Looking to replicate a similar type performance to the one they turned in on Friday night, the Philadelphia Flyers old shootout woes cost them as they were beat by the Florida Panthers Saturday night. Beyond that, it was a poor night for the Flyers defensively as several busted coverages led to Florida’s scoring chances from point blank range. The Flyers did manage to continue to push after that and actually led twice in the game but perhaps fatigue played a factor as the game wore along. Every point is important at this stage of the season so Philly will take the little ground gained on the idle Pittsburgh Penguins and refocus themselves for a monumental game against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.The Flyers received goals from Nick Cousins (5th), Ryan White (8th), Michael Raffl (10th) and Shayne Gostisbehere (15th) in losing cause. It was again the secondary scoring for the Flyers that paid big dividends in the game and were the ones that kept them in it throughout. The second Powerplay unit again got on the score sheet with a Ryan White redirection goal, giving the Flyers the added pick-me-up when the game started to go a little sideways. Overall, Philadelphia managed to go into 2 cities they typically don’t play well in with back to back games on the docket and managed to get 3 of a possible 4 points. Getting 4 of 4 would have been huge but getting 3 is pretty good too.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason stopped 25 of 29 shots fired his way as his record now drops to 16-15-8 on the year. Many were disgruntled with Mason’s performance in the shootout and while he undoubtedly needs to be better in that area, this loss is not on him. I came away much more concerned with the Flyers coverage in the defensive zone and decision making. Besides the odd man rush on the Panthers first goal, all of their others tallies came from in and around the harsh marks. From that spot on the ice, a team as talented as the Panthers will not miss from there and it became rather easy for them to get in those positions because the Flyers’ coverage was well below average for the night. That can’t be on the goaltender and the team in front of him needs to take care of that. They didn’t tonight.
Here is your notable for the game:
With Jake Voracek nearing his return to the lineup, Coach Dave Hakstol will soon be faced with a difficult decision when it pertains to who he will sit when Voracek is healthy. Many have it down to either Nick Cousins or Sam Gagner being the odd man out but both have played so well that it almost makes it impossible for both players not to remain in the lineup. It may need to come down to one of the players on the fourth line (Vandevelde, Bellemare, or White) in order to build the lineup that gives the team the best chance to win. This will be an interesting thing to monitor as Voracek is said to be targeting a return to the lineup against the Detroit Red wings this Tuesday night.