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Flyers’ comeback bid vs Red Wings falls short, lose 7-6, in shootout

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Philadelphia Flyers recap
The Philadelphia Flyers' insane comeback bid fell just short against the Detroit Red Wings, as they lost, 7-6. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers fought back from a 5-1 deficit at Little Caesars Arena, but their insane comeback bid fell just short as they lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 7-6 in the shootout.

Flyers recap

Patrick Kane scored twice in four minutes to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-0 lead over the Flyers, with both goals coming on rebounds. Things were looking like they would take a turn for the worse before Bobby Brink cashed in on a 2-on-1. Joel Farabee’s slick toe drag past a Red Wings defender opened up the passing lane, and Brink’s shot bounced off of the bottom of James Reimer’s glove and into the net, halving Detroit’s lead. Then, things did take a turn for the worse.

Daniel Sprong and J.T. Compher scored goals 33 seconds a part to give the Red Wings a 3-1, and then a 4-1, lead. The first was a deflection and the second was a tap-in, which only further underscores how uncharacteristically poor the Flyers were around their own net. To cap the period off, Shayne Gostisbehere scored against his former club at the side of the net with 18 seconds to go in the period on a – you won’t believe this – rebound. Carter Hart received virtually no support from his teammates in his first start in 13 days.

Any adjective or expletive you want to use to describe the Flyers’ first period, it would be correct. Taking a 5-1 deficit into intermission after collapsing against the Nashville Predators just wasn’t acceptable, and the Flyers showed it in the second period.

Head coach John Tortorella must have ripped the team a new one at the intermission, because the Flyers came out flying for the second – no pun intended. Nick Seeler and Christian Fischer went at each other three minutes in, and the Flyers defender beat the brakes off of his opponent. Seeler, however, was charged with instigating, fighting, a misconduct, and a game misconduct, giving him 27 penalty minutes and an early shower. Fischer managed to escape with five for fighting and a hooking penalty.

The usually mild-mannered Seeler was irate as he was sent off, and that was enough to spark his Flyers teammates. Travis Sanheim created two goals in 24 seconds, assisting on a Sean Couturier deflection at 3:37, and then a Morgan Frost deflection at 4:01. All of a sudden, the Flyers caught life as they marched into the third period down 5-3.

Six minutes into the third period, Scott Laughton flung a harmless shot in Reimer’s direction, but it didn’t stay harmless. Garnet Hathaway made a great play with his stick to knock the puck downwards and past Reimer, making it a 5-4 game. The Flyers had not staged a four-goal comeback since Dec. 11, 2008, and that was one of two in the franchise’s history. With time winding down in the third, Farabee stormed into the zone with Tyson Foerster trailing him. Foerster fired a shot towards Farabee’s moving screen, but the puck eluded Reimer and fell right to Scott Laughton at the far post, tying the game at 5 apiece.

Reimer gave the Flyers another Christmas gift just moments later, as another puck squeezed through him for Owen Tippett to trounce home. Hart reciprocated the gift of giving at the other end, though, as Larkin’s harmless shot from below the goal line hit Hart’s blocker and bounced in to the net to tie the game at 6-6.

With the comeback bid still on in overtime, Hart robbed Alex DeBrincat from the slot twice, among other saves, to keep the Flyers alive. In the shootout however, Philadelphia came up empty whilst Kane and Lucas Raymond scored for Detroit, giving the Red Wings a 7-6 victory.

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Jonathan Bailey has been Philly Hockey Now's Flyers beat reporter since 2023. He can be reached on Twitter/X @ByJonBailey, or via email at jonathanbaileyy@gmail.com

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