Late Flyers Comeback Erased By Shootout

20 Dec

They didn’t get two points, but the Flyers’ effort was worthy. Thanks to a goal from Danny Briere with 18 seconds remaining, the Flyers lived to see overtime. Thanks to a shootout, they only got one point. Matt Read clanked a shootout attempt off the crossbar, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the Flyers.

Once again, the Flyers fell asleep in the second period, but erupted with pressure late in the third period. They cashed in with just enough time left to get a point in the standings.

After firing the first eight shots of the game, the Flyers seemed to go dormant. It wasn’t until a double minor late in the first period gave them a four-minute power play that they were able to strike. Jakub Voracek showed tremendous vision, seeing a streaking Scott Hartnell and threading him a pass through the legs of Jan Heda for an easy goal.

But the Avalanche struck back in the second period thanks to a mental mistake and a fortunate bounce. Briere lost control of his man, Gabriel Landeskog, who was found wide open in front of the Flyers’ net. He deked around Ilya Bryzgalov and scored his first goal since Nov. 8.

With under a minute left in the second period, the Flyers were served what looked to be a crippling blow. TJ Galiardi threw a puck toward the net that bounced off Tom Sestito and Matt Carle and beat Bryzgalov down low to make it 2-1. While Bryzgalov wasn’t expecting the bounce, he was out of position. Had he had his blocker and stick along the ice, he would have made the save.

The third period was lackluster until the end when the Flyers applied a ton of pressure to Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Another strange bounce left the puck behind the net. With the Avalanche goalie looking to his left, Briere took it right and wrapped it around for the game-tying goal.

Overtime saw the pace hasten quite a bit. The teams started out 3-on-3 because of matching minors, but the Avalanche survived the Flyers’ attack led by Briere and Jaromir Jagr.

In a shootout, neither goalie was able to make a save. Milan Hejduk, Briere, Matt Duchene, James van Riemsdyk and Ryan O’Reilly scored in order before Read beat Giguere and clanked his shot off the post.

That shootout stands as the difference between two points in the standings and the Flyers remaining snakebitten at the Pepsi Center since December of 2002.

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