The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a pair of key injuries and completed a comeback in Phoenix to beat the Coyotes by the score of 5-3. Jakub Voracek had the game-winning goal with a little over eight minutes left in regulation and set up Wayne Simmonds for the game-tying goal, while Steve Mason stopped 26 of the Coyotes’ 29 shots on net.
Mikkel Boedker had a goal and an assist for Phoenix and Connor Murphy had a pair of assists, as Mike Smith recorded the loss by allowing four goals on 27 shots against.
Down by one heading into the final period, the Flyers responded with a three-goal third period started by Simmonds’ power-play goal.
With Martin Hanzal in the box for holding Claude Giroux, a scrum in front of the net led to Kimmo Timonen passing it cross ice to Voracek, who was to Smith’s left. Circling around the top of the circle, Voracek threw a shot on net that Simmonds was able to deflect. Thanks to Smith sliding over too far for the original save, Simmonds was able to put home the rebound for his 14th of the season to tie the game at three with 15:38 left in regulation.
With less than nine minutes to play, Giroux was able to force Keith Yandle into a turnover at the hands of Voracek. Carrying the puck through the dot to Smith’s left, Voracek looked across the ice as though he was going to pass before ripping one through Smith’s five-hole to give the Flyers their first lead of the game with 8:08 left.
Giroux finalized the score with an empty-net tally from the neutral zone with 31 seconds left for his 12th of the season.
After they looked down and out in the second period trailing by the score of 3-1, the Flyers rallied back despite the services of Michael Raffl and Matt Read. With four lines that don’t exactly have the most experience together, the Orange and Black found a way to limit the Coyotes’ scoring chances later in the game and started cycling better to provide better scoring chances. For one of the final games of the trip with a shortened lineup, the Flyers did an amazing job to earn two points.
Despite failing to convert on three power plays in the opening frame, the Coyotes came out flying to start the second period and grabbed a multi-goal lead before three minutes passed in the middle stanza.
Rob Klinkhammer scored the game’s first goal 1:29 into the second period thanks to a strong play from Antoine Vermette behind Mason’s net. As Vermette fought off a defender, he was able to eventually muscle a pass to the slot for Klinkhammer, who beat Mason’s glove to hit the back bar of the net. After some mild confusion as to whether or not the puck went in, it became clear Klinkhammer potted his eighth of the season.
Lauri Korpikoski extended Phoenix’s lead to two when he slammed home a Murphy blast just 1:25 after Klinkhammer’s tally. Hanzal found Murphy wide open at the opposite point. After Murphy walked into a slap shot, Mason made the original save, but Korpikoski was able to possess the rebound and put it home for his fifth of 2013-2014 with ease.
In a game that looked as though it was about to get out of hand rather quickly for the Flyers, Scott Hartnell made it a one-goal game again with his ninth of the year just 17 seconds after Korpikoski’s goal. After he dealt a pass to Mark Streit, Hartnell circled around to the other side of the ice and received a nice pass from Streit to one-time it past Smith to make it a 2-1 game.
Boedker restored the Coyotes’ two-goal lead a few minutes later, as the forward beat Mason’s blocker side for his 12th of the season. Catching the Flyers in a line change, Boedker walked into the zone and let go of a wrist shot that found the back of the cage.
Jay Rosehill attempted to shift the momentum Philly’s way after a spirited bout with Paul Bissonnette, but the Flyers wouldn’t provide another goal until the final few minutes of the period, as Brayden Schenn reduced the deficit to one.
Braydon Coburn let go of a slap shot from the point to Smith’s right that missed the net. Vincent Lecavalier was able to race to the loose puck behind the net and flip it towards the crease before Smith had time to figure out where the disc had gone following Coburn’s shot. Smith saw the puck find its way to the younger Schenn in the slot, but Phoenix’s goalie wasn’t able to get over in time, as Schenn clanked home his 10th of the year off the inside of the post.
The Orange and Black look to win their fifth tilt on their sixth and final road game of the trip, as they take on the New Jersey Devils.
Notes: Hartnell extended his point streak to seven games with a goal tonight. He has three goals and five assists during the streak…Simmonds scored in a second straight game and extended his point streak to three games. He has two goals and two assists during the streak…In his first game since December 4th, Shane Doan had a hit and a blocked shot in 18:38 TOI…Chris VandeVelde had a hit and a blocked shot in 10:34 TOI in his first game since December 23rd…Philly improved to 1-1-0 against the Coyotes this year. They are now 8-7-1 against the Western Conference and 5-3-0 against the Pacific Division…The Flyers are now 21-17-4. They were 18-21-3 after 42 games last season.