Despite a first period that showed some promise, the Flyers were unable to hold off the Anaheim Ducks and saw their first loss in three games. Matt Read and Vinny Lecavalier were responsible for the two Philadelphia goals, while Kyle Palmieri scored two and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim.
The Flyers got off to a slow start in the first period, but once Read opened up the scoring at 3:40 in, the team was crackling with energy. Save for a few sloppy moves – turnovers, missed passes – the team looked strong, and Steve Mason held down the fort in net to prevent any of the Ducks’ ten shots from going in. Lecavalier’s powerplay goal at 16:34 secured the Flyers’ two-goal lead that they carried into the second.
Philadelphia’s strong play continued into the second period, where they attempted seven shots on Jonas Hiller, though they weren’t able to capitalize. And despite some defensive breakdowns, they managed to hold off the Ducks — that is, until Cogliano’s goal with just about four minutes left in the period. Nicklas Grossmann had a terrible turnover that practically fed the puck to Ryan Getzlaf, and he threw the it into the end boards, where a lucky bounce reached Cogliano and he scored.
Both teams had their chances, including what would’ve been a nifty spin-o-rama from Jakub Voracek and a breakaway attempt from Ryan Getzlaf, but Cogliano’s goal was the lone one of the second period. The Ducks lead the Flyers 11-7 in shots after the period, though Philadelphia still lead in shots, 22-21, through 40 minutes.
The Ducks wasted no time tying the game up in the third period, with Palmieri’s first goal of the night coming at just 1:01 in. Another brutal Flyers turnover – this one from Lecavalier – allowed Anaheim to score. Those two unanswered goals seemed to take the wind out of the Flyers’ sails, and the Ducks had all the momentum throughout the third period.
Palmieri’s second goal came at 15:51, assisted by Nick Bonino and Sami Vatanen. If not for Steve Mason coming up big for Philadelphia, his team would’ve suffered an even bigger loss after the Ducks’ offensive prowess and the Flyers’ own breakdowns in the third.
Despite the Flyers’ energy in the first period, they still struggled with turnovers. Had they had better puck control, the Ducks may not have scored two of their three goals. Their offense has improved over the last several games, but the defense needs some serious improvement if this team is going to find much success this season.
Wayne Simmonds, hooking (6:41, 1st)
Ryan Getzlaf, slashing (15:21, 1st)
Claude Giroux, embellishment (9:48, 2nd)
Nick Bonino, hooking (11:11, 2nd)
Kyle Palmieri, too many men (17:05, 3rd)
Game notes: The Anaheim Ducks extended their win streak to three games after tonight’s win over the Flyers… Wayne Simmonds had a strong night all over the ice, with two assists and several other chances… Steve Mason saved 34 of 37, and was the reason the Ducks didn’t absolutely bury the Flyers… Teemu Selanne took a high stick to the face at the start of the third period and was bleeding as he left the ice. He did not return… The Flyers will face the Washington Capitals (5-7-0) for the first time this season on Friday night. Alex Ovechkin leads his team in goals and points with 10 and 15, respectively.