Flyers fall to Predators in shootout
Another game, another streak snapped. The Flyers' six-game home winning streak ended Monday night as they fell to Nashville in a shootout, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Another game, another streak snapped.
The Flyers' six-game home winning streak ended Monday night as they fell to Nashville in a shootout, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Ryan Ellis scored the game-winner in the shootout as Nashville won on the road for just the fourth time in 15 games (4-9-2).
Two nights earlier, the Flyers' 10-game overall winning streak ended with a 3-1 loss in Dallas.
Steve Mason (30 saves) made four stops during a Nashville-controlled overtime, helping send the game to a shootout. But Nick Cousins, Claude Giroux, and Jake Voracek couldn't beat Pekka Rinne in the shootout.
"We played a pretty good game right from the get-go; maybe we sat back a little bit in the third period," center Brayden Schenn said. "But when you get into a shootout, anything can happen."
Coach Dave Hakstol didn't think the Flyers had a letdown after having their streak snapped Saturday.
"We talked about having a determined effort for 60 minutes and I think we got that," he said. "Hard-fought hockey game tonight. Both ways."
With the Flyers clinging to a 1-0 lead, Rinne (31 saves) stopped Flyers rookie Travis Konecny from the doorstep with 13 minutes, 32 seconds left in regulation. It was his second point-blank save on Konecny, who has been playing well but is goalless in 19 straight games.
Rinne also made a big stop on Chris VandeVelde with 8:46 to play, keeping the Predators within a goal.
"He was huge," Nashville center Ryan Johansen said. "I mean, we're nothing without that guy."
The Preds tied it 32 seconds later as Filip Forsberg tipped in Matt Irwin's point drive with 8:14 remaining.
After a ragged first few minutes of the opening period, the Flyers dominated the stanza and took the lead on Andrew MacDonald's second goal of the season.
Skating just inside the offensive blue line, Voracek (six shots) made a slick backhand pass to get the puck past James Neal and to MacDonald on the right side. MacDonald scored on a blast from the top of the right circle, firing a shot that deflected off defenseman Ellis' left glove and dropped down and past Rinne with 9:28 left in the first.
"Jakey made a heck of a play," MacDonald said. "I was going to start going back, actually, because they had the pressure and it was right at the blue line. Just to be a safety valve."
But Voracek found MacDonald, and Michael Raffl set up a screen in front. "I had all day to shoot," MacDonald said, "and Raff did a great job of taking the goalie's eyes away."
It marked the fourth straight game the Flyers had scored first, and it was the only goal in the first two periods.
The Flyers were 0 for 3 on the power play, all in the second period. They have failed to score a power-play goal in four straight games.
With the Flyers holding a 1-0 lead early in the second period, the Predators' penalty killers snuffed a five-on-three for 1:24. The Flyers had three shots on the five-on-three, and Shayne Gostisbehere fired a power-play shot off the post.
"I liked our puck movement and he made a couple of good saves," Hakstol said.
"When it's five-on-three, you almost have to score," said Schenn, whose team's power play has been among the best in the NHL this season. "You can talk about chances, but it's not in the back of the net. That's on us to make it a 2-0 hockey game."
The Flyers also killed a double-minor to Giroux (high-sticking) in the second period, making them 15 for 15 over the last four games. Steve Mason, who joined Doug Favell, Ron Hextall, and Bernie Parent as the only goaltenders to appear in 200 games for the Flyers, made four power-play stops.
On Wednesday, the Flyers will host Washington in the teams' first meeting since the Capitals won last season's playoff series in six hard-fought games.
"Obviously, they're a good team and we know what they're about," Schenn said. "Obviously, there's a little rivalry there and teams don't like one another. Hopefully it's a bounce-back game for us."