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With less than 24 hours between games on the west coast, the Flyers lose a tough one in overtime Friday night, 4-3 in the desert. Philadelphia was able to turn some sloppy play and carelessness with the puck into a point in this one, as the club has now scored seven goals in two games this season. Perhaps some fatigue played a factor here so the Flyers will take the point and will look to take a possible five of six available points in Chicago Tuesday night.
The Flyers received goals from Michael Raffl (1), Wayne Simmonds (1), and Matt Read (1) in the loss. Philadelphia found themselves chasing the game early as the club’s inability to stay out of the box stunted their chances to create more offense. The Flyers headed to the sinbin a total of seven times for the game, but had their fair share of powerplay opportunity themselves, going 1/4 on the man advantage in the contest. As I’ve said in the past, blaming officiating for a game, especially a game you lose, is the attitude of losers. That said, last night’s officials were erratic at best. It wasn’t so much about missed calls as it was the inconsistency. The Flyers did not lose last night because of that, but I think both teams would have liked to have seen a better performance from the referees.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason stopped 31 of 35 shots fired his way. Mason could have stood to be better than he was, although the team in front of him was sloppy enough for that not to matter. They’ll look to rebound collectively on Tuesday, even though the team will likely turn back to Neuvirth in the windy city.
Here’s your final thought:
Final Thought: Brandon Manning continues to step up
Defensemen Brandon Manning is leading the Flyers in assists and tied in points right now. With Philadelphia’s blueline depth ravaged with injury and suspension, Manning has surprisingly been a two-way force. He’s making good decisions with the puck, effectively jumping into plays, all while maintaining the physical edge that made him worth a spot in the lineup during the playoffs last season. It’s still very early in the year, but one has to be encouraging by one the Flyers less recognized young players.