Flyers-Avalanche: Game 31 Preview
Malcolm Jenkins Named Eagles Walter Payton Man of The Year Nominee

Rantanen's 2 Goals Help Avalanche Down Flyers

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Out of Saturday's win against Ottawa came some bad news. The Flyers would be without Travis Konecny for at least the start of their three-game road trip due to a concussion. Wednesday morning brought more bad news as Oskar Lindblom was unable to suit up due to an upper-body injury as well.

With their top two scorers out of the lineup, the Flyers were outmatched by the Colorado Avalanche, a team just continuing to get healthy up front. The Flyers were massively outplayed in the first period, but survived down just a goal. They dominated most of the second period, but surrendered a late goal that felt like a dagger.

That proved to be the case as the Flyers came away with a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche.

From start to finish, the first period was heavily controlled by the Avalanche. They had several scoring chances early and were able to get on the board first at 5:21.

A shot from the high slot by Calle Rosen was deflected twice, hit the post and bounced out to Matt Calvert, who was able to knock in the rebound for his sixth goal of the season.

The Flyers had a small push back, taking an 8-4 lead in shots at the midpoint of the period, but a late power play and total dominance in the final five minutes of the period allowed Colorado to open up a 13-8 advantage in shots through 20 minutes.

The Flyers came out firing in the second and controlled the play right from the start. In the first 10 minutes of the period, they had the first 12 shots for either side. In total, they out-shot the Avalanche, 17-5, for the period, but failed to score.

Instead, it was the Avalanche getting the lone goal of the period to extend their lead. Mikko Rantanen had a great scoring chance off an odd-man rush and was robbed by the glove of Carter Hart. On another cross-ice feed, this time by Nathan MacKinnon, Rantanen's speed to the net prevailed, pushing the puck past Hart to make it 2-0 at 16:05.

If Rantanen's first goal didn't feel like a dagger, he essentially put the game away with a second goal just 2:31 into the third.

The Flyers did get on the board with 5:12 remaining in the third as Claude Giroux picked up a loose puck in front and finished on the backhand for his 10th goal of the season.

That was as close as the Flyers would get, as Pavel Francouz helped finish off the victory, completing his night with 32 saves. Hart had 24 saves on 27 shots.

The Flyers return to the ice on Saturday night to take on the Minnesota Wild at 7 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Flyers 0 0 1 1
Avalanche 1 1 1 3

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • COL Matt Calvert (6) (Valeri Nichushkin, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) 5:21

2nd Period

  • COL Mikko Rantanen (7) (Nathan MacKinnon, JT Compher) 16:05

3rd Period

  • COL Rantanen (8) (Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen) 2:31
  • PHI Claude Giroux (10) (Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier) 14:48

Game Statistics

  Flyers Avalanche
Shots 33 27
Power Plays 0/2 0/2
Hits 25 14
Faceoff % 57.1% 42.9%
Giveaways 3 7
Takeaways 6 13
Blocked Shots 9 14
Penalty Minutes 4 4

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