Image courtesy of Frank Fimmano
The Flyers went down in overtime yesterday by a score of 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils, falling further behind in a wild card race that they can not afford to lose much more ground in. Adam Henrique broke the tie after his shot found a way past Michal Neuvirth, who made 22 saves on 24 shots in his first game back from injury. The Flyers also found out shortly after the loss that Michael Del Zotto will be out for ‘several weeks’, which is bad.
The first period is a big part of what sunk the Flyers, as they could not seem to get anything going through the neutral zone and were only able to muster up two shots on goal, which is bad. Joseph Blandini gave the Devils an early lead with a nifty between-the-legs power play goal that snuck between Neuvirth and the post.
While the Flyers would pick things up in the second period, they were unable to find a way past Cory Schneider, which is bad. That would also change early on in the third, as the Flyers turned to their rookie hero for a game tying power play goal with about 4 minutes gone in the third. Gostisbehere, as usual, delivered with a beautiful slap shot from the point that Schneider had very little chance at. Gostisbehere now has points in 11 straight games, which is good.
After being awarded a valuable 4 on 3 advantage in overtime, the Devils quickly cashed in with Henrique’s game winner and walked away with a 2-1 victory, which is bad.
The Flyers now sit five points back in the wild card race with at least three teams to pass, and will also be without their de facto number one defenseman for several weeks. It isn’t tank time quite yet, but a playoff push is looking less and less likely with each loss and injury. Here are some more takes for you since I am SURE you wanted to read more about this contest:
- The Michael Del Zotto loss is a big one. MDZ is the Flyers’ ice time leader this season and has been fairly effective, especially when it comes to moving the puck up ice.
- Andrew MacDonald was called up after the game, and while this will certainly be a disappointment to a lot of people, it is well deserved. MacDonald has played well with the Phantoms this season and is undoubtedly better than at least one Flyers defenseman who has gone the length of the season without getting scratched.
- I can’t help but think that this would be a great time to get Read, Laughton and Medvedev back into the lineup. The Flyers struggled mightily in the neutral zone at times, and Read and Medvedev have been two of their better players in that area.
- Yesterday’s game differed from most Flyers/Devils games in that the Devils did not exactly shut down the Flyers after obtaining the early lead. The Flyers made a nice push in the second period especially, generating 27 shot attempts, which is good.
- Radko Gudas did not do anything remarkably stupid yesterday, which is good.
- The Umberger/Gagner/Weal line got shelled pretty badly in shot attempts at even strength, which is bad.
The Flyers will be back in action tonight against a brigade of skating blue toilets. Puck drops at 7:30 PM. Go Flyers.