THAT'S THE TICKET
Raffl scores game-winner, Meszaros nets two as Flyers come from behind again
PHILADELPHIA – Craig Berube needed just 65 words in his postgame press conference to sum up his feelings about the Flyers 6-4 win over the New York Islanders Saturday.
Not many of them were pretty. Most of them were delivered with a snarl. After all, the Flyers played two sub par periods of hockey before once again turning on the jets in the third period to snatch a victory not just from defeat’s jaws, but this time reaching down into its gullet for the last minute rescue.
(Read the game recap here)
And while the players that scored goals for the Flyers had nice games on the whole, the team, in general was substandard.
Berube needed to pull Mason – on the day he signed a three-year, $12.3 million contract extension with the team – not because the goalie was shaky or suddenly sitting comfortably on his suddenly fattened wallet, but rather because the team in front of him was, well, not good.
Here’s the coach:
|The Flyers threw a lot more than snow at Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin in the third period and were able to pull off another come-from-behind victory.|
“The third period was good, but the first two weren’t,” Berube said. “Obviously we played a really good third period. We came out, got the puck in deep, and worked them down low, but the first two periods were inexcusable.”
That one quote was more than half of his postgame comments.
The others were, “victim,” which he used to explain how he would describe Mason in this game, one in which he was pulled after allowing four goals on 24 shots in 34 minutes of action; and “To wake the team up,” to explain his decision to switch from Mason to Emery.
That pretty much summed up his thoughts on the ninth game this season in which the Flyers trailed in the third period only to come back and win. That matches a franchise record set in 1996-97, and it’s likely to be broken this season as the Flyers have 33 games remaining on their schedule.
From the time the Flyers made the goalie switch, they outshot the Islander 19-5 and scored three times. It’s safe to say Berube’s wake up call worked – and earned the team two points – but there should be no celebrating, because despite their resilience, the Flyers were a bit lucky.
The Islanders had a goal by John Tavares called off on a bad crease violation call by referee Kelly Sutherland that could have certainly swayed the momentum of the game.
But it kept the Flyers in the game and in the third period, the top line took over.
Coming off a television timeout, the line of Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl was buzzing, and some fine passing in which all five players on the ice touched the puck resulted in a no-look pass from Giroux to Voracek for a one-timer from the right circle to tie the game.
“I think we're skating better in the third period than we used to in the beginning of the season,” Voracek said. “We have more energy. We're really working on our forecheck in practices and games. I think that's what won us the game today in the third period."
Later, it was Giroux with another no look pass – this time to Raffl, who fired home the game-winner, making sure to get all of it after flubbing an opportunity Thursday against Nashville that ended up costing the Flyers a point.
“That’s not easy to forget, let’s put it that way,” said Raffl of the failed shot against Nashville. “That’s going to be a highlight of my career on the wrong side actually. It’s not that easy to forget but it’s nice I tried to bury that one as hard as I could. And I’m happy it went in.”
Earlier in the game it was Andrej Meszaros who kept the Flyers in the game. After falling behind by two goals,
|Adam Hall doesn't get to celebrate goals often for the Flyers as he did Saturday, but he's been a key role player nonetheless.|
Meszaros single-handedly brought the Flyers back with two goals of his own as he continues to play his best hockey in at least a couple seasons.
“The point is to play more games in a row and that’s how you get your confidence,” said Meszaros, who with three goals and six assists for nine points in the last six games has the same number of points as Sidney Crosby in the same time frame. “Plus, when the team is winning it’s good and you feel good about yourself and the points are going to come too. It’s just one of those things… I’m just really happy I could put some points on the board and help the team win.”
As for the rest of the Flyers… well… they had moments of good play here and there, but their chronic mistakes are what had their coach in a sour mood despite the win that vaulted them back into second place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
“We can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot like that,” said Giroux. “We need to do a better job of playing a full sixty minutes. We made a lot of mistakes out there and we need to do a better job. We’ll have to look at some video for sure.”
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers