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Sharks keep Flyers winless

by John Kreiser / NHL.com
The Philadelphia Flyers can't win for losing.

The Flyers made up a two-goal deficit against San Jose on Wednesday night, tied the game with 1:05 left in regulation after pulling the goalie — and still couldn't close the deal on their first win of the season. Shootout goals by Joe Pavelski and ex-Flyer Jeremy Roenick gave the Sharks a 7-6 victory and a successful start to their road trip.

It was a sweet return for Roenick, who played for the Flyers from 2001-04. He was set to retire before last season, but was talked into joining the Sharks by GM Doug Wilson — and played a valuable role in shootouts, scoring on five of eight tries. Pavelski was 7-for-11 last season.

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"I think you look to the stats of last year, and we went with the stats of last year, [Pavelski] and I were one and two," Roenick said of the shootout. "I might be an old goat, but sometimes the puck goes in the net."

If, as Roenick said he expects, this was his final visit to Philadelphia, he made it a memorable one.

"This most likely will be my last game in this building and it's a nice way to finish," said Roenick, who was a fan favorite during his time with the Flyers.

"This city really means a lot to me. I've have a lot of great memories in this building," added Roenick, who received a nice ovation when he was shown on the jumbo screen early in the game.

"That was awesome," he said. "This is one building I'll never forget."

The winless Flyers would like to forget the first six games and start over again. After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, they're off to an 0-3-3 start, including back-to-back losses to the Sharks. They blew a pair of two-goal leads Saturday night in San Jose and lost 5-4 in overtime.

This time, it was Philadelphia that played catch-up for most of the night. The Flyers trailed 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 and 6-4, but were able to pull even each time.

"I had a feeling we could get it tied up," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "I really felt like something good was going to happen. I thought overtime we gave it a good push there. I sensed something good was going to happen and then the shootout, we just have not had any success in the shootout.

"Every time the momentum was taken away from us, we battled right back. It stings to lose in a shootout when you battle back to force overtime."

Dan Boyle, who got the OT winner on Saturday, broke a 4-4 tie at 12:52 of the second period when he picked up a loose puck during a scramble at the side of the net and swept it past Martin Biron. Patrick Marleau made it 6-4 with his second goal of the night on a wraparound at 47 seconds of the third.

Joffrey Lupul pulled Philadelphia within one goal 17 seconds later with his second goal, firing a slap shot off Evgeni Nabokov's glove. The Flyers kept pressing and were rewarded after pulling Biron when Daniel Briere rammed a rebound through a pile of bodies with 65 seconds left.

But Pavelski and Roenick both beat Biron with wrist shots to the glove side to give the Sharks their sixth victory in seven games under new coach Todd McLellan, while Nabokov stopped Richards and Briere.

"We've found ways to win just about in all sorts of games," Pavelski said.

The Sharks led 4-3 after a wild first period. Pavelski, Ryan Clowe, Marleau and Devin Setoguchi scored for the Sharks against Antero Niittymaki, who was lifted for Biron after the first 20 minutes. Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Scott Upshall had goals for the Flyers.

 
 
Lupul tied it 3:30 into the second period before Boyle's goal put the Sharks back in front.

"Deep down we can't be very satisfied with our defensive effort," McLellan said. "We weren't very happy with the way we played, with the way we turned the puck over."

Defense has been the Flyers' biggest concern as well. They've allowed more goals than any team in the NHL and have been outshot 114-64 in their last three games — including 80-46 in the two games against the Sharks.

"I think the goalies can play better. I think the defense can play better. I think we can play better in front of them, including special teams," Stevens said. "It takes a big commitment.

"If you score six goals, that should be enough to win. We've had a lot of games this year where we've scored enough to win. I thought tonight we created a lot of opportunities offensively, but it's no secret — you get your goals-against down and you win games."

Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media was used in this report

Contact John Kreiser at jkreiser@nhl.com



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