Flyers Drop Pair to Start Season

Published on January 20th, 2013

by Mike del Tufo

The Philadelphia Flyers played both Saturday and Sunday of opening weekend and were unable to garner a point from either game. 

They hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first game and dropped a rather ho-hum game to their hated rivals 3-1.  Usually games between the two teams feature a lot more physicality.  Other than a little rough play in the 2nd period, it was a rather quiet game.  The Pens scored twice in the 1st period and that would be all they needed.  The Flyers got their goal 23 seconds into the 2nd period when new Flyers captain Claude Giroux scored on a nice pass from winger Scott Hartnell.  The Pens got an empty-netter in the 3rd period to seal the win.

Hartnell said, “A disappointing start for sure.  I don’t know if you want to chalk it up to not playing for eight months or whatever, but we didn’t’ have any legs that first period.  Special teams I think was the biggest difference.  We had a lot of chances and we executed except for putting the puck in the net.  A little frustrating to start like that at home.  We wanted to have a good start obviously, and we didn’t do that.”

For the Sunday game, the Flyers traveled to Buffalo to play the Sabres.  It was the Sabres’ 1st game so they did have that advantage over the possibly weary Flyers.  The Flyers hung tough through two periods as the teams were tied 2-2.  Giroux had another goal and Sean Couturier netted his 1st of the season.  With just over 5 minutes left in regulation, however, the Sabres scored their 3rd power-play goal of the game to grab the lead.  They added two more goals to cruise to a 5-2 win.

It was an unimpressive start to the Flyers season.  They gave up 4 power-play goals and only scored one.  All three of their goals were in the 2nd period.  They had slow starts and mediocre finishes.  It is hard to win NHL games when you do that.

NHL teams can ill afford to struggle early as the 2012-13 regular season is just a mere 48 games as opposed to the 82 it usually is.  The Flyers have already put themselves in a hole and immediately need to make adjustments.  A prolonged slump and any chance of the playoffs will disappear in this abbreviated season.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said, “You never want to sit on a loss too long.”  They head to New Jersey for a game against the Devils on Tuesday to try and notch their 1st win of the season.

 

New Flyers captain Giroux scored in each of their first 2 games Source: Andrew King

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