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POSTGAME 5: Desert Heat

Flyers drop 6-2 decision to Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Arizona on Saturday night

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

The Philadelphia Flyers' woes on the road continued on Saturday night, as the they fell to the Arizona Coyotes, 6-2, at Gila River Arena.

Brad Richardson, Jordan Oesterle and Clayton Keller built a 3-0 lead for the Coyotes in the first period. Lawson Crouse added a buzzer beater in the final tick of the second period clock. 

Tyler Pitlick got the Flyers on the board early in the third, but Keller got the goal right back with his second tally of the game. Justin Braun narrowed the gap to 5-2 on a bank shot from behind the goal line. Derek Stepan closed out the scoring with a shorthanded empty netter.

Flyers starter Carter Hart went just 16:15, giving up three goals on 12 shots before giving way to Brian Elliott. In relief, Elliott stopped 7 of 9.

Coyotes starter Antti Raanta had to leave the game after two periods. He stopped all 17 shots he faced. Adin Hill went the rest of the way, and struggled mightily. Hill stopped eight of 10.

Three Stars:
1st: Clayton Keller (2g)
2nd: Lawson Crouse (1g, 4 hits)
3rd: Nick Schmaltz (2a)

The Flyers effort over the first 12 minutes of the game was a major improvement from the previous three games. The best early chance for either team was one by the Flyers' Tyler Pitlick, taking the puck to the net. Then disaster struck Philadelphia - again. The Flyers gave up back-to-back funky goals spaced just 57 seconds apart.

* The Flyers had a good start to the first period and won their share of battles. However, that was hardly very comforting in a period where they went off trailing 3-0. It was the third straight game the team has yielded at least three goals in the first period.

* The Flyers had good pressure on the latter part of their second power play of the game and that continued shortly after play returned to even strength. Antti Raanta stepped up during this segment to project his team's three-goal lead. 

* Otherwise, the second period was rather low event -- for both teams -- as the Coyotes set up a neutral zone trap and clogged the ice. Philly didn't give up much, either. That is, until Lawson Crouse beat Elliott with a rising backhander from near the hash marks in the final second of the period, and the Flyers already cavernous deficit grew to four goals.Video: PHI@ARI: Pitlick gashes defense, pots nice tally

* Tyler Pitlick scored his fourth goal of the season and led the Flyers in shots on goal (4).

* Justin Braun scored the second Flyers goal, giving him five points (2g-3a) in his last six games.

* The Flyers dropped both games in regulation to the Coyotes this season for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

* The Flyers finally end their six-game road trip in Raleigh on Tuesday when they take on the Hurricanes (7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic.

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to ARZVideo: Hear from Pitlick, Couturier and Hart following loss

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