(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)
Through two periods, it was too much of the same for the Flyers. The solid defensive play was certainly still present for the Flyers, but the goals still weren't coming.
Finally, one to break the ice in the third put the Flyers on the board, but it would still take overtime for the Flyers to snap a three-game losing streak and earn a crucial two points.
Here are 10 Postgame Points from Flyers-Sharks.
- It sure sounded like Thursday night's frustrating loss to the Islanders was the final straw for Wayne Simmonds. He was the standout player for the Flyers in the first period and in overtime, proved to be the clutch player to come up with a steal of the puck and score on a breakaway. But more than that, it's the overall passion that Simmonds brings. Even on an off night for the team, Simmonds is among the best forwards the Flyers have. But when the team really needs a player to step up and give a little extra, Simmonds is always answering the call.
- Each of the Flyers new-look lines had a little something extra in this game. The Flyers top line had some dangerous chances early. The second line was buzzing for much of the night and on the ice for the first goal of the game and the third line even contributed some solid scoring chances. From an all-around standpoint, the Flyers had their chances from the top three lines, even if they only cashed in twice.
- Jordan Weal was a part of that second line with Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek. Weal was a constant presence around the net, showing will to go to the dirty areas and make plays. He wasn't much for shots in this game, but maybe that's because Voracek had seven of the Flyers 35 shots. Still, for his first game in the NHL this season, Weal looked solid in his debut and should continue to have a chance to produce on the second line.
- The line that impressed me the most in this game was the third line. Typically, you want your top six forwards to be buzzing around the net and controlling the play the most, but even the third line got their chances. The third line for this game was Nick Cousins centering Michael Raffl and Matt Read, a group that hasn't played together much, but had some really good chemistry. "They were good. They're all three a little different," head coach Dave Hakstol said. "I thought Raff had a real good night. I thought that line was effective."
- The Sharks may feel a little robbed of a goal from the first period. A goal by Kevin Labanc was ruled goalie interference and disallowed. The Sharks certainly have a case that it should have counted. The contact made by Labanc was fairly minimal. But there was contact, and as we've seen, the Flyers have had goals taken away or stand against them in similar situations. There's a lot of gray area. It just didn't cost the Flyers this time.
- Ivan Provorov scored the first goal of the game for the Flyers, but how about a little credit to the play made by Andrew MacDonald right before that. A well-timed move into the play opened some space for MacDonald and he took a very good shot that hit the post. Provorov followed up with the rebound and let go a deadly wrister that went bar down. Two tremendous shots leading to the first goal of the game for the Flyers.
- Feel like it's been awhile since the Flyers scored a goal at even strength? It had been. Try 245:25. It's been a long week for the Flyers, who a week ago on Saturday started a downward spiral where goals were incredibly hard to come by. They were shut out that afternoon by Los Angeles. Then they were shut out by St. Louis on Monday night. They only managed a power play goal on Thursday against the Islanders. And on this Saturday, they had gone two periods without a goal. In 11 periods, plus last Saturday's overtime, the Flyers had one goal and allowed just six.
- I think there was too much made about the Flyers being overmatched by the Sharks in size, speed and strength. Are all of those things true? Yes. But let's remember where the Flyers are in their process of trying to build a contender. Don't forget, the Sharks were the Western Conference Champions last season and have one of the best defensemen in the league coupled with a potent offense.
- Lost in the final score is the job Michal Neuvirth did in goal. He faced just four shots in the first period, but had to make 23 saves in the game to get the win. The Sharks, as expected, turned up the level of play in the final two periods and Neuvirth stood tall. His best save came moments before Simmonds' overtime winner. A two-on-one for San Jose was played well by Shayne Gostisbehere, forcing Kevin Labanc to take the shot instead of try a pass to Tomas Hertl.
- Last season, on Feb. 11, the Flyers had lost three straight games as well. They won that night, 5-1, against Buffalo and went 17-7-5 the rest of the way. Deja vu for a team that needs to right the ship to make the playoffs? We'll see.
You have to start somewhere and for the Flyers getting a win despite limited scoring again is something you will take every time.
It's not really the score that matters as much as the result. To see the Flyers play defensively continue to be solid while getting just enough offense to win is a start.
The next step is channeling that into more success in the weeks ahead. The Flyers go on the road next week for a Canadian west coast trip, making stops in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. These are three difficult games against out of conference opponents that can make a difference in a playoff race, especially for a team trying to get some confidence back offensively.
Saturday was a start. The real test begins next week as the opponents continue to get tougher and the team hits the road.