The Philadelphia Flyers, fresh off a 6-2 thumping on Thursday at home at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, played host yet again in the second of three games on this homestand against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks beat the Flyers 3-2 on December 30th in San Jose in Felix Sandström’s phenomenal NHL debut, and Philadelphia was certainly looking for not just revenge, but some momentum to help get them out of this recent four-game losing streak. They’d fall short in what they were looking for as they lost to the Sharks 3-2 in overtime while allowing over 40 shots, the same fashion that they lost to San Jose the first time around.
The Sharks came out firing to begin this one, netting the first three shots on goal in the game all within the first 58 seconds of action. Martin Jones was certainly up to the task against his former team, and kept the Sharks at bay throughout the period.
Philadelphia received the game’s first penalty at 6:08 after Joel Farabee was whistled for tripping up Tomáš Hertl, and San Jose would head to the power play. The Flyers were able to stave off the Sharks’ efforts with the man advantage and kept the game scoreless, largely thanks to Jones.
The Flyers would fight back with some good scoring chances of their own and were evening the shots on goal battle throughout the opening period. Neither team could find the back of the net as Jones and Adin Hill were spectacular throughout the first twenty minutes, but there sure was a lot of rubber fired at both cages.
At the first intermission, the Flyers led 15-13 in shots on goal and seemed to be buzzing a bit more than San Jose, and they hoped to keep that momentum up through the second period.
The Flyers played rather well again, but the Sharks came out with more energy than they had ended the first period with. San Jose was giving Jones and the Flyers everything they could handle as time wore on through the middle frame. The shots weren’t as prevalent as they were in the first, but the Sharks were doing a better job at keeping Philadelphia on their toes in their own end. They were also doing a much better job at preventing the Flyers from getting as many shots on Hill as before or even really establishing any extensive time in the San Jose zone.
The Flyers would get their first power play at 14:01 in the period after Patrick Brown was interfered with by Jaycob Megna, and the Sharks would go up against a constantly struggling Philadelphia power play. Despite some good puck movement and some grade-A chances, the Flyers couldn’t capitalize and the game remained at 0-0.
That score is how things would wind up turning out at after two periods of play. The Sharks led 13-10 in shots during the second period and 26-25 overall through forty minutes. Tonight would be a case of win the third period, win the game, and it would certainly be a tight match going forward.
Philadelphia decided to finally get one of those pesky pucks in the net this time, and just 66 seconds in, James van Riemsdyk made good on a shot off the rush. van Riemsdyk skated into the Sharks zone with speed and wired one past the glove of Hill to make it 1-0 Flyers early in the third period.
James van Riemsdyk with six goals in the last 11 games. 💪 pic.twitter.com/1NoAlIxDgs
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 9, 2022
The Flyers were certainly energized after van Riemsdyk’s eighth tally of the year, and despite the Sharks continuing to pepper Jones and the Flyers’ cage, Philadelphia kept their own foot on the gas and drew a penalty at 5:56 after Jeffrey Viel hauled down Oskar Lindblom and was sent off for tripping.
51 seconds into the power play, the Flyers actually managed to score! Yes, they finally scored a power play goal. Cam York snapped a shot from the point that bounced off van Riemsdyk, then off Mario Ferraro, and the Sharks defender couldn’t stop the trickling puck from crossing the line behind his goaltender and JVR’s second of the night gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead. York would pick up his first NHL point on the play with the assist.
Make that seven goals in the last 11 games. 😏
And Cam York's first point as an NHLer. Many more to come, too. pic.twitter.com/ET7BB38cSH
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 9, 2022
The Sharks wouldn’t go away quietly however, and just exactly one minute after van Riemsdyk’s power play marker, Hertl would cut the Flyers’ lead to one. Timo Meier backhanded a shot on goal through some traffic and Jones had trouble corralling it, as Hertl was alone on the doorstep and deflected it though Jones to make it a 2-1 game with 12:13 to play in the period.
San Jose would end up getting another power play at 11:54 after Gerry Mayhew was called for slashing against Noah Gregor, and the Sharks would look to tie the game up. Fortunately, the Flyers’ penalty killers were up to the task, and Joel Farabee even got a breakaway opportunity during the kill, and the Flyers killed off Mayhew’s minor.
While they tried their best after the penalty expired, it was Hertl who played hero again for the Sharks to tie the game at 2-2. After Brent Burns backhanded a shot from the slot into traffic, Meier retrieved it and then dished it to Hertl, who beat Jones past the outstretched left pad to tie the game with 5:31 to play. San Jose had dominated the period and finally made Philadelphia pay again to even the score.
Despite more chances at each end, we would need overtime to finish this one out. It was 2-2 after sixty minutes, with the Sharks crushing the Flyers in shots 20-5 in the third period. It was 46-30 total in favor of San Jose entering overtime, and they had clearly been the better team in the third after the Flyers’ two goals. They were hungry and ready to pounce on any opportunities to finish off the Flyers.
It didn’t take long, 24 seconds to be exact. Cam Atkinson was able to wire a shot on net that Hill turned aside with ease 15 seconds in, and the Sharks immediately turned up ice and had a 2-on-1 entering the zone. Burns sent the puck up ice and Hertl was able to keep the pass away from Atkinson, and he rushed in on Jones with Meier while York was defending. York sealed off Meier, but Hertl beat Jones short side to score the natural hat trick and the game-winner for the Sharks in a come from behind effort to get San Jose the victory in Philadelphia.
THREE STARS: 1) Tomáš Hertl – SJS, 2) James van Riemsdyk – PHI, 3) Adin Hill – SJS
The Flyers will close out their homestand on Tuesday night when the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes visit Wells Fargo Center looking to add onto their division lead. The Flyers, on the other hand, will be looking to pick up the pieces and rise from their fifth straight defeat.
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