First Period Struggles Continue as Flyers Lose to Coyotes

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers will certainly say good riddance to any West coast competition for the remainder of the season. The Flyers road trip went from bad to worse with another dismal first period.

The Arizona Coyotes had more than enough to earn the win with a three-goal first period, and the Flyers lost their third straight by a score of 6-2 in Arizona on Saturday night.

For most of the first period, the Flyers had the defensive structure needed to prevent another barrage of goals. That quickly changed when the Coyotes got a bounce.

Brad Richardson entered the zone and threw a shot toward the net that bounced off the ice and knuckled in on Carter Hart. The shot leaked through Hart, giving Arizona the 1-0 lead at 12:33.

Just 57 seconds later, another bounce went Arizona's way. A point shot from Jordan Oesterle went off the shin pad of Matt Niskanen and in to make it 2-0.

Just under three minutes after that, the Coyotes were on the power play and struck again. A good cycle and a quick release from Clayton Keller made it 3-0 and forced the exit of Hart from the game. He allowed three goals on 12 shots. 

For most of the second, the Flyers played a better defensive game, though Arizona had a couple of close chances, but failed to do anything to really apply pressure in the Arizona end. Just when you thought they would take the three-goal deficit from the first period into the third, a late rush led to another Arizona goal.

Lawson Crouse came in off the rush and scored on a wicked backhand with just one second remaining in the period to essentially put the game out of reach. Following the second period, Antti Raanta exited with an injury, forcing Adin Hill into the game. Raanta had made 17 saves through two periods.

The Flyers got on the board three minutes into the third period with Tyler Pitlick firing one by Hill for his fourth goal of the season. Just 1:27 after that, the Coyotes restored the four-goal lead with Keller scoring his second of the game. Justin Braun scored midway through the period to make it 6-2.

The Flyers had a late power play and elected to pull the goalie. Derek Stepan scored into the empty net shorthanded to cap the scoring.

Hill finished the game with 10 saves on 12 shots. Brian Elliott made seven saves on nine shots. Keller, Stepan and Nick Schmaltz finished with two-point games for Arizona.

The road trip finally comes to an end for the Flyers on Tuesday night when they face the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. 

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Flyers 0 0 2 2
Coyotes 3 1 2 6

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • ARI Brad Richardson (3) (Jakob Chychrun, Vinnie Hinostroza) 12:33
  • ARI Jordan Oesterle (1) (Ilya Lyubushkin, Nick Schmaltz) 13:30
  • ARI Clayton Keller (11) PP (Taylor Hall, Phil Kessel) 16:15

2nd Period

  • ARI Lawson Crouse (9) (Derek Stepan, Alex Goligoski) 19:59

3rd Period

  • PHI Tyler Pitlick (4) (Unassisted) 3:00
  • ARI Keller (12) (Schmaltz) 4:27
  • PHI Justin Braun (2) (Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere) 8:46
  • ARI Stepan (7) SH-EN (Unassisted) 17:36

Game Statistics

  Flyers Coyotes
Shots 29 22
Power Plays 0/4 1/5
Hits 25 19
Faceoff % 54.4% 45.6%
Giveaways 13 13
Takeaways 3 7
Blocked Shots 10 12
Penalty Minutes 12 10


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