Better With Popcorn

Kesler Scores Two; Canucks Come Back to Beat Flyers

Despite outplaying the Vancouver Canucks on both ends of the ice, the Philadelphia Flyers came out on the losing end of Tuesday evening's game. 

Ryan Kesler rammed home the rebound of a Chris Higgins shot that gave Vancouver the 3-2 lead and eventual victory. It was the Flyers' third straight loss as they dropped to 1-6-0.

With 2:25 left, Higgins ripped a shot off a beautiful pass from defenseman Dan Hamhuis and Kesler was able to coral the rebound. It was Kesler's second goal of the game and gave Kesler and Higgins each a two-point night.

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason made the initial save and gave a phenomenal diving effort to try and stop the shot.

Flyers coach Craig Berube kept riding the hot hand in Mason and the Ontario native played very well despite the loss. Mason stopped 22-of-25 shots and made his fair share of remarkable saves.

Despite outshooting Vancouver through the first period of play, the Flyers were outshot 18-13 during the final two periods and it was just too much to overcome for a backpedaling Flyers squad.

Things started off very well for Philadelphia. They were winning the possession battles and had established a strong forecheck.

With 7:34 remaining in the opening period, defenseman Nicklas Grossmann blasted a shot from around the right face off circle. Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo made the initial save but the rebound found forward Tye McGinn's stick and he backhanded it home to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately, just 10 seconds later, Vancouver potted a goal of their own courtesy of Kesler.

Mason went behind the net to play the puck when it took one of the oddest bounces that anyone will ever see. The puck bounced off the back boards and right to Kesler for the empty net tally.

With 17:50 left in the second period, winger Jakub Voracek received a beautiful outlet pass from defenseman Mark Streit and just threw the puck on net. Just as the first goal, McGinn was in front of the net and deposited the rebound for his second goal of the evening and his third in the last two games since being called up from Adirondack.

The Flyers managed to excel at crashing the net on Tuesday. When they throw the puck on net, good things can happen.

With 12:29 remaining, Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin dished a nice pass to Higgins, who positioned himself to the right of Mason and one-timed the puck past the Flyers netminder. The assist was the 800th point of Sedin's NHL career.

The Flyers had made a tremendous amount of strong defensive plays in the third period and broke up several Canuck scoring attempts in the second and third periods.

For the Flyers, it's back to the drawing board. One of the toughest statistics to swallow for the Orange & Black has to be the lack of efficiency in the face-circle. The Canucks won 35 of the 50 face-offs on Tuesday and also dished out a few more hits than the Flyers.

As painful was this loss may be, there's no rest for the weary as the Flyers host arch-rival Pittsburgh on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Chris Benel
Staff Writer

Twitter: @DurtyPuckhead; @TCLFlyers