Thrashers Stun Flyers 5-4 in OT

Published on March 13th, 2011

by Mike del Tufo

Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Philadelphia Flyers fell to the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 in OT.  It was an embarrassing loss as the team led 3-0 going into the 3rd period.  This was the 2nd of 4 meetings between the Flyers and the Thrashers this season.  The Flyers won the first time they played.  They play next March 17th in Atlanta.  For this game, Ondrej Pavelec started in net for the Thrashers and Sergei Bobrovsky for the Flyers.

Flyers forward combinations:
Briere-Leino-Hartnell
Carter-Giroux-JVR
Richards-Versteeg- Carcillo
Betts-Powe-Shelley

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Boynton-Carle
Meszaros-O’Donnell

It was a slow start for the Flyers as they only had 2 shots through the first 13 minutes of the 1st period.  Then at 14:11, an uncovered Ville Leino banged in a pass from forward Scott Hartnell to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.  It was not an especially strong period for the Flyers but they had the lead.  They were out-shot 10 to 4 in this opening period.

The Flyers buried a short-handed goal at 4:21 of the 2nd period.  Captain Mike Richards went in alone on Pavelec, faked a shot, and slid a pass across the crease to defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who shot it into an empty net.  At 14:22, Leino struck again when he dove and knocked in a loose puck into an empty net.  It was a power-play goal.  After two periods, the Flyers were up 3-0 but trailed in shots 21 to 12.

The Thrashers changed goaltenders to start the 3rd period.  Chris Mason replaced Pavelec.  Evander Kane got the Thrashers on the board after a strong individual effort at 1:09.  He was able to battle off Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell and then slipped it past Bob.  Then at 12:15, Bob was handcuffed by a shot by Zach Bogosian.  It squeezed through his five-hole to make it 3-2.  The Flyers seemed to regain control when Leino completed his hat-trick at 13:32.  It was again on the power-play.  Just when it looked like the game was over, the Thrashers got another at17:01 when defenseman Tobias Enstrom blasted one in on the power-play.  The Flyers then unbelievably gave up a 4th and tying goal at 19:15 when Andrew Ladd wristed it in. 

The teams went to overtime and the Thrashers riding a huge wave of momentum won on a goal by Ron Hainsey at 1:17.  It was certainly one of the Flyers’ ugliest losses of the season.

Flyers forward Danny Briere on the brutal loss said, “We blew a 3-0 lead and even a 4-2 lead.  We knew they were going to come out and fight for everything they had.  This is basically their season and we have to see them twice again.  I wish I had a better answer.  I mean, it’s scary.”  He continued, “The frustrating part is that it has been going on now for most of the year.  It seems like we can’t lock up games.  A lot of times we’re able to over-compensate because we can score a lot of goals and somehow find a way to get another one.  But, we’re losing tight games.  I don’t know how to explain it.  It’s something we have to fix before the playoff run.  We all understand that the games in the playoffs are all closely played for the most part.  We’re not going to blow games 6-1 or 7-1 like we have been in the regular season.  We have to learn to close those tight games.”

This ended the Flyers’ 2-game winning streak.  Their next game is in Florida vs. the Panthers on Tuesday March 15th.

The Flyers wasted a hat trick by Ville Leino

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