. The only option is for Vanek to shoot. Vanek uses a little deception, backing into a shooting position and looking pass. This throws off Hart just a bit and Vanek, who still has plenty of scoring ability, beats him clean.
Both of Mantha's goals were on deflections, but the first one is very problematic. Again, the Flyers fail to clear the zone. Again it's Provorov with just a straight giveaway to Christoffer Ehn. Ehn gets the puck back to Danny Dekeyser and his shot is tipped down and by Hart, who was also battling a screen. Mantha's last was a perfect deflection, with the Flyers essentially holding on for dear life at that point.
That was how the Flyers found a way to blow a four-goal lead.
- Goaltending - Five goals allowed is the most for Carter Hart in his career so far. On three of them, all quick tips or skilled deflections in front, he really didn't have much of a chance. He didn't help himself on the second Detroit goal and the third Detroit goal saw him show a little frustration for not making the save.
It wasn't Hart's best game by any stretch, but he had to make some big saves throughout the third to keep the margin close. The play in front of him wasn't great in the third period, and that's a problem.
If the Flyers want to continue to push for a playoff spot, you can't have periods like that, where you leave your goalie out to dry essentially. Hart played well enough, but this was another showcase of how he is human and needs to have some help in front of him.
- Pulling Out a Win - The four-goal collapse is a little easier to take when you still win the game. Konecny's second goal of the game did that for the Flyers.
Possession is everything in the 3-on-3 overtime, and the Flyers really held control for the last half of the 1:27 played in the five-minute extra session.
This is a great cycle play by the Flyers. Konecny gets the puck to Gostisbehere first, and Gostisbehere has room to fire away there. Instead, he delays and dishes back behind him to Konecny. Konecny then tries a give-and-go with Sean Couturier. Couturier's return feed actually tipped off the Detroit defender and in on goal. Jonathan Bernier kicks it away, right to the stick of Konecny.
At this point, Bernier has committed to the left side of the crease and Konecny is speeding around to the other side. Bernier couldn't recover, Detroit gets caught standing around and Konecny finishes it off into the back of the net.
- Another Wild Game - You can't say this has been a boring season for the Flyers. The Flyers have been on the giving end of two four-goal comebacks against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In both games, they lost in overtime. This time, the Flyers are on the receiving end of a four-goal collapse and win in overtime.
Funny how hockey works.
Regardless, there have been a lot of interesting games this season. Just two weeks ago, the Flyers had to rally back against Edmonton and win in overtime, 5-4. They did the same on Tuesday on the road, just without the overtime. They have had a number of lopsided losses and a few lopsided wins like last Saturday's 6-2 drubbing of the Ducks.
Throw in all of the off-ice activity this season, and it will certainly be one for the memory bank.
By the Numbers
Detroit's third-period comeback was keyed by a 21-11 advantage in shot attempts at 5-on-5, including a 10-8 lead in scoring chances. The Flyers had the lead in shot attempts through two periods, but sat back and allowed Detroit to create opportunities way too much.
Stat of the Game
Jake Voracek's goal gave him a nine-game points streak. He has 12 points in that time, four goals and eight assists.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.