Feb 8, 2013, 3:19 AM EDT
Ah, the majestic shootout in all its glory. How we missed
thee during the lockout…
Wait a minute. The hell we did!
The Flyers battled the feisty Florida Panthers to a 2-2 tie
through regulation and overtime, but because the NHL still insists teams settle
the score, a shootout would be the difference between one point or two. Unfortunately,
breakaways have been Ilya Bryzgalov’s Kryptonite even amidst the sensational
start to his season, while Philadelphia continues to operate on a strict two-goals-per-night
While we can all agree the shootout is unquestionably a
gimmick, a highly arbitrary way to award an additional point, it’s not as if
the Flyers did not have their chances to win the game outright. Florida knotted
the score on a power play midway through the third period, while the Bullies
failed to capitalize on a pair of their own down the stretch.
The Flyers also had their opportunities in OT, outshooting
the Panthers 5-0 during the extra five-minute session, but were simply unable
to put the biscuit in the basket.
The shootout was quick, but not painless. Impressive
18-year-old rookie Jonathan Huberdeau beat Bryz so bad, it looked like the
netminder might have torn a groin muscle (figuratively), then another promising
youngster in Peter Mueller rammed one home in round two. Matt Read and Claude
Giroux went out with a whimper on the other hand.
On the positive side, Jakub Voracek found twine for the
first time all season, netting a power play goal in the first period. Read
added the Flyers’ second goal off of some loose change after Mike Knuble was
able to jab the puck free from Florida goalie Jose Theodore in the second. Read
has now scored all four of his goals against the Panthers this season.
As we said before the game though, this opponent could not
be taken lightly in spite of a 7-1 Philly victory a mere 10 days ago. One of
the guys who missed the previous encounter, Stephen Weiss, scored the goal to
take this tilt into overtime – his first of the season.
The Flyers do pick up a point though, which was enough to
keep pace with the Rangers for last place in the Atlantic Division, and three
more teams in the Eastern Conference. They all count, so it certainly could be
worse, but man do we get tired of seeing games decided this way sometimes.
Play of the Game:
It might not look like much at first glance, but Jonathan
Huberdeau had Ilya Bryzgalov all out of sorts on this shootout attempt. This
kid is gonna be a star in the league for a long time. Better get used to it.
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