Flyers fall to Ducks, 3-2
It doesn't matter what the sport. Turnovers. Errors. Careless mistakes will invariably beat you.
Which is all you need to know about how the Flyers as they inexplicably blew a two-goal lead Tuesday night and lost to the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2.
So much for that two-game winning streak, one that coincided with Ed Snider's visit with the Pope.
"It's really disappointing,'' said winger Wayne Simmonds, after turnovers led to Ryan Palmieri's third-period breakaway, followed by a late 2-on-1 to spoil the night.
"We had the game.We were up 2-0 and we just stopped playing. We stood and around and started watching them instead of playing ourselves.We just stopped skating.''
That enabled the Ducks (10-3), who were fortunate in the first 35 minutes to still be on the pond, to reverse the momentum. After Matt Read banged home a goal in the first 3:40, then Vinny Lecavalier added a power-play goal on a perfect Claude Giroux pass, the Flyers had several chances to break the game open.
But Anaheim's Jonas Hiller kept them at bay, enabling the Ducks to regroup. You would have thought the ice was tilted the way Anaheim controlled play after that. It started late in the second when Andrew Cogliano beat a helpless Steve Mason after a shot caromed off the boards right onto his stick. That was soon followed by Palmieri's tying and winning goals in the third, as Anaheim outshot the Flyers 16-6 for the period and 37-28 for the game.
"I think it started in the second period,'' said Craig Berube, whose club has now been outscored 14-5 in third periods. "We had a really good first period.Then, we got really sloppy in our play, and ended up turning the puck over too much. We didn't do a very good job with the puck half of the second and third period, and that caused all the problems.You can't be that sloppy with the puck and expect to win."
On both the tying and winning goals Lecavalier was the main culprit. First, Palmieri stripped him of the puck at the blue line, then went in alone on Mason and beat him with a slick back-hander. Still, despite play being lopsided, the Flyers seemed likely to at least force it into overtime and assure themselves of a point. But, another turnover led to Nick Bonino setting up Palmieri for the game-winner at 15:51.
When a late Philadelphia power play failed to produce the equalizer the Flyers found themselves back in the Metropolitan basement at 3-8.
"Every game is important right now, especially with the start we got at the beginning of the year,'' said Lecavalier, whose five goals not only lead the team but are five more than Giroux has. "We started the way we wanted to tonight.We got the lead. I don't know what happened that second half. We were just a little bit flat. When you play good teams people take advantage of what you're doing wrong. They did that tonight."
Now it's two days off to regroup before Alex Ovechkin and the Caps come to town Friday, followed by a quick trip up the Turnpike to face the Devils.
"It's frustrating,'' said Read, who has scored in three straight games. "The first period was probably one of our best periods of the year, and then we shut down and stopped playing Flyers hockey. I couldn't tell you why. I have no clue. But every game that you lose, especially when you have a lead going in to the third period, you kick yourself in the butt.''
And hope that come April, when it's time to see who makes the playoffs, games like this don't come back to bite them there.