Comeback Denied: Flyers fall to Sens in shootout, 4-3
The Philadelphia Flyers’ Saturday afternoon game against the Ottawa Senators started the way that many Saturday afternoon games have started for the Flyers this season; terribly.
With a disappointing record of 5-10-3 in games that start before 7 p.m., the team continued to develop their unimpressive resume during daytime hockey by falling into a 3-0 hole against the Senators after only twenty minutes of play.
For both teams, the game presented valuable points that could aide in their respective battles for playoff positioning.
Philadelphia was within striking distance of the fourth place Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa hoped to tighten their grasp onto the seventh seed.
After the first period, it appeared as though Ottawa was going to have little trouble adding an additional two points to their season total.
However, Philadelphia refused to go down without a fight.
Despite being down three, the Flyers largely outplayed the Senators in the first. Unfortunately, an inability to finish plays in the offensive zone, in addition to turnovers and poor goaltending in the defensive zone allowed Ottawa to establish their lead.
In the second, Philadelphia turned the tables and began to capitalize on their chances.
Three minutes into the second stanza, Wayne Simmonds added his 26th goal of the season when he was hit in the face with a Brayden Schenn shot that deflected into the Ottawa goal to pull the Flyers back into the game.
With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Sean Couturier powered to the net and brought the Flyers within one.
Shortly after that, Braydon Coburn completed the comeback by driving to the net and poking in a beautiful pass from Daniel Briere.
After a futile scoreless drought, Briere seems to be getting into playoff mode; he has recorded points in his last four consecutive games and has recorded an astonishing nine points over that span.
The third period was conservative. This was most likely due to the fact that both teams wanted to register at least one point.
The same could not be said of the overtime period.
Exciting from start to finish, the period of free hockey displayed two hungry teams looking to earn an extra point. The Flyers had a couple chances that could have ended the game, none closer than a shot by Briere that rang off the post.
The Flyers ended overtime with an aggressive power play that saw four forwards on the ice at the same time. It was evident they were going for the win.
Unfortunately, the Flyers came up short and came up even shorter in the shootout, which saw the Senators score on both of their attempts against Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Flyers will now head into Pittsburgh on Sunday, three points out of fourth place.
Looking back on Saturday, it’s a tale of two games; the impressive comeback that the Flyers assembled and the miserable start that has plagued them all season.
While it was an unfortunate way to close out an otherwise impressive showing in March (11-3-2), the team can at least say they can fight back in any game no matter the deficit.
Hopefully that attribute will carry over into April.
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