Mason Steals Flyers Win in 3-2 Shootout vs. Boston; Phantoms Win
Wrapup: Mason Steals Flyers Win in 3-2 Shootout vs. Boston
It took 45 regulation and overtime saves and an 8-for-9 performance in the shootout by goaltender Steve Mason, but the Philadelphia Flyers finally have their second back-to-back wins of the 2016-17 season as they earned a skills competition bonus point in a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
Despite being massively outplayed in the first period, the Flyers took a 2-0 lead to intermission on a point blast by Michael Del Zotto (2nd goal of the season) through traffic and a Claude Giroux power play goal (fifth goal) from a tight shooting angle.
The Flyers precariously clung to the lead into the third period before closely spaced even strength and 4-on-4 goals by David Krejci and Brad Marchand. Philly used a late penalty kill to regain some equilibrium. In overtime, Philly got outshot, 6-1, and outchanced 4-1 but Mason held the fort to get the game to the skills competition.
In the shootout, neither team was able to score through four rounds. After Jakub Voracek, who had an unsuccessful penalty shot attempt in the third period, scored and was matched by Marchand in the bottom of the fifth round, the teams went four more rounds. Finally, Shayne Gostisbehere chipped a shot home and Mason made a final save to earn a second point for Philly. Usually one to show little outward emotion while on the ice, Mason allowed himself a celebration of the final save to end the marathon shootout.
Explained Mason, "It’s just a matter of blowing that lead in the third and then missing the opportunity to close out the game on Marchand. Missing the opportunity on his move there to close it out there. So it was just nice to close it off.”
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was asked what he thought the difference was between Mason in the last few weeks and his disappointing play by his Flyers career norms in the early weeks of the season.
"Very little. It’s not even a game of inches as a goaltender. He came in, he had a great count and things didn’t go the way anybody wanted to in the first couple of weeks. I think he has played very well all the way through. There’s always a couple of goals that you’ll want back. Down this last stretch simply seeing the puck well, reading the plays well and battling hard. He battled really hard for us tonight, that’s why we came away with two points," Hakstol said.
Tuukka Rask stopped 19 of 21 shots in regulation and OT, including a spectacular save on Giroux in the waning seconds of overtime. He went 7-for-9 in the shootout.
The Flyers did not defend very well for much of the night, nor did they take very good care of the puck (13 charged giveaways, including four charged to Radko Gudas, plus six takeaways credited to Boston). However, the Philadelphia penalty kill looked solid in going 4-for-4. The Flyers power play went 1-for-5 and there was also the failed Voracek penalty shot. Voracek's shootout attempt was a similar attack to the penalty shot but the second one resulted in a goal.
Boston won 55 percent of the faceoffs in the game, too. Patrice Bergeron went 18-for-30. Claude Giroux went 13-for-23 but lost a few cleanly to Bergeron. Philly did muster 19 blocks to just nine for Boston (playing without injured Zdeno Chara), but that was largely because the puck was in the Philly end for much longer stretches.
“It probably wasn’t our best game," Del Zotto said. "They had chances. I mean, no surprise Mase stole the two points for us. We got off to a good start as far as the score. It probably wasn’t our best first period, but any time you come out with the lead you have to be happy about that. They played well. They’re a good hockey team, they played well. Like I said, Mase stole that game for us. For us, right now, there are some areas we can clean up, but any time you put a string of wins together it breeds confidence and we need that right now.”
Brayden Schenn started out the game at fourth line center and bounced around the lines later, as he often does.
"Whoever I'm with I don't think my game changes a whole lot. Whether it's G, Luby, Vandy, Reader or Weiser, it really doesn't matter who, I just have to get out there and do my job. Tonight we're playing four lines and everyone is fresh so when you're ready for your opportunity you got to go out there and make the most of it," Schenn said.
Flyers rookie Travis Konecny was hobbling a bit after the game, but said he should be OK.
"I got a pretty good Charlie horse so it’ll probably stick around for a few days then it will be good. It was sore the whole game, I have to take care of it now and I’ll probably be pretty stiff when I wake up tomorrow," Konecny said.
The Flyers were under siege for much of the first period but were opportunistic offensively. An Ivan Provorov turnover on the opening shift caused a heap of trouble and Mason had to make a tough pad save to deny David Backes. Brayden Schenn's routine shot from outside the dots on the left wing was Rask's first save at the 2:34 mark. Raffl missed the net on a would-be tap-in at Shots were 5-3 Flyers through the first 5:24 of the first period.
The next seven shots belonged to Boston. Mason denied a deflection chanc. Provorov broke up an odd-man rush at about the 8:00 mark. Mason then had to make two saves on a two-on-one rush, an initial shot by Ryan Spooner and a rebound try by Kevan Miller. Shots were 11-5 Boston midway through the period.
The Bruins got the game's first power play as Michael Raffl was called for an offensive zone stick slash on Brandon Carlo at 10:12. Mason made two saves on the successful kill. After the kill ended, Mason stopped at 13:09. He then stopped another deflection at 13:32 as Boston compiled its 12th consecutive shot without one by Philly.
The Flyers made it 1-0 at 13:56. Del Zotto, from the left point, would up and blasted a slap shot past a screened Rask. Wayne Simmonds got the assists on Del Zotto's second goal of the season.
At 14:00, Philly got its first power play. Austin Czarnik was sent off for slashing Raffl. Philly maintained heavy pressure and, after a couple of shots that missed the net and a Bruins' penalty killer losing his stick and going to obtain a new one, Giroux received a cross-ice feed from Voracek and hit the net from a tough angle at 15:28 for a power play goal and Giroux's fifth tally of the season. Brayden Schenn got the secondary assist.
Boston nearly scored on their next shift, but Mason found a puck in traffic and melted play down for a TV timeout at 15:41. Mason had another tough stop for his 18th of the first period, stoning a shooter from the slot. He made one more before the period ended, stopping Hayes from eight feet out to keep Philly ahead 2-0.
First period shots were 19-9 in Boston's favor but Philly held the 2-0 lead in the cash register.
Mark Streit was high-sticked behind the defensive net by Matt Beleskey at 26 seconds of the second period. Mason had to deny a shorthanded scoring bid by Patrice Bergeron. Giroux was stopped by Rask on a one-timer (Philly's first shot of the second period). After the power play ended, Konecny dangled around perennial Selke Trophy candidate Bergeron and nearly scored.
Shots in the second period were 2-2 through the first six minutes as Mason stopped a point shot by Miller. A TV timeout ensued at the 7:09 mark. At 9:30, Mason erased a defensive turnover with a blocker save on David Krejci.
Boston went to its second power play of the game at 11:03. Chris VandeVelde was called for roughing on a check near the Flyers defensive blueline.With 1:10 left on the advantage, the power play ended as Backes was called for an offensive zone hook at 11:53. Play moved to 4-on-4. Nothing dangerous developed on the four-on-four or the Philadelphia power play. After it expired, a Pierre-Edouard Bellemare one-timer from the left circle was stopped by Rask after a passout by Michael Raffl. A TV timeout ensued at 14:14.
Mason made his 10th save of the second period as he stopped a 20-foot backhander by Riley Nash. At 16:08, Beleskey took an extra pop at Andrew MacDonald as they jostled in front of the net and was called for roughing. The Flyers went to the power play.
Brayden Schenn fired off a weak shot on a one-timer opportunity from the left hash marks and then was unable to catch a pass from Giroux. The second unit came out. Rask fought off a Streit point shot. A delayed penalty at the expiration of the power play was called against Nick Cousins at 18:20 for tripping behind the Boston net.
VandeVelde lost his stick early in the PK, and Mason made a save off his mask before a Flyers' clear. The Bruins generated a scramble near the net just before the period expired. Boston took 20 seconds of carry-over power play time into the third period.
Shots in the second period were 11-6 in Boston's favor; 30-15 Boston overall.
Mason stopped a Brad Marchand one-timer from the right circle just before the Boston power play expired. At 1:55, he gloved a point shot for a stoppage of play.
Boston got on the board finally at 4:26 on their 34th shot of the game. David Krejci, from the high right slot, threaded a 34-foot shot through traffic and in off Mason for his third goal of the season to cut the gap to 2-1 Torey Krug got the lone assist.
The Bruins and Flyers had offsetting minors as Pastrnak was called for embellishing a Nick Cousins trip in the neutral zone at 5:28. The teams skated 4-on-4. Boston soon tied the game at 2-2 as Marchand, spotting the puck first and not being boxed out by Del Zotto, banged in a Krug rebound at 5:44. Krug and Carlo got the assists on Marchand's seventh goal of the season.
Voracek was awarded a penalty shot at 6:23 as Voracek was grabbed on a breakaway by Joe Morrow. Rask denied Voracek's attempt to go five-hole.
At the 7:00 mark, Mason was a bit shaken up on a play around the net but he remained in the game. Rask gloved a Simmonds shot through a partial screen at 8:57. Del Zotto did not play a Boston rush very well, losing body and stick position on Marchand then nearly took out his goalie. A TV timeout ensued at 10:28..
Mason stopped a shot through very heavy traffic, and the Flyers countered. At 13:24, Marchand took a roughing penalty on a hit inside the defensive blueline to put the Flyers on their fifth power play. Midway through the advantage, a Voracek one-timer missed the net and rimmed out around the boards. The second unit came out but never got set up. Streit did get a slapper on net through traffic after the power play expired.
Boston went to its fourth power play at 16:24 as Konecny was called for tripping Backes in the defensive zone. Mason's 38th save of the game and some strong penalty killing work by Simmonds in particular -- a good force up high in the defensive zone and two zone clears -- enabled the Flyers to survive.
Boston called timeout with 1:22 remaining in the third period. With 43.3 seconds left, Mason absorbed a Miller point blast through very heavy traffic after a clean offensive zone faceoff win by Boston's Bergeron against Giroux. Shots in the third period were 11-6 in Boston's favor (41-20 for Boston through regulation).
The game moved to 3-on-3 overtime. Boston went offside after winning the first faceoff. Rask gambled and beat an onrushing Voracek to a puck in the slot on the next shift. Mason made the first save of OT as Pastrnak worked through heavy checking by Read and tried to take the puck to the net.
Voracek gambled in the offensive zone and got on the wrong side of the puck, but Mason stopped Pastrnak. At the other end, Schenn got taken down behind the net with no call and Boston countered 3-on-2 the other way. The puck got deflected out of play. With 1:39 left, Patrnak dangled and turned the Flyers inside out but Mason stopped his backhand try on Boston's fifth shot of OT.
The Flyers net got knocked off its moorings with 1:07 left in OT. Simmonds, annoyed by an unpenalized trip by Marchand in the Flyers offensive zone (a retaliatory cross-check also went uncalled) and also standing up for Mason, went after Marchand after the whistle at 3:53. Both got roughing penalties. The faceoff came out to the neutral zone.
Mason authored his 44th save -- a glove save with a flourish -- on a Krejci shot from the left circle on a Boston rush. Rask made a spectacular sliding save on Giroux on a Flyers rush with 6.9 seconds left.
Overtime shots were 6-1 in Boston's favor (47-21 Boston for the hockey game). After the 65-minute tie, the hockey game ended and the skills competition began.
Nick Cousins went first in the shootout. He flipped a backhander way high and wide of the long side. Spooner went first for Boston, losing the puck on a west-east-west shift.
In round two, Giroux tried multiple moves and lost control in close. Mason denied Riley Nash with the blocker in the bottom of the second round.
In round three, Simmonds was stuffed by Rask on a five-hole try. Bergeron went next, had Mason beaten but lost the puck before he could go short side.
In round four, Travis Konecny hit the right post. Pastrnak made a powerful move and was stopped by Mason's pad near the goal line on a forehander.
In round five, Voracek scored five-hole on a similar move to the unsuccessful penalty shot. Marchand attacked with tremendous speed, moved to the backhand and scored.
In round six, Lyubimov had Rask leaning but couldn't quite finish on the forehand. Krejci shot wide of the right post on his turn.
In round seven, Schenn was stopped cleanly on a straight-in five-hole try. Hayes went next for Boston and was stopped by Mason's skate near the left post.
In round eight, Read made numerous moves on a slow attack and was stuffed at the right post. Krug lost the puck, regained it and then hit the lift post.
In round nine, Gostisbehere found the net on a little flip shot off Rask's glove. Backes was picked cleanly by Mason's glove to end the shootout and give Philly a bonus point.
Phantoms Conclude Brilliant November with 4-1 win vs. Marlies
A third-period surge by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms broke open a 1-1 tie in the third period and led the Flyers' AHL affiliate to a 4-1 road victory over the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday night. With the win, the Phantoms improved to a 13-5-1 overall and concluded an outstanding month of November that saw Lehigh Valley go 11-2-0.
Midway through the first period, Chris Conner opened the scoring with a power play tally for his fourth goal of the season. Conner corralled a loose puck off an initial shot by Greg Carey and flipped it over Antoine Bibeau (28 saves on 31 shots) to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.
Andreas Johnsson tied the game for Toronto on a power play goal at 7:30 of the middle frame. In the third period, the game remained deadlocked until Danick Martel re-directed a Samuel Morin shot at 4:44 for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-1 lead for Lehigh Valley.
The Phantoms clung to their one goal lead and killed off an ill-advised slashing penalty by Robert Hägg in the latter portion of the third period. At 16:58, the Phantoms got an insurance goal on an unassisted tally by Jordan Weal. On the play, Weal stole the puck, stepped out front and beat Bibeau.
After a slashing penalty by Andrew Nielsen with just 1:26 left in the game, Phantoms captain Colin McDonald scored an empty net power play goal at 19:26 (assisted by Taylor Leier and Travis Sanheim) for his ninth goal of the season and sealing a 4-1 final.
Rookie goaltender Alex Lyon was strong in goal once again for Lehigh Valley, turning back 25 of 26 Marlies shots and earning first-star honors. Benefiting from the NHL recall of Anthony Stolarz earlier this month, Lyon was one of the team's top players most of the month. Overall, he improved his record to 7-3-1, lowered his GAA to 2.46 and raised his save percentage to .920 for the season to date.
The Phantoms remain one point behind the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins for first place in the very tough Atlantic Division. Scott Gordon's club is one point ahead of the Hershey Bears and Bridgeport Sound Tigers with the Penguins, Phantoms, Bears and Sound Tigers having all played 19 games to date.