Minus about half of their lineup, the Flyers almost pulled out a victory against the rival New York Rangers last night. Unfortunately, the game happened to be decided by a shootout, and when it comes to that, my faith in getting two points instead of one drop significantly.
Considering the circumstances of this game, a hard-fought shootout loss is far from the worst thing that could have happened. The fact that the Flyers could afford to drop this game but happened to at least get a point is not too shabby. Though, I would say that it is also an indictment of the Rangers situation at the moment.
The circumstances also provided opportunity for multiple Flyers taxi squad players. Andy Andreoff slotted into the fourth line center spot and had four hits; he had played 159 games with the LA Kings from 2014-2018. Czech winger David Kase also saw a return to NHL hockey, he appeared in six games last season and scored once. Maksim Sushko, a fourth-round pick from 2017 debuted last night but only saw about six minutes of ice time.
Fun fact: Last night was the first time that either Claude Giroux or Jake Voracek were not in the Flyers lineup since 2009. Giroux’s remarkable games played streak ended at 328 games as well, thanks to COVID.
The Flyers could not have asked for a better start in this one, Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored 59 seconds into the first period to make it 1-0. He was on a makeshift second line along with Michael Raffl and Kevin Hayes. Hayes had two assists on the night.
It was another game of being outshot, even against a struggling Rangers squad. At the end of the game, the shot tally looked like 33-22 in favor of NY. After the Flyers went down 2-1 with under ten minutes left in the third period, it did not look good.
However, Joel Farabee decided that the game would not end in regulation as he tied it with just over a minute left.
The OT period saw Carter Hart turn into a wall as the Rangers had a powerplay. He made a huge save on star winger Artemi Panarin who had a very clean look on goal. Hart also saved a penalty shot earlier in the second period on Pavel Buchnevich.
New York then scored their first two shootout attempts, so that basically spelled defeat. Seriously, when was the last time the Flyers did that?
Looking forward to Sunday, unfortunately the Flyers will still be without a handful of players. Going up against the Boston Bruins still shorthanded is not ideal, but hopefully it is a competitive game that does not see us outshot 40-20 or something.
The game at Lake Tahoe starts at 2:00PM this Sunday. Let us hope for some outdoor hockey magic.