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Wrapup: Flyers Settle for a Point in 3-2 SO Loss to Detroit

November 8, 2016, 10:36 PM ET [318 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Outshot in all three periods and overtime but never trailing at any point, the Philadelphia Flyers settled for one point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. The game was the Flyers' military appreciation night.

Speedy young Detroit forward Andreas Athanasiou, who split defensemen Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning through the middle and scored a spectacular game-tying goal in the third period, went on to notch the lone goal for either team in the shootout.

Earlier, Tomas Tatar knotted the game at 1-1 in the first period on a play in which Mason claimed he'd been spun around by Detroit's Gustav Nyquist and did not have a fair chance to get set for the ensuing Tatar shot off a Henrik Zetterberg centering pass that resulted in the goal. Philadelphia elected not to challenge the ruling.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux blasted home a first-period power play goal to establish and early 1-0 lead but was denied on third period and overtime breakaways by Howard before being stuffed in the shootout.

Sean Couturier capped off a lengthy cycling and forechecking shift in the third period with a go-ahead goal on a tap-in from the crease after the Flyers had a couple of cracks in close.

"Our line -- me, [Travis Konecny], and Jake -- me and Jake are two big guys who can control the puck down and TK’s pretty fast, he’s fast on loose pucks. So we want to move the puck quick in the offensive zone. Try to cycle the puck. Get it over and we are going to create a lot of chances doing that if we move it quick. Move our feet. On that play, Jake, when he goes around like that you know he’s going to beat the guy even if the guys on his back so I just try to go to the net. Try to find the open area," Couturier said.

Making his first start in the last five games, Steve Mason provided a much-needed lift in goal for the Flyers, turning back 33 of 35 shots during the hockey game and the first two shots he faced in the skills competition.

"When you haven’t played in a while and shots are coming few and far between, you’re just begging for shots, you want to feel it, you want to get into the rhythm of things and tonight there was enough shots. They did start slow and you try and get sharp whether there is dump-ins or you’re just trying to touch the puck, but it’s something to build off of," Mason said.

"Not playing gets me off my mental game, you get ticked off and you can’t let that sidetrack you and that’s the biggest thing is to manage your emotions, staying focused on the task at hand."

At the other end of the ice Jimmy Howard authored key saves as well, stopping 23 of 25 in regulation and OT and then denying Travis Konecny, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek in succession in the shootout.

“I am never okay with losing a point, but you have to evaluate it for what it is," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said.

"First 30 minutes, we had a lot of try, but we couldn’t get anything going. We didn’t have a lot of energy. I thought we simplified our game a little bit the second half of the game. The last eight or nine minutes of the second period, as well as the third period, I thought we simplified our game and we were able to be a bit more effective through that time period. Obviously, when you get into a shootout, you want to win that shootout and get the extra point. It’s a valuable point.”

Philadelphia went 1-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Flyers won 59 percent of the faceoffs overall, led by a 15-for-18 (83 percent) night for Giroux.

The game was also marked by a one-punch knockout by Wayne Simmonds against Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson in an early second period fight. The Flyers energy had been sluggish to that point, which was why Simmonds dropped the gloves.

Noted Simmonds, "I was just trying to get some energy in our team, that's all that was about. There was no ill-will there. I was just trying to pump up the guys, trying to get some flow going."

The Wings had only three shots on goal for most of a rather ragged first period but finished the period with a flourish of shots and chances.

Detroit went to a quick power play as Giroux was sent off for hooking in the defensive zone at 1:33. The Flyers held the Wings to a single point shot on Mason. Chris Vandevelde nicely blocked a shot late in the kill and Giroux joined a 3-on-2 rush as he exited the box.

Philly wen to their first power play at 6:14. Justin Abdelkader got the gate for hooking behind the play as Roman Lyubimov rushed the puck up the middle. The Flyers cashed in quickly, needng just 14 seconds.

At 6:28 of the first period, Giroux sniped a one-timer high to the long side from the left circle off a cross-ice feed from Jakub Voracek. Brayden Schenn got the secondary helper after an initial slapper by Giroux missed the mar and the Flyers retained possession. The second assist was originally credited to Shayne Gostisbehere but changed after the period.

Detroit tied the game at 8:42. After Manning ran into pressure near the net, Mason tried to play the puck but it was knocked behind the cage. From the behind the net, Henrik Zetterberg set up Tatar in the left slot and Tatar beat Mason inside the short-side post.

Detroit bid for its first lead on a 2-on-1 rush but Mason stopped Dylan Larkin's 18-foot wrister to keep the game tied at 11:03.

The Flyers survived a late period scramble around their own net and then Brandon Manning received a bit of a phantom high sticking penalty at 19:44. Shots in the first period were 9-6 in Detroit's favor. Philly killed the carryover time at the start of the second period.

Mason made a very tough save on a double deflection to keep the game at 1-1. With 15:31 left in the second period, a scrum ensued at the Detroit net after a chance created by Lyubimov.

Jonathan Ericsson very unwisely dropped the gloves with Wayne Simmmonds at 5:39 and received a one-punch kayo for his troubles as Simmonds landed a thundering left hand. Shortly after play resumed, Mason had to make a tough save against Athansiou off the rush.

Konecny went off for high-sticking at 7:40, giving the Red Wings their third power play of the game. Detroit nearly scored on a shot by Athanasiou that hit the crossbar and continued to apply heavy pressure until late in the advantage but Philadelphia survived.

As regulation hit a TV timeout 12 seconds past the midway point, shots for the game were 19-9 in Detroit's favor.

Travis Konecny had half a net staring at him and shot wide. At the other end, he took it out on Abdelkader with two big hits. With 3:44 left in the middle period, Howard made a tough stop on Raffl from the left slot.

A few minutes after Voracek barked at refs from not calling a penalty on a play where he goit grabbed, Detroit's Danny DeKeyser got a holding minor in the offensive zone for a more inconsequential looking play. Philly went to its second power play at 18:12.

Howard fought off a Voracek shot and the Flyers could not pounce on the rebound as it rattled around the slot. The netminder then absorbed a Gostisbehere point shot without a rebound. Konecny threw another big hit near the buzzer as he nailed Steve Ott in the corner.

Shots in the second period were 10-8 in Detroit's favorr (19-14 Detroit overall). Early third period shots were 4-2 in Detroit's favor though the first 4:35 but all offering by both sides were routine stops.

After a very long shift by the Couturier line spend entirely in the Detroit end, the Flyers took the lead as Couturier scored an ugly but good goal from the doorstep at 6:51. Voracek and Mark Streit got the assists on Couturier's fourth goal of the season.

"That was one shift where we caught them with a broken stick and quite honestly, we were able to get them onto tired legs. That line just stayed with it. They held possession. It was an extremely hardworking shift. The way the goal was scored, I think it was a tap in from inside the blue paint. There was two or three touches so that’s kind of a grinding shift that it was," Hakstol said.

Voracek nearly extended the lead on a 2-on-1 rush the next shift by Howard got enough of his shot to make the save.

Athanasiou split the defense -- Manning and Gudas -- through the middle and roofed a shot under the crossbar at 11:11. The puck went in and out of the net very quickly but the good goal ruling was accurate on the ice. DeKeyser and Mike Green got the assists.

Simmonds generated a great chance for the Flyers to retake the lead but the Flyers couldn't bury it. With 3:06 left, Read sent Giroux in alone on Howard, but the Flyers' captain was unable to tuck the puck home as he moved to the right on his forehand.

Mason made a spectacular save on a Brendan Smith shot through very heavy traffic with 1:40 left in the third period.

Detroit iced the puck with 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Nothing of note ensued after the Flyers lost the offensive zone draw. Shots in the third period were 13-9 Detroit (32-23 Detroit overall).

The game moved into 3-on-3 overtime. The Flyers spent the first minute-plus in Detroit territory. With 1:05 left, Howard denied Giroux on a breakaway. Mason made a tough save on Tatar on a 23-foot shot and then turned back a final Larkin shot. OT shots were 3-2 Detroit (35-25 Detroit overall).

A shootout ensued. Konecny went first and was stoned on a five-hole attempt. Nyquist was denied by Mason's left pad as he tried a wrister from the slot.

Giroux couldn't get Howard to bite on a series of dekes and was stopped by the glove. Nielsen's five-hole attempt was knocked aside.

Voracek cut in from the right circle and was stopped at the left post. Athanasiou attacked with tremendous speed and chipped a backhander over Mason to end the skills competition.

The Flyers will hold an optional 10:30 a.m. practice on Wednesday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. The participating players: Mason, Michal Neuvirth, Ivan Provorov, Michael Del Zotto Nick Schultz, Brayden Schenn, Michal Raffl, Lyubimov, Scott Laughton, Dale Weise and Nick Cousins.
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