San Jose takes second straight game in offensive battle
(Philadelphia, PA) – In a game that had a combined 12 goals, including seven goals in the first period, it was a shootout that was the deciding factor and saw the Sharks come out on top to defeat the Flyers 7-6 at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday evening.
After a scoreless overtime, both clubs entered their first shootout of the season. The Flyers missed opportunities from Mike Richards and Danny Briere, while San Jose scored on their first two attempts with goals from Joe Pavelski and the game-winner coming from former Flyer Jeremy Roenick.
“I think you look to the stats of last year, and we went with the stats of last year, [Pavelski] and I were one and two,” said Roenick of the shootout. “I might be an old goat, but sometimes the puck goes in the net.”
Roenick went 5-for-8 in the shootout last season, while Pavelski had a mark of 10-for-14 for San Jose.
With the loss, the Flyers record moves to 0-3-3, but they earn their third point in the standings in their last four games. Briere gave the Flyers new life by scoring the tying goal with Martin Biron pulled for a 6-on-4 advantage with1:05 left in regulation to force overtime and the eventual shootout.
Biron came in relief of starting goaltender Antero Niittymaki at the start of the second period.
“I had a feeling we could get it tied up,” commented Flyers head coach John Stevens. “I really felt like something good was going to happen. I thought overtime we gave it a good push there. I sensed something good was going to happen and then the shootout, we just have not had any success in the shootout.”
A back-and-forth contest from the beginning, the Sharks jumped out to a 4-3 first period lead which they would not lose.
“You score six goals that should be enough to win,” added Stevens. “You look at the games we played, there are a lot of games we have scored enough to win. I thought tonight we created a lot of opportunities offensively but it’s no secret, you get your goals against down, you win hockey games.”
“That’s been what we’ve talked about since day one is finding a strong checking game and going on from there,” said Joffrey Lupul. “Right now it’s just not happening and you can’t point the finger at anyone, it’s forwards, defense, goalies, everyone. It’s all of our jobs to get better.”
After teams traded goals in the second period, and a quick goal in the third period by San Jose, the Flyers battled back to tie it up with goals from Lupul and Briere.
“We’ve got to keep working hard. It’s disappointing, the way we thought we finally came back the last couple [goals],” said Briere. “In the game at San Jose we let them back in the game to give them that late goal and they pulled through at the end. I was hoping we would be able to do the same and get rewarded for working so hard to score that late goal, and then send it to overtime, but they won against us again.”
Patrick Marleau led San Jose with four points on the night, including a pair of goals while 10 other Sharks recorded points in the contest.
Lupul registered three points on the night, scoring twice and adding an assist, while Mike Richards and Scottie Upshall had each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who had eight players record points in the contest.
Up next, the Flyers prepare for their second consecutive home-and-home series when they take on the New Jersey Devils on back-to-back nights. Philly will travel to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on Friday for a 7:00 p.m. face off and return home to face the Devils in an early evening Saturday matchup at 4:00 p.m.
Simon Gagne missed tonight’s game with the flu… Andreas Nodl recorded an assist in his NHL debut, becoming the third Flyer to make his professional debut this season, while rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Upshall’s goal in the firs period… The Flyers are winless in their last nine games against San Jose (0-5-4). Their last win against the Sharks came on Dec. 21, 2000 at home, 4-3… The Flyers lead the league in shorthanded goals and have scored four shorthanded goals in their first six games… The Flyers have scored 11 of their 20 goals in the second period.
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