Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 18: FLA 2, PHI 1 - LOUsers
I'm no math expert, but I'm pretty sure that outplaying the other team for 40 minutes is more likely to net you a win than outplaying them for only 20.
Might want to work on that, boys.
The Philadelphia Flyers lose, in regulation for the first time in 17 days, 2-1, to the Flo-Rida Panthers. Just in case you were every wondering where that name came from.
The last time these two teams met, Florida was still without a win and had just lost starting goalie Roberto Luongo to injury, while Philadelphia was still in all offense mode trying to figure out what the hell defense was. Things couldn't have been more different for the rematch: Florida was one of the hottest teams in the NHL, winners of 4 straight entering Tuesday, while Philadelphia had won 3 straight and earned points in each of their last 5.
The Flyers flipped the script from Saturday's lethargic start, challening Luongo early and often, reverting back to their old ways from 2016-17 of mostly blasting away from the point. To their credit, the Flyers tried to make some things happen in the middle of the ice, but they just weren't there. But the turning point was the Flyers power play, and not in a good way. Not only did Florida kill the penalty, they so with vigor, and proceeded to dominate the rest of the frame, which trailed into the 2nd.
Then the Panthers PP started getting some chances of their own. And despite their impressive 1-game without a power play against, the Flyers PK bent - they killed off the first 2 Panthers power plays - then broke. Out of a net mouth scramble, Brian Elliott came up large (again) on a try in front, but Aaron Ekblad's bad-angle backhander deflected off Elliott's stick, then the back of his pad, and then into the back of his net. 1-0 Florida.
And it would have been fine if the Flyers had woken up then and used the Panthers success as motivation. But they failed to wake up, and they paid the price. A passive Christian Folin got burnt by a red-hot Evgenii Dadonov, who used him as a screen to snipe on Brian Elliott. At first glance, it looks like Elliott is to blame - but this shot never should have happened, and wouldn't have Folin stepped up. The Panthers top-6 is just too good to back up against, and the Flyers got burnt.
But just like against Arizona on Thursday, I'll give the Flyers credit - they didn't just die. They pushed back and gave the Panthers a run for their money, outshooting Florida 17-6 in the final stanza. The Lindblom-Patrick-Voracek trio was especially dynamic, producing the Flyers only goal on a cross-crease feed by Lindblom to Voracek, who called the 3rd his best period in 11 years after the game. The line just kept working, and almost tied the game when Lindblom hit iron. But Florida shut things down in the final 5 minutes, and were able to turtle their way to a 2-1 win as the Flyers failed to bang home the tying goal in the final minutes.
This isn't a damming loss for Philadelphia - after all, this point streak wasn't going to last forever. It stings a little bit because of how well the team played in the final period, but the Flyers pushing back after a slow first 40 minutes isn't exactly a new development. It was at special teams where the game was lost - the PP goal for Florida plus the momentum they got from killing the Flyers early man advantage proved to be enough to push their win streak past the Flyers.
At 13 and 12 games respectively, Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov hold the #1 and #2 longest active point streaks in the NHL. Hoffman's is the longest all season by any NHLer and is also tied for the longest ever by a Panther.
The Flyers penalty kill is back on track with another power play goal allowed. At least they have somewhat of an excuse - Florida's PP has scored in 6 straight games, showing that the Flyers aren't the only unit getting torched by them.
Through the first 40 minutes, Scott Laughton was probably the Flyers best player (honorable mention: Radko Gudas). Laughton came within inches of getting breakaways twice in the 2nd period and was as tenacious on the forecheck and effective on the PK as always. That being said, when Scott Laughton is your best player on a given night, you're probably going to lose.
Brian Elliott was once again great for the Flyers between the pipes. He stopped 28 of 30 shots, and his save% is now .911. The Dadonov goal was a little weak, but Elliott made up for it with several great saves to keep the Flyers in. He deserved a game where the Flyers bailed him out - maybe next time.
1st - E. Dadonov (FLA) - 1 G
2nd - A. Ekblad (FLA) - 1 G
3rd - J. Voracek (PHI) - 1 G
FLA - 11/15 @ CBJ (10-6-2)
PHI - 11/15 vs. NJ (7-8-1)