Flyers

Instant Replay: Flyers 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

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Instant Replay: Flyers 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

BOX SCORE

After shocking the Penguins with a weekend sweep of a home-and-home series, the Flyers tempted fate against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Craig Berube’s team came up with another fine effort for a 3-2 overtime win at the Wells Fargo Center. It was one of the best physically-competitive games the Flyers have played this season.

Claude Giroux won it with a blast off the right wing with 4.2 ticks left in overtime.

Embracing a 2-2 tie, the Flyers had five power plays and lots of chances.

Brayden Schenn had a goal waved off late in the game for a high-stick call to Vinny Lecavalier. It was not a reviewable play.

The Hawks came out hot against goalie Ray Emery, who had not played in a game since the end of February, as Chicago built a quick 2-0 lead minutes into the opening period.

After that, however, the Flyers patiently chipped away to draw even by period’s end with two goals from Scott Hartnell.

Now what followed in the second period was rather strange as the game settled into intermittent shots and a 2-2 tie as if both teams were playing for just that -- a tie.

Sean Couturier had the best scoring chance that period on a wraparound attempt even strength, while the Flyers continued to generate chances on their power play, which has been electric of late.

Chicago is 31-1-7 when scoring first this season.

Matchups
Berube went with Couturier’s line against Jonathan Toews; Giroux went up against Ben Smith’s line with Patrick Kane. Through two periods, Toews did not have a shot on goal.

Deadly dozen
This was Game 3 of the 12 games that will pretty much decide whether the Flyers are going to make the playoffs. The Flyers are 3-0 with six points through their last three games.

The West
The Flyers are 13-9-2 against the Western Conference.

Long layoff
Emery’s last start was a 2-1 win over Calgary. His last appearance was in relief of Steve Mason during the Feb. 27 blowout loss to San Jose when he injured his groin.

Brutal start
Both goalies had it rough, especially Emery, who looked very rusty in the first period. A bad drop pass in his own end by Brayden Schenn resulted in Andrew Shaw beating Emery at 2:29 as the Flyers' goalie was slow reacting to the play. A little over a minute later, Duncan Keith ripped a shot from inside the blue line and the puck hopped through Emery’s five hole. Two goals on four shots. Obviously, the Flyers' start against Chicago wasn’t of the Pittsburgh variety.

Backups
Chicago also went with its backup goalie, Antti Raanta. Hartnell made it a 2-1 game at 5:48 when he banged the puck off Raanta’s left skate into the net off a pass from defenseman Braydon Coburn behind the net. Hartnell’s second goal at 16:27 tied the game after Giroux and Matt Read did some nice forecheck work to wear the Hawks down.

The post
The Flyers hit six of them in this game.

Power play
After going 3 for 7 in two games against Pittsburgh, the Flyers were eager to keep it going. Giroux and Mark Streit each nailed the right crossbar in the first period. They had five power plays in the game and a half dozen scoring chances on the first three power plays. On the third one, Wayne Simmonds couldn’t find a puck at his feet in the paint while Brayden Schenn missed a perfect setup from Lecavalier as the puck was just wide of his stick off a redirect. Giroux and Jakub Voracek each nicked the post on the fifth power play. The Flyers finished 0 for 5.

Penalty kill
The Flyers were a perfect 3 for 3 against the Blackhawks.

Birthday boy
Defenseman Kimmo Timonen celebrated his 39th birthday.

Faceoffs
Michal Handzus won a clutch draw off Giroux in the first period with the Hawks facing a 10-second, two-man disadvantage. The lost faceoff allowed Chicago to eat up the seconds and regroup to face a four-on-three.

Fights
Zac Rinaldo and Sheldon Brookbank fought to a second-period draw. Bryan Bickell had a decision over Simmonds in the third period.

Scratches
No changes. Defensemen Hal Gill and Erik Gustafsson; forward Jay Rosehill.

Best of NHL: Red-hot Devils storm back to beat Senators in overtime

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Best of NHL: Red-hot Devils storm back to beat Senators in overtime

OTTAWA, Ontario -- John Moore scored 1:20 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils used three unanswered goals to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in overtime Thursday night.

This year's No. 1 draft pick Nico Hischier scored twice for New Jersey. The Swiss center's opening goal was the first of his NHL career.

Kyle Palmieri and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Devils, who improved to 4-0-0 on the road and 6-1-0 overall. Cory Schneider allowed four goals on 24 shots before leaving with a lower-body injury. Keith Kinkaid started the third period and stopped nine shots. Taylor Hall chipped in with four assists.

Kyle Turris, Derick Brassard, Alex Burrows and Tom Pyatt scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson made 41 saves (see full recap).

Bergeron sparks Bruins’ win over Canucks
BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron had a goal and three assists in his season debut, moving up to seventh on Boston's career scoring list as the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Thursday night.

Anders Bjork scored twice for Boston, Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists and David Pastrnak added a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who scored five straight goals after falling behind 1-0 early in the first period.

Anton Khudobin made 26 saves for Boston while starting in place of Tuukka Rask, who is out indefinitely with a concussion he suffered in practice Wednesday.

Derek Dorsett, Bo Horvat and Thomas Vanek scored for the Canucks, and Michael Del Zotto had two assists (see full recap).

Sergachev, Vasilevskiy help Lightning blank Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mikhail Sergachev scored his first two NHL goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 43 saves for his fifth career shutout in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals to push his NHL-leading points total to 14. His goals streak was stopped at seven games.

The Lightning took advantage of the few openings offered by Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 19 shots for the Blue Jackets and lost for the first time this season. Columbus had won four straight.

The Lightning, coming off an overtime loss to New Jersey on Tuesday night, improved to 6-1-1 for their best start opening 7-0-1 in their Stanley Cup-winning 2003-04 season.

Columbus dropped to 5-2-0, hurt by uncharacteristic sloppy passing and continued power-play problems in its first shutout loss of the season (see full recap).

Flyers fail to get revenge as offense quiet in loss to Predators

Flyers fail to get revenge as offense quiet in loss to Predators

BOX SCORE

No questionable penalty calls. No need to use a challenge. No last-minute heartbreak this time.

A furious nature was replaced with frustration after the Predators scored the lone goal at the Wells Fargo Center to beat the Flyers, 1-0, Thursday night (see observations).

Predators third-line center Colton Sissons, who missed the first meeting between the two teams nine days ago, connected on the only goal of the game 3:49 into the third period as he blasted a shot that beat Michal Neuvirth to the far post (see highlights).

“I’ve got to watch the replay to see if I was on the right angle, but it’s a tough play 2-on-1,” Neuvirth said. “Usually when it’s a tight game like that, it’s about one mistake and you've got to move on.”

The Flyers appeared to have the play covered. However, when Kevin Fiala took control of the loose puck, Wayne Simmonds reached for it and that kick-started the Predators’ rush for what ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal.

“It’s a tough play,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “You see the puck and you want to go get that loose puck. It’s a 0-0 game. It was a real good play on the cycle, and there’s scrum on the hash marks there. It’s a tough play and, unfortunately, the puck got past Simmer and now it’s a race back up ice and they got a pretty good quality shot away.”

For a high-octane offensive team ranked second in goals scored, the Flyers are still looking to prove they can win the tight-checking, low-scoring games.

Overall, it was also a tough night for the Flyers' leading scorer Simmonds. He was dealing with a lower-body injury, and at times, appeared to be laboring on the ice. Simmonds also took a stick to his lip that required stitches, which essentially excused him from making any postgame comments.

The 1-0 loss marked the second time in the first seven games the Flyers have been shut out this season, and on both occasions Neuvirth has been the victim of the lack of offense.

“It’s tough to say,” Neuvirth said. “We had really good chances, but we couldn’t get one behind him. It was frustrating to see that, but we've got to move on and we've got another big game on Saturday.”

Once again, the Flyers could have been bailed out by their power play. However, the two units collectively finished 0 for 5 for the third time this season. That’s because 6-foot-5 Pekka Rinne, who’s mobile for his size with one of the best glove hands in the league, stopped all 28 shots.

“That was a lot of battle,” Rinne said. “I was able to see the puck for the most part and make the first save always and a lot of times guys were bailing me out, too.”

Outside the Wells Fargo Center earlier on Thursday, the Flyers organization unveiled a nine-foot statue of founder and chairman Ed Snider prior to faceoff with almost every member of the team’s Hall of Fame in attendance (see story).

Unfortunately for the club, it was the only moment worth celebrating.

Notes, quotes and tidbits
• Filling in for the injured Jordan Weal (upper body), forward Jori Lehtera saw his first action of the season. He played on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Simmonds. Lehtera played 12:06 and finished the game without a shot on net. If Weal is unable to go Saturday afternoon, it will be interesting to see if Hakstol goes back to Lehtera or gives the quicker Matt Read a shot against a speedy Oilers team.

“Lehts did a good job,” Hakstol said. “To step in in game No. 7, not having played, I thought Lehts went out and played a real rock solid game. Lehts has been here. Lehts has done the work. You guys don’t see behind the scenes the kind of effort and what that takes as a teammate every day to stay ready.”

• The 1-0 loss comes exactly 50 years to the day the Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0, in their first-ever home game at The Spectrum. The last time the Flyers were shut out 1-0 on home ice was March 31, 2011, by the Atlanta Thrashers.

• Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere played a career-high 25:23. Not only has he regained his offensive form from his rookie season, but he’s also refined his defensive game by using more body and less stick to gain position on his man.