Nolan Patrick

Blown call hurts Flyers in 'the biggest game of the year'

Blown call hurts Flyers in 'the biggest game of the year'

It takes something so unbelievably unpopular to exceed the decibel level of Wells Fargo Center boos that are normally reserved for Sidney Crosby.

Referee Kyle Rehman, a 12-year veteran of over 650 NHL games, managed to do just that Monday night.

With 7:07 remaining in the second period and the Flyers trailing 2-0, Travis Konecny fired a shot that Matt Murray attempted to glove, except he didn’t. He never secured it and within microseconds of the puck hitting Murray’s glove hand, it was on the ice between his legs. 

Rehman only assumed Murray had snagged it and wasted little time blowing his whistle, as all five Flyers on the ice raised their hands in disgust knowing Nolan Patrick’s rebound goal couldn’t be overturned and this particular sequence would be the turning point in what Jakub Voracek called “the biggest game of the year.”

It finished as a 4-1 loss to the Penguins (see observations).

The ruling from the NHL’s in-game crew was as follows: “The referee blew his whistle because he lost sight of the puck. It is part of the human factor of the game and from the referee’s position it appeared the puck was covered. The on-ice call was in accordance with Rule 31.2 and is not reviewable.”

Rehman was about 15 feet directly behind the Penguins' net when he lost track of the shot. Interestingly, from Carter Hart’s vantage point some 180 feet away from the play, the Flyers' goaltender appeared to have a better angle. Then again, Hart rarely loses visual of any puck on the ice — except for Sidney Crosby’s goal (see video).

“Yeah, I saw he didn’t catch it, but that’s just unlucky and unfortunate for us,” Hart said.

To his credit, Rehman admitted his mistake almost right away.

“Yeah, he apologized, you've got to respect that. I mean, they make mistakes, too,” Voracek said. “Obviously it was a tough mistake to make, but there’s nothing you can do about it after — just have to refocus and try to get one more.”

It negated the most furious 20-minute offensive barrage in franchise history as the Flyers peppered Murray with a team-record 28 shots on net in the second period alone, and finishing with 51 for the game.

Murray was simply unbelievable and the Flyers were remarkably unlucky.

“It would have been probably a different game,” said Sean Couturier, who saw his four-game goal streak come to an end. “Going in to the third [period] down one, it’s totally different. Got to force things and try to create more offense and pushing when there’s not always something. So definitely, it hurt us.”

A regulation victory over the Penguins would have pulled the Flyers within four points of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they now find themselves down eight with 26 games remaining in their regular season. 

“I think it all depends on how we respond [Tuesday],” interim head coach Scott Gordon said. “If we’re going to sulk over it and think it’s the end of the season, then it’s a big loss. But if we play like we did tonight, then one game isn’t going to be the defining moment of the year.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

Flyers 2, Canucks 1: Carter Hart's brilliance continues as win streak hits 8 games

BOX SCORE

The Flyers have completely forgotten what it’s like to lose.

Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier scored the Flyers' only goals in a 2-1 win Monday night over the Canucks, extending the NHL’s longest winning streak to eight games.

The victory also marked No. 2,000 in the organization’s history.

Here are my observations from the Wells Fargo Center:

• Nolan Patrick was an absolute force in this game early on as he came out flying in the first period. Patrick played with a determination and found that “fifth gear” in the offensive zone.

Patrick’s zone entry led to the Flyers' first goal of the game as Travis Konecny fed Sean Couturier for the goal. Wisely, Patrick didn’t force the puck into traffic.

He also hit an early post and his line drew two first-period power-play opportunities.

• Uncharacteristically, Carter Hart was susceptible to rebounds in this game on shots that he typically gobbles up. However, to Hart’s credit, he was able to angle those rebounds away from danger or to a defenseman down low. Hart’s positioning was still on point as he denied Vancouver sniper Brock Boeser on a number of good looks and finished with a career-high 41 saves.

• Voracek has the ability to be a relentless power forward when he’s engaged and that was clearly the case when he powered his way to the net, beating Jacob Markstrom on a breakaway three minutes into the second period. That goal lit a fuse into Voracek as he completely undressed defenseman Derrick Pouliot, leading to another scoring opportunity.

With this goal, Voracek now has at least one point in eight of his last nine games (one goal, 10 assists).

• The Flyers could have put this game out of reach early in the second period when Konecny caught the Canucks in a line change with James van Riemsdyk and Patrick rushing up the ice. Konecny held on to the puck a little too long and by the time he decided what to do, it was too late.

• That sequence turned the momentum in the direction of the Canucks, who could have trailed, 3-0, but instead cut the deficit to 2-1 on a strange play in which Hart came out of his net to play the puck. However, the 20-year-old wound up sending a pass to Boeser, who stuffed it home. Definitely a momentum-killer and tough play for Hart. 

• For whatever reason, the Flyers have been scorched in the second period recently. They gave up another second-period goal in this game and have now surrendered 25 second-period goals over their last 15 games.

• A big blow on a scary play for Vancouver when defenseman Alexander Edler got his stick caught in Voracek’s skate. The force of Voracek’s speed flung Edler downward and his head slammed to the ice. Edler blacked out on the play and was taken off on a stretcher.

You could tell the home crowd was deeply concerned with fans in the lower bowl all standing to ensure Edler was OK. The Canucks had to make due without their No. 1 defenseman.

• The Carter Hart save of the night:

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers' Nolan Patrick unleashes his fury in overtime (and on his stick)

Flyers' Nolan Patrick unleashes his fury in overtime (and on his stick)

Scott Gordon said the stick needed a little maintenance.

Not quite.

Patrick more so sacrificed his stick Saturday.

Hey, whatever it takes for a win.

During the final 13 seconds of regulation in a 4-4 game, Patrick was denied twice by Oilers goalie Cam Talbot before firing one last shot over the net, missing the chance to bring the house down at the Wells Fargo Center.

Shortly after, the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast showed Patrick walking to the tunnel and taking out frustration on his stick.

Two minutes and one second later, Patrick was pumping his fist, hugging his teammates and loving his new stick. He scored a perfect shot top shelf to dramatically send the Flyers to their seventh straight win, a 5-4 OT decision over the Oilers (see observations).

"He fixed his stick after he missed the empty net in the hallway there," Gordon, the Flyers' interim head coach, said with a smile. "Got the right one and got the winning goal.

"He's been playing well. Especially to score in overtime, that probably feels even better than doing it in regulation."

Patrick has seven points (five goals, two assists) and a plus-5 rating during the seven-game winning streak. The 20-year-old center fuels on confidence, which is bubbling right now.

During their seven-game run, the Flyers have 28 goals, tied for second most in the NHL over that span. Patrick has played a significant factor with much-needed secondary offense from his third-line center role.

"Very confident," Patrick said. "I think at this point, it's wanting the puck on my stick and not trying to move it right away. It feels good."

His old stick … not so much.

"Yeah, that one I missed there, that stick's not around anymore," Patrick said.

Apparently, it was the right time to move on.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers