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Flyers Blow Third Period Lead in Regulation For 1st Time This Season, Allow McDavid and Draisaitl to Take Over in 4-2 Defeat

(Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers lost their first game in regulation when entering the third period with the lead. They were 17-0-1 before tonight’s debacle against the Edmonton Oilers who collected their 12th win of the season after allowing the first goal of the game.

The Flyers held a 2-1 lead going into the final frame and were outshooting the Oilers 16-10, but Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl put on a show for their home crowd as they combined for 3 goals in the middle of the period to snap their 4 game losing streak.

McDavid scored 2 goals and recorded an assist, Draisaitl scored the game tying goal on the power play while also chipping in with 2 assists, and Stuart Skinner made a game-changing save on Owen Tippett midway through the third period that culminated in a turnover by Tony DeAngelo and the Oilers taking the lead. Skinner made 23 saves for the victory, Hart made 23 saves in the defeat but had virtually no chance with the tired legs of the Flyers trying to fight off the ultra-aggressive Oilers offense. Noah Cates opened the scoring with his 9th of the season and Owen Tippett re-took the lead in the second period with his 16th of the season.

A day after finally snapping their 4-game losing streak, the Philadelphia Flyers stayed within the province of Alberta to face off against the vaunted offense of the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers narrowly escaped the clutches of the Calgary Flames thanks to a superb performance in net by rookie goaltender, Samuel Ersson. Wade Allison scored the eventual game-winning goal shortly after the Flyers had blown a 2-goal lead and forced John Tortorella into taking his timeout. On the back-end of their back-to-back set, Carter Hart was in line to faceoff against his hometown Oilers with Stuart Skinner opposite him, looking to snap out of his 3-game funk after posting gaudy numbers for an extended period of time.

Travis Konecny suffered an upper-body injury late in the second period on Monday and did not return. He was out of the lineup tonight and will be evaluated when the Flyers head back home after tonight’s game. Kieffer Bellows made his way into the lineup to replace Konecny and Travis Sanheim replaced Justin Braun after he was made a healthy scratch after a dismal performance against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. The lines were juggled once more with Scott Laughton, Noah Cates, and Wade Allison forming the first line, James van Riemsdyk, Morgan Frost, and Owen Tippett reunited once more, Olle Lycksell, Kevin Hayes, and Joel Farabee as the third line, and Nicolas Deslauriers, Patrick Brown, and Kieffer Bellows as the fourth line. Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim were reunited, while the remaining two pairings were intact from last game.

The Oilers entered tonight’s game on the heels of another blown game against the Colorado Avalanche after holding 3-0, 4-2, and 5-3 leads. They had also lost 4 straight games, have 5 losses in the last 6 games – including a shootout loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia – but 4 of those came in overtime or in the shootouts, and they had collected points in 14 of their last 15. The Oilers pulled a Flyers and went 11/7 due to Evander Kane being held out of the lineup.

Connor McDavid had continued his excellent season coming into this game with 42 goals and 102 points, Leon Draisaitl behind him with 82 points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins enjoying a career year with 27 goals and 69 points in 57 games, and Zach Hyman with 27 goals and 67 points in 56 games. McDavid was 1 point away from career point 800, Draisaitl was 2 away from 700, and Nugent-Hopkins was 3 away from 600; perhaps some milestone watching tonight for Oilers fans.


Unlike their previous matchup, the Oilers looked ready and poised to break out of their slump as they started the game with all the pressure, which generated the first 4 shots within the first 5 minutes. The Flyers have had a tough time with generating offense, let alone getting shots towards the net, and that trend continued tonight with their first shot coming at the 7:12 mark of the first period.

Coming out of the first commercial break, Joel Farabee was high-sticked by Brett Kulak, sending the Flyers to the first power play of the game. Tippett, Frost, Laughton, DeAngelo, and Ristolainen were on the ice and in the offensive zone for the first 90 seconds and fired a few shots, but nothing that troubled Skinner. The Oilers’ penalty kill ranked 25th in the NHL and 30th on home ice coming into this game, but the Flyers rank dead last and had gone 2 for their last 20 before this opportunity.

Seconds after the penalty had expired, Noah Cates opened the scoring with his 9th of the season with 9:59 remaining in the period. Wade Allison won the board battle after Nicolas Deslauriers dumped the puck in. Allison then sent it around to Cates who beat Skinner and probably surprised the goaltender with a very quick wrap-around attempt.

After starting out the game with a lot of speed, intensity, and pace, the Oilers sagged back and were without a shot on goal for nearly 8 minutes by the time both teams headed towards the second commercial break.

Similar to their last game against one and another, the Flyers did a very good job at clogging the neutral zone, forcing the Oilers to turn it over with their aggressive forecheck and defense, and were playing the game at their pace instead of the Oilers controlling it with McDavid, Draisaitl, and company. The Flyers were getting pucks in deep, playing the cycle game in the offensive zone and started the game exactly how they would have wanted to with tired legs. However with only 6 seconds left in the period, Joel Farabee was called for a high-sticking minor, the first minor penalty against the Flyers in nearly 4 periods against the Oilers this season.

It was a very unnecessary penalty by the young forward with 6 ticks remaining and the Flyers in the offensive zone. Ivan Provorov’s point shot missed the net but Farabee, who was tied up with Evan Bouchard, nudged him at ear-level, sending a dangerous unit to work with very little time remaining. Unfortunately for the Flyers, who played a very good period, it only took Edmonton 3 seconds to tie the game after Tyson Barrie’s point shot beat Carter Hart high glove-side with traffic in the way.

It was reminiscent of Vancouver’s power play goal from Saturday night where they scored 4 seconds into the man advantage after Elias Pettersson’s slap shot was deflected by Anthony Beauvillier – the key was the faceoff win, something we’ve heard and seen all season long.

After Edmonton fired the first 4 shots 4:58 into the game, the Flyers countered with the next 9 from the 7:12 mark all the way to Barrie’s goal with 3 seconds left in the period. The Oilers went nearly 15 minutes without a shot but as fate would have it, their next one would be the game tying goal – similar to Monday’s game when the Flyers’ first shot of the third period became the eventual game winning goal after 11 minutes of intense pressure from the Flames.


Things started opening up in the second period after a tentative first 20 minutes. The shots on goal didn’t reflect the change of pace because by the midway mark of the second frame the Flyers held a 5-3 advantage, but the Oilers had several dangerous odd-man rushes that either they fumbled with an extra pass or the Flyers played very well defensively. They had a scrum or two in and around Hart’s blue paint but he was able to locate the puck for the whistle the first time around, while Travis Sanheim cleared the porched on the second occasion.

The Flyers on the other hand had a few chances of their own, including Owen Tippett coming down the rush with his wicked snap shot, Kevin Hayes rang the post on another attempt, and Stuart Skinner misplayed the puck behind the net that almost resulted in a bank-in goal for Tippett from below the goal line.

With 8:23 left in the period, Tippett – who had been everywhere this period – gave the Flyers the lead again after redirecting a pass from Kevin Hayes in the slot. The Flyers tried jumpstarting the play with a stretch pass from their own end but it failed to connect, however they jumped on a Cody Ceci turnover after he tried an ill-advised pass from behind his net. Olle Lycksell won the puck and quickly fed a pass to Hayes who found a streaking Tippett for the redirection for his 16th of the season, and incidentally Lycksell’s first career NHL point.

With 4:56 remaining, the Flyers took another ill-advised penalty after Wade Allison was called for a tripping minor as he got his right skate behind the leg of Tyson Barrie in the offensive zone. The number one ranked power play that was connecting at a 31% rate before tonight’s game had a few chances right off the opening draw, but the Flyers mitigated their opportunities the rest of the way, killing off a very important penalty.

29 seconds – and with 2:27 left – after the expiration of the penalty, Ryan McLeod was called for a hooking minor after a hardworking shift by the Patrick Brown and the Flyers’ fourth line. The Flyers turned out another abysmal power play attempt that generated 0 shots on goal but things almost turned on their head after Connor McDavid weaved from one end to the other after stealing the puck but ripped it off the post.

The Flyers survived their own power play and entered the third period with a 2-1 lead, a 16-10 shot advantage, and held a 7-5 edge in the second frame.


5:58 into the third period, Olle Lycksell was whistled down for a high-sticking double-minor with the Oilers looking a lot more dangerous to start the third period. It only took the Oilers 51 seconds to tie the game with some nifty passing from the trio looking for milestones.

Leon Draisaitl finished off a cross-seam pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after McDavid kept the puck in the zone. Carter Hart had no chance after Zach Hyman was cross-checked into him by Travis Sanheim as he tried to make the outstretched glove save with Draisaitl double-clutching. Draisaitl recorded his 31st goal of the season, 2nd point of the game, and 700th career point, while McDavid recorded his 61st assist of the season and 800th career point.

The Flyers survived the second minor penalty but barely at that, and after firing 6 shots in the final 35 minutes through 2 periods, the Oilers already had 8 in the first 9 minutes of the third period. McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins were all over the Flyers who just couldn’t seem to win a faceoff or gain possession of the puck. Owen Tippett tried taking matters into his own hands after the expiration of the penalty, but he was absolutely robbed by Skinner, who first stopped Morgan Frost’s shot and then stretched out the pad to rob Tippett.

The Oilers went the other way and almost took the lead after Tony DeAngelo made an ill-advised play by turning around in his own zone instead of moving forward and getting the puck out of the zone. They were forced to ice the puck after the Oilers started jamming away and after losing another faceoff, the Oilers pinballed the puck around after the Flyers failed to clear it and McDavid was able to get the puck through the wickets of Hart after his pass attempt went off the diving Travis Sanheim and past the goaltender for his 43rd goal of the season, and 2nd point of the period with 7:21 left in regulation.

The Oilers almost iced the game with a shade over 3 minutes left after Scott Laughton tried making a pass to a teammate, but everyone wearing Orange and White was more focused on making a line change and not what Laughton was doing, which allowed Brett Kulak to walk in all alone after the turnover but was robbed by the pad of Carter Hart – the 16th shot he faced in the period. The Flyers then went the other way and once set up in the offensive zone pulled Hart for the extra attacker.

Evan Bouchard was whistled for a delay of game penalty with 2:48 remaining and the Flyers came out with a 6-on-4 advantage. 23 seconds into the power play, after a big blocked shot by Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid looped the puck from his own end into the empty net for his 2nd of the period and 44th of the season.

Hart was pulled again for the extra attacker and while the Flyers looked more dangerous, they were unable to finish any of their chances as the Oilers iced the game in the third period courtesy of their dynamic duo, who combined for all 3 goals in a span of 10 and a half minutes.

The Oilers went 40 minutes with only 10 shots on goal and looked frustrated by their forechecking, but their skill was too much for the will of the Flyers as they turned it up a notch and fired 17 shots in the final frame and looked effortlessly dangerous.

The Flyers have to be one of the worst teams with a 2-man advantage and that is evidenced by their lack of 5-on-3 goals and allowing 3 shorthanded empty net goals in their last 3 games – 2 against Vancouver and 1 tonight.


The Flyers return to Wells Fargo Center on Friday night (7:00pm ET) to host the Montreal Canadiens.

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