During their five-game winning streak and throughout the successful month of November, the Flyers continually got solid goaltending to put them in a position to win. On Thursday night, it was the goaltending on the other side that was the story.
Darcy Kuemper was excellent all night and stymied the Flyers until the final five minutes of the game. The Coyotes 2-0 lead was cut to one with 4:43 to play, but it was enough to end the Flyers winning streak at five games in a 3-1 loss to Arizona at Wells Fargo Center.
An early power play provided the Coyotes with an opportunity to strike and they did. Off a rush, Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller executed a nice give-and-go play with Kessel tipping the puck through the legs of Brian Elliott and just barely over the line for his fifth goal of the season.
Through 20 minutes, both teams managed just five shots on goal in a tight-checking opening period.
The Flyers had chances in the second period to get the game tied up, getting two power-play opportunities late. The Flyers out-shot Arizona, 13-4, in the second period, but could not solve Kuemper and headed to the third trailing by a goal.
Through most of the first 10 minutes of the third period, the Flyers had the better possession time and were trying to generate scoring chances. They had a few that Kuemper stopped. With 7:03 remaining, Arizona got some sustained pressure in the offensive zone and scored a goal that was the dagger for the Flyers. Conor Garland was at the side of the net to put home a rebound off a shot by Jakob Chychrun that hit off Christian Dvorak before going right to the stick of Garland.
The Flyers did manage to draw back to within one. With the goalie pulled with just under five minutes remaining, Matt Niskanen fired through a screen and beat Kuemper to cut the lead to one with 4:43 to play.
But with 2:23 to play, Kevin Hayes took a cross-checking penalty, putting the Flyers back on the penalty kill. They managed to get the goalie pulled, but Kessel scored into the empty net to finish off the game.
Kuemper finished the game with 28 saves. Elliott made 15 saves on 17 shots in the loss.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators at 1 p.m.
- ARI Phil Kessel (5) PP (Clayton Keller, Oliver Ekman-Larsson) 2:25
- No Scoring
- ARI Conor Garland (11) (Christian Dvorak, Jakob Chychrun) 12:57
- PHI Matt Niskanen (3) (Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek) 15:17
- ARI Kessel (6) PP-EN (Carl Soderberg, Keller) 18:58