Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

ENDGAMES

In the final 20 minutes (and sometimes more) the Flyers are among the best in the business.

Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 12:00 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
X
Share with your Friends


ENDGAMES
You think playing Flappy Bird is tough? Try playing hockey against the Flyers in a close game in the third period or later.

You think playing Flappy Bird is tough? Try playing hockey against the Flyers in a close game in the third period or later.

I know I threw a few of these statistics out there last week, but after the Flyers dramatic 5-4 overtime victory over Washington on Sunday, it’s becoming more and more evident to me that the Flyers are going to win a lot of close games late.

In other words, Flyers opponents, if you want to beat the orange and black, be sure to build a comfortable lead through the first 40 minutes because after that, all bets are off.

I’ll highlight the statistical reasons why in a moment, but first I want to look at why they are such a good team in the third period.

We really started noticing this around the holidays, and thought that maybe coach Craig Berube’s commitment to a harder, faster skating regiment might have had something to do with it.

Then, we examined his propensity to use his fourth line more than Flyers teams have been used to. It keeps the top players more fresh as the game goes on and they ultimately end up being more productive later in games than earlier in games.

And while both may actually have an impact, the reason the Flyers are so successful late in games has a lot more to do with their character and desire to win than anything else.

How else do you explain such clutch numbers as the Flyers are posting this season?

The Flyers have scored 70 third period goals this season, second most in the NHL. Add in a pair of overtime tallies and of those 72 goals, 46 have either tied the game, given the Flyers the lead, or were an insurance goal (two-goal lead). Believe it or not, comparatively to the rest of the NHL, that’s a very good number.

Since Nov. 8, in which the Flyers are 28-14-5 in 47 games, the Flyers have dominated their opponents in the third period and overtime, outscoring them 66-43 in that period.

We’ve already made mention of the franchise record 11 wins when trailing in the third period (the NHL record is 15 by the way, by the 2005-06 Dallas Stars) but the Flyers also have notched seven victories this season when trailing after two periods, tied for most in the NHL.

Individually, a dozen different skaters have registered a tying, go-ahead or insurance goal in the third period this season – which, heretofore will be referred to as “clutch time” because any time a game is tied or within a goal in the third period, the players who make the difference usually come up big in the clutch.

Claude Giroux has 10 such goals. That’s 47.6 percent of his goals. By comparison, Alex Ovechkin of Washington,

Claude Giroux (middle) and Scott Hartnell (right) have had a lot to celebrate in the third period this season.

who leads the NHL with 43 goals, has 12 such scores, or just 27.9 percent of his tallies coming in clutch time.

Giroux isn’t alone though.

Scott Hartnell has seven “clutch” goals out of 15 (46.7%) and Vinny Lecavalier has seven of 14 (50%).

It’s not just on the offensive end though.

While the Flyers are relentless with their third period play, they are getting a strong effort in net from Steve Mason as well.

Mason has allowed just 32 third period-or-later goals in 43 games this season that he’s played in the third period, or later.

His goals against average in the third period and overtime is 2.22 as compared to his season GAA of 2.57.

Meanwhile his third period and overtime save percentage is .926 as compared to his full season save percentage of .915.

The Flyers are 6-2-0 in the last eight games Mason has played and in those eight games Mason has allowed just two third period goals.

And the numbers don’t just suggest the Flyers are a good come-from-behind team or a good team when the game is tied after two periods, but they are also excellent with the lead.

Since that magical date of Nov. 8 (Giroux scored his first goal of the season in the very next game after it) the Flyers are 17-0-4 when leading after two periods.

Regardless the situation, the Flyers seem to know how to play when the game is on the line in the final 20 minutes.

Whether it’s playing from behind, or protecting the lead, the third period has become the Flyers time to shine.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 49 17 40 11 57
C. Giroux 48 16 36 6 52
M. Streit 49 7 28 -2 35
W. Simmonds 49 17 12 -5 29
B. Schenn 49 10 19 -3 29
S. Couturier 49 10 12 -1 22
M. Read 49 3 15 -9 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
M. Del Zotto 37 4 11 -7 15
V. Lecavalier 35 7 7 -10 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 9 12 6 .921 2.41
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.