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POSTGAME 5: Role Reversal

Flyers find themselves on wrong end of shootout in 4-3 loss to Maple Leafs

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

Sixty Five minutes were not enough to settle a seesaw affair between the Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night as Toronto prevailed by a 4-3 score in an 11-round shootout. 

In the shootout, neither team scored through seven rounds. In the eighth round, Travis Konecny scored through the five hole but Jason Spezza answered. Neither team scored in round 9 or 10. In the bottom of round 11, Andreas Johnsson ended it. 

Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux and Travis Sanheim scored in regulation for Philly. Kasperi Kapanen, Jason Spezza and Mitch Marner tallied in regulation for Toronto.

Brian Elliott stopped 23 of 26 shots in regulation and overtime. Frederik Andersen denied 37 of 40 Flyers offerings in regulation and OT.

Three Stars:
1st: Claude Giroux (1g-1a)
2nd: Ivan Provorov (1g-1a)
3rd: Jason Spezza (1g-1a)

Toronto had all the early pressure and momentum. The tide started to turn when the Leafs took a too many men on the ice penalty. Not only did the Flyers score on the power play to tie the game, they took over the momentum for the next 25-plus minutes.Video: TOR@PHI: Provorov nets PPG off double deflection

* The Maple Leafs brought a heavy early forecheck, recording 10 of the game's first 11 shots in slightly less than half of a period. Jakub Voracek helped prevent an early potential Leafs goal with a good backchecking play to break up a back-door pass. For the third straight game, Travis Sanheim stumbled on his skates defending a rush and the puck ended up in the Flyers' net a few moments later as Kapanen scored at 5:55. The Flyers held Toronto to 2 shots over the final 10 minutes of the opening period with the final five minutes being by far the strongest. 

* Puck luck is certainly a regular factor in hockey but it's often self-made luck. Ivan Provorov's center point power play shot pinballed into the net off Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly to draw the Flyers' even at 1-1. The double-deflection itself was sheer good fortune for the Flyers but was preceded by sharp puck movement. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek got the helpers.

* The Flyers got their own forechecking cranking and applying pressure throughout a largely dominant second period. Joel Farabee alone had at least three good looks at the net. Toronto also took some very undisciplined penalties. However, the game went to the third period tied at 2-2.

* The Giroux power play unit stepped up big again early in the second period, the Flyers captain dangled and took the puck to the house from the left circle and in and beat Andersen for a 2-1 lead. With 2:05 left in the period, after waves of Flyers pressure, puck luck swung the other way as Spezza knotted the game on a puck that (with assistance from Toronto's Ilya Mikheyev as they jockied in front) went off Sanheim's skate and stick and crept toward the goal line and Spezza got it over.

* Not much has been going Sanheim's way of late. So it had to feel good for him to have an opportunity to pinch in, swoop around the net and follow his own rebound to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead just 31 seconds into the third period. However, during a 4-on-4, a turnover between the bluelines (an invitation for trouble) on a puck exchange between Couturier and Travis Konecny, Matt Niskanen beaten off the rush, Elliott overcommitted and then beaten by Marner on the wraparound resulted in a 3-3 deadlock.


* The Flyers power play has now scored two goals in each of their last three home games... They went 2-for-6 in tonight's game and have gone 6-for-15 in that span (40%).Video: TOR@PHI: Giroux scores PPG from in tight

* Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux each recorded a goal and an assist in tonight's game, while Jake Voracek had two helpers.

* Provorov logged over 28 minutes of ice time (28:06) - combined with last night's game in New Jersey (27:08) he averaged 27:37 in games on back-to-back nights... He also led the team with seven shots on goal in tonight's game.

* Giroux recorded a pair of points on the power play (1g-1a), his 300th & 301st power-play points of his career... He is second all-time in Flyers history in power-play points, trailing Bobby Clarke (333) by 32 points.

* Oskar Lindblom recorded an assist to give him a three-game point streak... He also has four goals and seven points in his last seven games.

* The Flyers continue their three-game homestand when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic). 

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following SO loss to TORVideo: Hear from Sanheim, Voracek and Elliott following loss

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