The Flyers third regular season game started out like the first two, with the team in orange and black playing from behind. They found themselves down one just fifty-six seconds into the game as Patrick Kane tucked a wrap around past Michal Neuvirth.
After Kane’s goal the Flyers settled into the game and played a pretty decent first period, until the final two minutes and forty seconds. Ivan Provorov chased down a loose puck in the Flyers zone before slipping and presenting Dennis Rasmussen a breakaway which he buried on his backhand. Sensing his frustration, Claude Giroux went over to the young Russian and let him know to keep playing his game. Chicago capitalized on a Shayne Gostisbehere penalty with Artemi Panarin scoring on essentially an empty net to extend their lead to 3. Philadelphia headed to the intermission facing their largest deficit of the young season and things got worse before they got better.
The 2nd period more or less belonged to the Blackhawks as they controlled most of the play in the Flyers zone and scored another power play goal as Marian Hossa potted his 500th NHL goal past Neuvirth. That goal signaled the end of his night, as Dave Hakstol made the switch to Steve Mason in hopes to get his team going. After the goalie change a switch clicked for the Flyers as they began to carry play and get scoring chances on Cory Crawford but they couldn’t find a way to get the puck past him. That all changed late in period when Matt Read scored on the power play after the puck ricocheted out front off the boards.
Philadelphia had all of the momentum going into the 3rd, and boy did they use it. A 4-0 game quickly became a 4-4 game in 5:26. Read scored his 2nd of the game after he took a slick pass from the Captain Claude Giroux and he beat Crawford upstairs to shrink the lead to two.
Sean Couturier added a third after a give-and-go between Nick Schultz and the other 19 year old, Travis Konecny. Soon after that, Wayne Simmonds scored one of his patented power play goals as he knocked home his own rebound. The goal was set up by a dazzling deke by Jake Voracek as he turned Duncan Keith inside out.
Chicago called a timeout to settle the game down and after that the Flyers surge was muted and the game became much more of a back and forth with the teams trading chances. A turnover from Giroux led to a nice passing play by the Kane-Anisimov-Panarin line and Anisimov finished the play by one timing Panarin’s pass by a sprawling Mason. With the Blackhawks back up one, Steve Mason made a tremendous kick save on Kane to keep the lead to just one.
STONE COLD pic.twitter.com/0WHh7GcLi6
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) October 19, 2016
It was a night to forget for Ivan Provorov, as he misplaced a pass to Couturier and that turnover set Kane and Panarin on a 2-1. Kane fed Panarin who finished another one timer past Mason for his second goal of the night and ended the Flyers comeback hopes. An empty netter was added by Anisimov and the final horn blew with the home team skating off with a 7-4 victory.
With the loss, the Flyers are now 1-1-1 on the season.
It definitely wasn’t the result the Flyers were looking for to end their opening road trip, but they can take positives away from tonight’s game and fix their mistakes going forward. On Thursday night the Flyers host the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center in the team’s home opener.
Michael Raffl left the game midway trough the 2nd period and did not return with an upper body injury. Expect GM Ron Hextall to reveal more about his injury before Thursday.
Roman Lyubimov played in his first NHL game after 6 years in the KHL, he replaced Nick Cousins who has a healthy scratch.
Shayne Gostisbehere led the team in TOI with 23:16, and the next two players were Giroux and Simmonds with 22:47 and 22:06 respectively.
Both teams scored two power play goals as Chicago was 2/3 with the extra man and Philadelphia was 2/4.
This was the Flyers first loss to the Blackhawks since October of 2014.