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Analysis: Flyers lose to Senators 5-4

[Photo: Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports]

Senators Goals

  • Dion Phaneuf (3)(Power Play), assists: Chris DiDomenico, Filip Chlapik
  • Mark Borowiecki (1), assists: Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau
  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1)(Shorthanded), assist: Erik Karlsson
  • Mark Stone (6), assists: Ryan Dzingel, Erik Karlsson
  • Tom Pyatt (2), assists: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Nate Thompson

Flyers Goals

  • Jake Voracek (1), assists: Ivan Provorov, Sean Couturier
  • Travis Konecny (2), assist: Radko Gudas
  • Ivan Provorov (2), assists: Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier
  • Sean Couturier (7), assists: Jake Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere

Not the best way to start off a road trip. The Flyers have now lost their last two games straight, and have had been scored 11-6 by their last two opponents. Yikes. They will need some serious offensive firepower for their next opponent or there’s going to be some trouble. Here’s 5 Takeaways from the game.

5 Takeaways from Flyers vs Senators

  • If you watched the previous game vs the Ducks, and then watched the first period of the game vs the Senators, you would have thought “Oh man, not again.”  The entire first period was a sloppy effort where the Flyers spent most of the time in their own zone and did not play good defense and turned the puck over. Travis Sanheim scored in his own net trying to stop a pass. The Senators took an early 3-0 lead after the first period and honestly, that should have been it. But thank goodness, they managed to get it together.

 

  • After only being able to assist people in scoring the past 10 games, Jake Voracek finally scored his first goal of the year. Granted, his goal bounced off a Senators players and past Craig Anderson, but it still counts! At first, I thought it had just hit off the skate of Sean Couturier and in, but hits off Dion Phaneuf’s skate instead. Voracek is the current points leader on the Flyers with 13, now with one goal and 12 assists on the season.

 

  • Oh, and Couturier DID manage to get a goal in the game in the third period, and almost had a second one! (We’ll get to that.) It’s Couturier’s seventh career three-point game after adding two assists to his goal. Couturier has now scored seven goals in 10 games, and is currently tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring with Jaden Schwartz of the Blues, Jamie Benn of the Stars, Anze Kopitar of the Kings, Filip Forsberg of the Predators, Clayton Keller of the Coyotes and Logan Couture of the Sharks. He trails only Auston Matthews, Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov. Some impressive stats from the Flyers top line center.

 

  • One of the biggest takeaways from this game, and the previous game, is the game play of the two Flyers goaltenders, which had been horrendous. Brian Elliott surrendered six goals on Tuesday vs. the Ducks and Michal Neuvirth surrendered five vs. the Sens. Neuvirth had a clear opportunity in this game to take over as the Flyers #1 goaltender, with Elliott struggling as much as he has, but did not take it. He gave up easy goals that he should have been able to defend, and could not make really any big save until late in the 3rd period. It has been an awful two games for the netminders and they really need to get something going or the Flyers are going to be in a lot of trouble.

 

  • So let’s talk about the biggest takeaway from this game, the two disallowed goals on the side of the Flyers. Sure, this should have probably been the first takeaway listed, but I saved this last for a reason. In the 2nd period, the Flyers had managed to get it to 4-3 when Brandon Manning blasted a shot past Craig Anderson. The goal was originally ruled as a good goal. However, the Senators called for a challenge, saying that Anderson was interfered with trying to save the goal and could not do his job. The refs agreed, saying that Jordan Weal, who had been in front of Anderson when Manning scored, interfered with Anderson’s vision of the puck, and could not make any attempt at the save. The goal was waived off, putting the Flyers down two again. Here’s my problem with this. There are constantly players in front of the net like that, setting screens in front of the goaltenders so that they have a somewhat obstructed view of the shooter. Weal did not go into the crease, he did not push or shove Anderson out of the way. He stood, waiting to set the screen. This goal should have counted. As for the second disallowed goal in the endings of the 3rd period, the puck was shot at the net, and had gotten caught in the netting, BUT past the goal line and into the glove of Anderson. It was originally ruled no goal. But looking at the replays, you can tell that the puck goes into Anderson’s glove that is past the line. Should be ruled a goal right? Not so much. Refs call that the play had been ruled complete and there was no goal. (Basically saying that the ref was in the process of ruling the play dead, but just didn’t get the whistle up fast enough to whistle the play dead.) For what I saw, the puck was still moving BEFORE the play was “whistled” dead and had went into the net. The “goal” would have tied the game for the Flyers and given them a chance to walk out of Ottawa with at least a point. Instead, they leave with nothing. I’m going to keep an eye on this because a referee has ruled that he had made a mistake on a goal that could have changed the outcome of a game already this season. There’s a chance that happens again.

Additional Notes

Nolan Patrick did not play in this game vs the Senators after taking a hit Tuesday night vs the Ducks. In my last post, I had a feeling that Patrick would not play in Thursday’s game, but he did in fact practice fully on Wednesday and participated in morning skate on Thursday. The decision came about a half hour before the game started. Taylor Leier took Nolan Patrick’s place and Matt Read started over Dale Weise.

Star of the Game

One of these days, Sean Couturier will not be my player of the game. Now Couturier has been my favorite player for years and I’m really really trying not to pick the man, but come on. A goal, 2 assists, 6 shots on net? The man is on fire.

Flub of the Game

It’s not a Flyers flub. Surprisingly. It’s a flub on the part of the referees. I’m not trying to bash the refs here like I’ve seen a lot of Flyers fans already voicing for. But seriously, Weal called for goaltender interference when he barely touched Anderson and executed a very well done screen? That’s bogus. If that’s goaltender interference, then someone needs to reintroduce me to the rules for that, because I then have no idea was is and is not considered goaltender interference anymore.

Flyers finish their Canada road trip with an even tougher opponent in the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. And with the way that their star player, Auston Matthews is performing, The Flyers will need to do what they did to Ovechkin and McDavid earlier in the season to have a fair chance. If they can stifle the Maple Leaf’s star forward, they will win this game.