Briere's Hat Trick Fuels Dramatic Overtime Win
Fewer events in sport are more exciting than a golden goal.
On Saturday afternoon, fans of the Philadelphia Flyers bared witness to an even more exciting event when Daniel Briere scored his third goal of the game with 5.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
“A hat trick in overtime, the game winning goal, winning the game I mean that's all at once, all at the same time,” Briere said. “That was a really good feeling."
After a back-and-forth affair, which saw the Flyers take an early lead only to fall behind late, it was largely due to Briere’s spirited play that the team walked away with two points.
A little after the halfway mark of the first, he opened the scoring.
The play began in the neutral zone when Jakub Voracek evaded a charging Chris Neil and entered the Ottawa zone. Voracek sent a pass to Briere who attempted a shot, which failed to get the desired velocity he wanted it to have and caught Senators goaltender Craig Anderson off guard.
With Anderson sprawling to recover, Briere tracked the puck and put it into the net. Ultimately, the failed shot attempt is the reason he scored the goal.
In the second period, the Flyers got into a bit of penalty trouble.
While the team was already shorthanded due to a holding penalty taken by Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle was called for tripping despite it looking like the Ottawa player merely lost his balance.
With two of the Flyers top d-men off the ice, the Senators immediately took advantage of the opportunity when Milan Michalek scored seconds into the 5-on-3.
As the period progressed, the Senators appeared to be getting away with a few actions that the Flyers felt should have been penalties. With a little over a minute remaining in the period, Briere decided to police the game himself.
In his first fight since 2009, Briere dropped the gloves with Kyle Turris. For a player not known for his physical play, Briere put forth an impressive performance that energized both his team and the crowd.
“I was inspired,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of the fight. “You watch a guy like that, he’s not big, even in that fight.”
In the third, the Senators took the lead when Bobby Butler got a second chance opportunity off a rebound from a Sergei Gonchar point shot.
Under three minutes later, Briere struck again to tie the game on a power play.
With a little over a minute left in regulation, Ilya Bryzgalov made a phenomenal save to keep the game knotted at two. In the subsequent overtime, Briere completed his hat trick with seconds remaining.
In the Flyers last two games, the team has taken early leads and lost them late. Rather than giving up and losing hope, the team has continued to battle to squeeze two points out of each game.
"Yeah, it wasn't our best game to be honest today,” Briere said. “But to be able to somehow find a way to get a win, this is huge. Back to back wins against two good opponents after dropping the classic."
Laviolette praised his team’s ability to battle back.
“I think we have a hard working team and certainly we don’t like to give up leads,” he said. “I like our team […] It’s a resilient group.”
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