Better With Popcorn

Flyers lose 3-2 In OT, Coyotes Extend Win Streak To 8

The Philadelphia Flyers were looking to tame the Phoenix Coyotes tonight and stop them from extended their current winning streak to eight.

The Flyers would fall short in their attempt of stopping the Coyotes winning streak as they beat the Flyers 3-2 in overtime grabbing their eighth win in a row. Ilya Bryzgalov would be the difference in this game tonight as he was in the Coyotes previous seven wins during this streak picking up his eighth straight win.

The Flyers needed to strike first tonight and they did just that finding the back of the net six minutes and twenty four seconds into the first period. Matt Carle would wrist a shot on goal from the blue line, Leino providing a moving screen reached back with his stick as the Carle shot passed him deflecting the puck off the back defenseman Sami Lepisto's skate and by Bryzgalov for the 1-0 lead.

The pace of play in that first period was fast and the Flyers and Bobrovsky managed to escape the first period with the one goal lead. The Flyers would lead the period in shots 11-9.

The second period would go scoreless but not without some rough play. The much cheered Scottie Upshall turned villain when he plow a still standing Oskars Bartulis as the puck was frozen by Bobrovsky just seventeen seconds into the second period.

Bartulis would stay down for a bit and would need help off the ice and into the locker room. Bartulis did not return to the game and has been listed with an upper body injury by the Flyers. So for the second straight game the Flyers found themselves scrambling to find defensive combinations with five defensemen.

Then with Nolan Yonkman's crosschecking penalty that Shelley drew, up, he skated over and challenged Shelley and the two would drop the gloves at center ice. Yonkman would connect a couple of times, one would cut Shelley who did not stop throwing punches to Yonkman's head and face.

With Shelley bloodied up, he skated towards the Flyers bench dropping his helmet on the ice before heading in to the locker room for repairs. Although he looked like all beat up Shelley would get the nod in that fight.

The second period would end with the Flyers going 0-2 on the power play, leading the game 1-0 and shots on goal 11-7.

With the Flyers allowing the Coyotes to hang around by not capitalizing on their three power play chances to this point, the Coyotes would waste no time. Just 2:44 into the third the Coyotes would tie it up at one on a goal by Eric Belanger, his ninth of the season.

Then with just under ten minutes left in the game, what seemed to be a harmless shot by Taylor Pyatt took a last second bounce on Bobrovsky and found a hole between his arm pit and right pad to give the Coyotes the 2-1 lead.

It was a bad goal by Bob who should have played the puck like an outfielder and got his body in front of the puck in case of a bad bounce. One thing is for sure, Bobrovsky will play those types of dump in shots differently than he did tonight.

Shortly after that goal the Flyers would get a power play chance when Vernon Fiddler was whistled for goaltender interference at 10:57 of the third. The Flyers would again fall short on this power play and another one they would get just two minutes after the Fiddler penalty had expired.

The Flyers would have to pull Bobrovsky with about 1:30 left in the game. With the Flyers buzzing around the net, Giroux would be alone to the right of Bryzgalov as he received the puck he shot only to be stopped by Bryzgalov.

The rebound would come back to him, as his legs were being swept from beneath him not touching the ice he let a wrist shot go that would beat Bryzgalov over his left shoulder to tie the game at two. It was a great shot on a great effort by Claude Giroux who never gave up on the play.

The period and regulation would end in a tie with the Flyers once again leading the period in shots 15-7, but was outscored in the period 2-1. The Overtime was tilted more in the Coyotes favor after the Flyers almost ended it early in OT when Matt Carle was stopped by Bryzgalov.

A minute and thirty six seconds into the OT Kimmo Timonen would get called for hooking, a penalty coach Laviolette did not agree with. With the Coyotes on a four on three power play, Andrej Meszaros would lose his stick essentially giving the Yotes a four on two power play.

The Coyotes would take advantage of the missing stick as Vrbata would slide a pass to Shane Doan, who was being covered by the stickless Meszaros, who would one time a shot by Bobrovsky who did not have a chance on the play.

Bobrovsky did come up with a big glove save just seconds before Doan scored the overtime game winner. The Flyers would get out shot in the overtime 6-2, but would out shoot the Coyotes in the game 39-29.

Larry's Logic

In games like tonight the Flyers need to score when they have the man advantage. It seems they struggle doing the little things on the power play like getting traffic in front and knowing when to shoot instead of pass.

They need to get back to the basics there because when you run into a hot goalie or struggle to score in a game, the power play should help you get through those tough times. Without a successful power play the other team gets to hang around longer and is not afraid to take penalties against you giving them confidence instead of fearing being a man down.

Look at tonight's game as an example. It did not look like the Coyotes were giving it to the Flyers or owning the Flyers tonight. Their goalie kept them in the game along with missed opportunities by the Flyers.

The other area that needs improvement would be Bobrovsky's puck handling. He should not do it, period. All he needs to do is stop the occasional wrap around and leave it there for a defenseman. With the Flyers defense being a strong point on this team they should be able to handle the puck themselves.

Neither one of the Flyers goalies should be handling the puck much. While Boucher is better than Bob at handling the puck he is still bad compared to other goalies in this league. His problem is he over touches pucks, and makes the wrong decisions on when he should touch the puck as he thinks he should touch them all.

This league got by a very long time without goalies playing the puck like they do now. I don't see it being an issue if both these goalies back off a bit in that area.

With the Flyers suffering some injuries recently to Betts and O'Donnell and now Bartulis, some think the Flyers should get a depth player at the deadline. I thought this team was all about depth, Bartulis is a good depth player,young and cheap.

They still have Walker, which is a pricey depth player, Syvret and Gustafsson on the Phantoms for Defensive depth. They also have Testwuide, Homstrom and Wellwood at the AHL leve for offensive depth along with Zherdev at the NHL level.

The Flyers even have a third goalie in Michael Leighton on the Phantoms for goalie depth. So the Flyers have some options in house if injuries arise before or after the trade deadline.

Step Up Players

Shane Doan
Claude Giroux
Matt Carle