5 Takeaways: From Any View, Flyers Badly Outplayed in OT Loss
Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella, wanting to get a different perspective, watched Thursday’s game in Ottawa from the press level. Associate coach Brad Shaw directed the team from behind the bench.
Tortorella, who sat next to interim general manager Danny Briere, couldn’t have liked what he witnessed during most of the night at the Canadian Tire Center.
But the Flyers, despite being outshot by a 40-11 margin at the time, somehow tied the game at 4-4 on Owen Tippett’s goal with 2:39 left in regulation.
Ottawa won it, however, on Alex DeBrincat’s overtime goal after a turnover by goalie Felix Sandstrom (41 saves), who played very well until his late miscue. The goalie’s giveaway gave DeBrincat an open net.
DeBrincat scored shortly after Rasmus Ristolainen hit the post down the other end.
The Flyers overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit on goals by Cam York (first in 43 games), Noah Cates (power play) and Tippett (23rd) against shaky goalie Cam Talbot.
“They outplayed us the whole game … But we showed some resiliency in the third period,” said defenseman Tony DeAngelo, whose power-play goal tied the fight-filled game at 1-1 in the second period.
The Flyers were outshot, 46-11. That was their fewest amount of shots in franchise history.
The Senators controlled the game from the start — they had 17-2 shots advantage in the opening period — before the Flyers’ stunning third-period rally.
The Flyers had a total of five shots in the first two periods, equaling a dubious franchise record for fewest shots in the first two periods.
Ottawa, which remained five points out of a playoff spot, snapped the Flyers’ four-game winning streak. Philly has a season-best seven-game point streak (5-0-2).
Here are five quick observations:
1. Nick Deslauriers gets payback in a nasty second period.
It was a feisty, chippy game. That’s not surprising because Ottawa entered the night second in the NHL in hits while the Flyers were fourth.
Deslauriers, the Flyers’ rugged left winger, pounded Ottawa tough guy Austin Watson midway through the second period in a bout between the league’s busiest fighters this season.
The fight erupted shortly after York was hit hard into the boards by Watson and briefly went to the locker room before returning.
Deslauriers paid back Watson.
After that fight, Mark Kastelic went after an obliging Deslauriers as the refs tried to step between them.
Desauriers, who leads the NHL in penalty minutes, got two five-minute majors and a game misconduct. Kastelic got five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct, and a game misconduct, and Watson received five for fighting.
Earlier in the period, Joel Farabee and the Sens’ DeBrincat got into a fight. DeBrincat won the first part of it, Farabee dominated the latter part.
This was after DeBrincat had been hit into the boards by DeAngelo earlier in the period. The winger was bleeding as he went to the bench.
NIC DESLAURIERS FIGHTS BOTH AUSTIN WATSON AND MARK KASTELIC pic.twitter.com/6NqiHXEkVs
— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) March 31, 2023
2. Felix Sandstrom got little help from his teammates.
Sandstrom, again subbing for the injured Carter Hart, kept the Flyers in the game by stopping 16 of 17 shots in the first period. In that period, Ottawa had a 32-7 advantage in shot attempts.
The 26-year-old goalie had little chance on Ottawa’s first two goals — rebounds by Watson (after Ivan Provorov couldn’t clear the puck) and Tim Stutzle (37th goal).
He had no chance as the Sens made it 3-1 on Shane Pinto’s power-play deflection from the doorstep with 3:10 to go in the second. It was the 22-year-old rookie’s 20th goal.
“He stood in there all night and gave us a chance,” Tippett said of Sandstrom.
Tipp with the tap-in. #PHIvsOTT | @TippettOwen pic.twitter.com/D2EhcNiOKp
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 31, 2023
3. Claude Giroux was again outstanding against his former team.
Early in the third period, the ex-Flyers captain made it 4-1 as he was sent ahead of the pack and he beat Sandstrom from the left circle for his 29th goal of the season.
He had three assists in the teams’ previous matchup, a 4-1 Ottawa win.
Giroux was twice robbed by Sandstrom in the opening period — once when he twice tapped the puck out of midair to get a shot, another time on a point-blank rebound.
The 35-year-old right winger was ill the previous day, but didn’t look it. He finished with six shots, and a plus-2 rating. He also won 60% of his 15 faceoffs.
4. Cam York rebounded from absorbing a big hit.
After leaving the game because of Watson’s punishing blow, York came back and collected a goal and an assist.
“It was a pretty big hit, but that’s what that guy does,” said York, a 22-year-old defenseman. “He’s a goon.”
5. This was an indication it wasn’t going to be the Flyers’ night.
Early in the game, James van Riemsdyk went in on a breakaway and beat Talbot, but the shot kissed off the post. Hustling defenseman DeAngelo gathered the rebound and hit the other post.
Want another indication?
Tkachuk (eight) and Giroux (six) combined for 14 shots — three more than the Flyers’ entire team (11).
The Flyers scored two power-play goals in a road game for the first time this season. … DeAngelo had two points; he now has 11 goals and 41 points. … Nick Seeler had five hits and five blocks. … Ottawa’s Derick Brassard was injured with 3:10 left in the second and had to be helped off the ice. … The Sens, already shorthanded on defense, lost one of their best defenders, Travis Hamonic, who was injured early in the first period. … Morgan Frost won 13 of 22 faceoffs (59%). … Center Tanner Laczynski, a healthy scratch in the previous four games, returned to the lineup. … The Flyers equaled their fewest shots in a period (two in the first) all season. … Giroux, Brassard, Talbot and Patrick Brown are former Flyers with Ottawa. … Legendary broadcaster Steve Coates, who will retire after the season, will be honored before and during the Flyers’ 7 p.m. home game Saturday against Buffalo.