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POSTGAME 5: Late goal dooms Flyers

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers came back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to tie the game in the third, but Brett Connolly scored with just under two minutes remaining to give Boston a 3-2 win. The Bruins took an early lead on power play goals by Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, but Wayne Simmonds erased the lead with a power play goal 3:45 into the second period and an even-strength goal at 12:08 of the third. Boston went ahead to stay with 1:54 remaining when Connolly redirected a Zdeno Chara shot off the ice and up over the shoulder of Michal Neuvirth, who made 28 of 31 saves in the losing cause. Tuukka Rask took the win with 34 saves on 36 shots.
With 2:21 left in the third period, Michael Del Zotto’s stick did not survive a puck battle between him and Brad Marchand in the corner of the Flyers zone.  As is customary in hockey circles, a forward, in this case Jake Voracek, loaned his stick to the sticklessly-defending Del Zotto. Moments after the selfless act, Radko Gudas played a puck up the far wall that Zdeno Chara was able to keep in the zone thanks in large part to the fact that Voracek, the closest Flyer to Chara, no longer had a stick. Voracek obtained a new twig from the bench right after the pinch-in, but the Flyers never got another opportunity to clear the zone before Chara’s point shot that was deflected home by Brett Connolly with 1:54 remaining.

1ST – Wayne Simmonds: Had a monster game for the Flyers in a losing cause, scoring two goals on nine shots while also leading the team with five hits. Simmonds had 15 total shot attempts on the game.  

2ND – Brett Connolly: Deflected a Zdeno Chara slapshot down into the ice that bounced over the shoulder of Neuvirth for the game-winning goal.  

3RD – Zdeno Chara: Had two assists, including the aforementioned shot, and was credited with three hits and five blocked shots.     

Simmonds had the second-highest total of his career. He had 10 shots in a 4-1 win over Nashville on Feb. 2, 2012, a game in which he also had two goals. It was the 20th career game of two or more goals for Simmonds, and his third this season. Simmonds also led the Flyers with five hits… The Flyers suffered a one-goal loss for the third consecutive game. The Flyers haven’t lost a game by more than one goal since December 30. It’s the second time in the last three games the Flyers have lost a game on a goal scored in the final two minutes of regulation… The Flyers scored a power play goal for the third consecutive game. The power play is 4-for-13 (30.8 pct) in the last three games… The Flyers finished the season series against Boston with a 2-1-0 record, marking their first winning season against the Bruins since the 2012-13 campaign when they were also 2-1-0. The Flyers did not beat Boston in either of the last two seasons… The Flyers had 16 shot attempts in the first period and 57 over the second and third periods… In addition to his assist, Michael Del Zotto blocked five shots and was credited with four hits. 

You push so hard all night to try and get a point out of it and come up empty-handed. So we have to try and throw this one behind us because if we dwell on this one too much, we’re going to go into Washington and it’s not going to be a pretty game if we keep thinking about this one.

(Brayden Schenn)

Our goaltending has been unbelievable for us all year. They give us a chance to win every single night and that’s all you can ask for from them. They kept us in there and we had a great comeback. Unfortunately it fell a little short.

(Michael Del Zotto)

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