Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 64: PHI 3, CBJ 4 (OT) - Blue It
That's a stinger.
The Philadelphia Flyers start strong, then fall hard, and eventually lose 4-3, in OT, to the 'Lumbus Blue Jackets in a critical game against a divisional rival.
Of course the Flyers lost this game. Of course they did. After all, they got off to a good start in this one, which they never do (other than the game before this), and even got the first goal. Less than 3 minutes in, Jake Voracek fired a wicked wrister from the left circle past Sergei Bobrovsky for an early power play marker, starting the scoring against his original team.
And then things got crazy. Brian Elliott tried to bat a deflected shot over the net, and wound up knocking the cage off its morings in the process. The problem was the ref somehow saw it as intentional act, and gave Columbus a power play. Which of course they scored on with 1 second left. But wait! The Flyers are challenging for goalie interference, and it looks like Boone Jenner hit Elliott. But the refs rule that a tap from Radko Gudas was enough to initiate the contact, and the goal stood.
Just a few minutes later, Oliver Bjorkstrand, who scored the 1st goal, came back on for another chance. Elliott made the save, but Bjorkstand kicked the puck in front off the skate of Ivan Provorov and by some dark magic, the puck wound up in the net. Everyone seemed to think it was going to count - heck, remember when Oskar Lindblom got credit for a goal he kicked off a LA King's stick earlier in the season? Thankfully, Rule 49.2 came into effect, which stated that kicking the puck off an opponent and in is still illegal.
Towards the end of the first, the Flyers created a scrum in front of Bob. Giroux looked like he would get the goal, but James van Thru-the-legsdyk put home one of the most beautiful goals of this seas-and it's offsides, nevermind.
But a few minutes later, on basically the same play that was called back minutes earlier, the Flyers struck. After a couple of wacks at a loss puck in front of the Columbus net, Travie Sanheim jumped up on the play and stashed home the loose puck to restore the Flyers lead. The Flyers started the period decently, and although Columbus controlled play by the end of it, Philadelphia still had the lead after 1.
Unfortunately, the second period transpired more like the second half of the 1st period than the 1st. Columbus controlled play, with the Flyers spending most of the frame hemmed in their own zone. Despite all the chances the Jackets generated, it was a weak goal through the 5-hole in-tight on Brian Elliott from Artemi Panarin that tied the game. Ivan Provorov hit iron late in the frame, and then the score stayed tied 2-2 going into the 3rd.
It wouldn't have been an understatement to call the 3rd period the biggest one of the Flyers season. And they came out...flat. The Blue Jackets worked on the puck around with ease, and eventually were beatne by a... routine point-shot from Scott Harrington, seriously, Ells? Harrington's 2nd goal of the season gave Columbus the lead as the clock ticked down.
But wait! With time winding down, Jake the Snake continued a great game against his old team with a cross-ice pass to Travie Sanheim for his 2nd goal of the game, to tie the game with 6 and a half minutes to play.
The game wound up going to overtime, which certainly wasn't ideal for the Flyers against a divisional rival. But much like the Stadium Series, that fact could be overshadowed with a Flyers win. Philadelphia controlled play on overtime, but with less than a minute left, Artemi Panarin walked by G and found Seth Jones for a tap-in backdoor to win the game for the Blue Jackets.
While this loss certainly hurts, it's not a total killer for the Flyers. The fact they got this game to overtime was massive, salvaging a point. The Flyers are now 6 points back of Carolina (8th in the East) and Pittsburgh (9th), which is the closest they've been during this hot streak. Now, facing a weak Devils team, they could creep to within 4 with a win and losses by the Pens (in Buffalo) and Canes (hosting St. Louis). Those are two good teams. Regardless, the Flyers need to take care of their own business, or else this run will end up being in vain.
You know how the Flyers always seem to win despite being outshot? Well guess what, you're not crazy. The Flyers are somehow 18-7-6 in games when being outshot this year, compared to 12-19-2 when outshooting the opposition. Go figure.
Scott Gordon finally did the thing Thursday, benching AMac for Phil Myers. It's a welcome change to see. Granted, Myers probably had his weakest game (out of five) in the NHL. But longterm, this will work. Trust me, Flyers.
This was definitely Brian Elliott's weakest goal since returning. His positioning wasn't great, and he was shaky on both Columbus' 2nd and 3rd goals, as well as a few other routine looking shots. As a result, Cam Talbot it set to make his Flyers debut Friday night against New Jersey.
Travis Sanheim put together his second career multi-goal NHL game Thursday. His first was December 6th, 2018 against... the Blue Jackets.
Seth Jones now has two OT winners against the Flyers this year, the first coming in the aforementioned December 6th meeting in Philly.
The Flyers sent Justin Bailey back down to Lehigh Valley the other day. This was a bit surprising, since Bailey had been decent in the few games he'd played, and as a result the Flyers only have 12 forwards on their active roster.
Another change I'd like to see? Robert Hagg benched for Sam Morin. In nearly two full seasons of work, Hagg has done little to impress (other than hit a ton), and Morin is finally healthy (and in the NHL). Who knows if Morin will ever be anything at the NHL level, but after all the rehab he's gone through, he's earned a shot.
1st - S. Jones (CBJ) - 1 G
2nd - T. Sanheim (PHI) - 2 G
3rd - S. Harrington (CBJ) - 1 G
PHI - 3/1 @ NJ (25-31-8)
CBJ - 3/2 vs. EDM (26-30-7)