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POSTGAME 5: Smothered by Flames

Flyers third period comeback falls just short in 3-1 loss at Calgary

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
The Flyers trailed for 58:25 of the game and fell, 3-1, to the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday night. 

The Flames swarmed around the puck, and the Flyers did not respond well. Michael Frolik scored just 1:35 into the game and Andrew Mangiapane added to the lead at 14:15 of the second period. Matt Niskanen scored on a delayed Calgary penalty at 4:58 of the third period to bring the Flyers within one, but Elias Lindholm tallied an empty netter at 19:49 to seal it.

Making his first start of the 2019-20 season, Brian Elliott stopped 35 of 37 shots, while David Rittich flirted with a shut out for two plus periods and finished with 21 saves on 22 shots.

Three Stars:
1st: Michael Frolik (1 goal in 800th game)
2nd: Brian Elliott (35 saves on 37 shots)
3rd: David Rittich (21 saves on 22 shots)

TURNING POINT
The goal that proved to be the difference maker was it... At 14:15 of the second period, after another icing and a faceoff win by Calgary, Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim accidentally deflected Mangiapane's point shot past Elliott.

MELTZER'S TAKE
* The opening 4:22 of the game was the polar opposite of the tone the Flyers wanted to set to start the game: Four icings, several failed clears and breakout attempts, shifts spent hemmed in their own end, inability to handle Calgary's forecheck, turnovers in dangerous areas, and trailing on the scoreboard, 1-0.

* Things didn't get much better the rest of the period. The Flyers had three power plays, including a 4-on-3, and were unable to do nearly enough with them. In the meantime, Philly continued to turn pucks over. Video: PHI@CGY: Niskanen hammers one-timer home from slot

* The Flyers caught a huge break just before the end of the period. After Philly again needlessly iced the puck (Travis Sanheim was the culprit on this one) with 10.9 seconds left, Calgary won the draw and Sean Monahan momentarily appeared to score on the rebound. Fortunately for Philly, replays detected a clear-cut kicking motion and the goal was disallowed.

* The Flyers had an early 2-on-1, but Rittich denied Oskar Lindblom. Near the five minute mark, the Flyers had their most extended pressure up to that point, highlighted by three successive in-close chances for James van Riemsdyk off a centering pass from Sanheim. Thereafter, offensive zone puck possession for the Flyers was sparse.Video: PHI@CGY: Elliott stops Lindholm's one-timer from slot

* Alain Vigneault juggled all of his lines in the third period. Calgary had all the early pressure -- Elliott had to come up big several times to keep the deficit to two goals -- until Claude Giroux drew a delayed penalty on the Flames. A slick passout later from Konecny to an onrushing Niskanen over the middle, and the veteran defenseman blasted home a goal.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

* Matt Niskanen scored his first goal as a Flyer and extended his point streak to three straight games.

* James van Riemsdyk led the Flyers with six shots... Ivan Provorov led the team with 23:15 of ice time, while Travis Sanheim led the team with 29 shifts... Scott Laughton won 12 of 16 face-offs (75%).

* With his assist on Niskanen's goal, Travis Konecny has recorded points in all four games to start the season... He leads the Flyers in scoring with seven points (3g-4a).

* Chris Stewart made his Flyers debut, recording 9:12 of ice time and three hits... It was his first NHL game since Mar. 29 vs. Columbus as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

* The Flyers were called for icing 12 times during the game. Two of them ended up in the Philadelphia net after the ensuing faceoff: one goal that was disallowed, and one that counted.

* The Flyers went 0-for-4 on the power play, and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

THEY SAID IT

Video: Hear from Niskanen, JVR and Elliott following lossVideo: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to CGY

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