Photo credit: Frank Fimmano (Fimmano Photography)
The Philadelphia Flyers might not be in the playoff race, but they were able to prevent at least one rival from making it to the postseason by losing to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon with a final score of 3-1. Depending on how the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins fare in their games later on, one will make the playoffs and one will not (let’s go Boston!).
Matt Read scored the lone goal for the home team, while Mark Stone (2) and J.G. Pageau had the goals for Ottawa.
Steve Mason did not have his best game in this one, allowing three goals on just 22 shots. Andrew Hammond – the “Hamburgler”, if you will – limited the Flyers to only one goal on 35 shots.
Considering that the Senators were the only team actually playing for something this afternoon, the fact that they did not come out strong was surprising. Regardless, Stone’s powerplay goal at just over six minutes in got Ottawa the early lead that they held on to for the duration of the first. Stone had an empty net to shoot at, practically, as Mason was at the side of the net and the Flyers’ defense was… well, being the Flyers’ defense. That goal awarded Stone his 46th point in 46 games.
Even with a powerplay opportunity and taking 14 shots on goal compared to the Senators’ 4, the Flyers were unable to get on the board in the first 20 minutes, and Ottawa started the second period with 24 seconds of a man advantage thanks to a holding call on Nicklas Grossmann that came towards the end of the first.
The Senators were unable to capitalize on the Grossmann penalty, and less than a minute after the Flyers killed it off, Read’s eighth goal of the season tied the game at one goal apiece. Despite penalties to both teams, the score remained 1-1 until Pageau scored right after a penalty on Brayden Schenn was killed by the Flyers.
Michael Raffl almost made it a tie game once more within the last few minutes of the period, shooting a puck through Hammond’s five-hole, but Hammond’s quick decision to lay back on the puck to prevent it from going in saved him a goal against.
The second period ended with the Senators holding on to their 2-1 lead, but the Flyers continued to lead in shots 30-13.
Stone’s second goal of the afternoon (and point 47 in 46 games) came with about eight minutes left in the third, waking up an otherwise quiet period. It was the last goal scored in this one, cementing Ottawa’s playoff berth and the ousting of either Boston or Pittsburgh from the postseason.
Notes: Before the game, the Flyers presented their team awards. The Fan Club/Gene Hart Memorial Award, for the player with most heart, went to Jakub Voracek. The Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award, for the player who displayed the most character, dignity, and respect, went to Mark Streit. The Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Award, for most improved player, went to Chris VandeVelde. The Barry Ashbee Award, for the best defenseman, went to Mark Streit. The Toyota Cup, awarded to the player who received the most points during the season in the 3 stars, went to Claude Giroux (for the fourth year in a row). The Bobby Clarke Trophy, awarded to the team MVP, went to Jakub Voracek… Lots of questions await the Flyers this offseason: Will Craig Berube get fired? Will the Flyers re-sign Michael Del Zotto? Will they make any major trades? It’ll be interesting to see how different next season’s team looks from this one.