The Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night. Steve Mason and Roberto Luongo got the start in net, and in the end, Luongo would get the best of the Flyers and get the win, as a late goal from Ryan Kesler buried the Flyers for the sixth time in seven games this year. The team's third-period struggles continue, as the Flyers had a 2-1 lead with under 13 minutes to play. They gave up two goals in the third period, and lost yet another game to fall farther behind in the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference. This loss comes as a stark reminder as to how terrible of a start the Flyers are off to this season. Tye McGinn scored both Flyer goals on the night, and has scored three goals in two games.
The Flyers got their first goal of the night with under 8 minutes remaining in the opening period, as Tye McGinn backhanded home a rebound off of a Nicklas Grossman shot on Roberto Luongo. McGinn, who was put on the first line this evening by Craig Berube with Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, quickly paid dividends, giving the Flyers the early lead. The lead, however, lasted all of ten seconds. Vancouver won the draw off the ensuing faceoff, got the puck past Mason to the boards, and the puck took an unfortunate hop off the boards behind the net out in front. Mason erroneously tried to play the puck behind the net, and the strange bounce sent the puck right out in front to Ryan Kesler who deposited it in the open net for his second goal of the season. The Flyers had just nine shots on goal in the first period, but the Canucks would only muster five.
It didn't take the Flyers long to get the lead back in the second period. None other than Tye McGinn struck again just over two minutes into the period, putting yet another backhander past Mason. However, this was only one of five shots by the Flyers in the period, and all the offense that they would be able to manage. The Canucks did not have a particularly good offensive period either, although they did log 11 shots. However, Steve Mason was there to stop every one of those shots and preserve the lead through the end of the period. There was more of a neutral zone battle throughout the period, as both teams had a little trouble getting set up offensively.
While the Flyers came out looking good to begin the third period, it did not take the Canucks long to even the game up. With about 12:30 remaining in the final period, Vancouver would score on a Chris Higgins goal. Henrik Sedin set up behind the net on the play and made a laser of a pass to Higgins, who blasted the puck right past Steve Mason from deep in the slot. Both teams had their chances in the third period, including the Flyers, who were stifled on a power play by the Vancouver defense, who blocked a number of shots from reaching Luongo. Ultimately, a quick foray into the Flyers' offensive zone late in the period by the Canucks' top line would bury the Flyers in heartbreaking fashion, as Kesler scored his second of the game, on a chance generated by Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin.
The Flyers have been absolutely atrocious in the third period this season, being outscored 10-2. Again, they played a relatively solid game for most of the game, and completely fell apart in the third period. This was an incredibly hard luck loss, as the Flyers looked in position to pick up a point for at least most of the game. It was only in the last couple minutes of the game that things fell apart – and the Flyers only made one offensive zone error to generate the game-winning Vancouver chance. Tye McGinn was the one bright spot for the Flyers this evening, scoring both goals and looking very good on most shifts. But his great effort tonight will go overlooked, as the team again failed to close the game out. It has been a terrible season for Flyers fans so far. The only game in seven games they have won this season was Craig Berube's debut last week. They have not scored more than 2 goals in a game so far. They fall to a dismal 1-6-0 mark as they head into a tough Thursday night matchup with the hot Pittsburgh Penguins.
Vancouver – 12:36: Ryan Kesler (2), Assisted by Jannik Hansen (1) and Christopher Tanev (3)
Vancouver – 7:31: Chris Higgins (1), Assisted by Henrik Sedin (7)
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