Flyers Frantic Comeback Bid Falls Short in Vegas

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Hopefully what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

If the New Year's Eve debacle in Los Angeles, a four-goal first period to a team at the bottom of the Western Conference, wasn't bad enough, the Flyers neared topped it on Thursday night in Vegas.

The Flyers got the game's first goal for a change, but the lead was short-lived and Vegas struck for three goals in a 2:45 span. When the Flyers got back into the game with another goal, Vegas answered back to extend the lead to two again with the second four-goal first period against the Flyers in as many games.

The Flyers managed to rally back to make it a game, taking a 5-2 deficit to a 5-4 deficit early in the third, but that was as close as they would get in yet another loss on the road, this time to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Flyers came out with plenty of energy and scored first at 7:33. Jake Voracek made a nice centering pass to Claude Giroux and he buried it for his 13th goal of the season to lead the team.

Vegas picked up the energy from there and struck for three goals in 2:45. Shea Theodore got Vegas on the board on a similar play to Giroux's goal, taking a centering feed from Paul Stastny at 8:42. Just under 90 seconds later, Max Pacioretty scored on a rebound just seconds into a power play to give Vegas the lead. Just 1:19 after that, Jon Merrill was left all alone in front to pick up a rebound to make it 3-1 with his first goal in 52 games.

The Flyers got a chance to crawl back into the game when Scott Laughton got hooked and a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. His attempt failed as he ran out of room on Marc-Andre Fleury after making a couple of moves. 

The Flyers did get the lead down to one moments later when Travis Konecny finished off a rush with a great cutting move to the net for his 12th goal of the season.

But just 2:23 after Konecny got the lead back to one, the Golden Knights struck again. Pacioretty was left wide open and able to cut in on goal, beating Carter Hart with a nice move to make it 4-2.

Shots were 18-12 Vegas through one period.

After an eventful first period, the second period was much calmer at the start. Vegas continued to generate the better of the chances and again cashed in on an opportunity as a shot from the slot by Cody Glass knuckled in past Hart at 9:37 to make it 5-2 Vegas.

The Flyers got a goal back at 12:08 with Sean Couturier putting home a rebound to make it 5-3.

Couturier was back on the board early in the third, scoring with one second left on a power play to make it 5-4.

From there, both teams had chances. The Flyers looked to get the equalizer and Vegas looked for the goal that would seemingly put the game away.

With 2:45 left in the third, the opportunity presented itself for the Flyers. Reilly Smith cleared the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. The Flyers were not able to get the tying goal in the first 50 seconds and called a timeout and pulled Hart to make it a 6-on-4 for 1:09. Just seconds after, Vegas took another penalty, giving the Flyers 43 seconds of 6-on-3 time and a power play for the remainder of the game. The Flyers never got the shot to the net that they wanted, as Vegas managed four clears late to seal the win.

Fleury finished with 34 saves on 38 shots in the win. Hart made 28 saves on 33 shots in the loss. 

Pacioretty, Theodore and Stastny finished with two points each for Vegas. Couturier had a three-point game while Giroux and Ivan Provorov each had two points.

The loss dropped the Flyers to 1-3-0 on the six-game road trip. They get back on the ice on Saturday night for their final game out West, facing the Arizona Coyotes at 8 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Flyers 2 1 1 4
Golden Knights 4 1 0 5

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • PHI Claude Giroux (13) (Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier) 7:33
  • VGK Shea Theodore (6) (Paul Stastny) 8:42
  • VGK Max Pacioretty (17) PP (Stastny, Theodore) 10:08
  • VGK Jon Merrill (1) (Nicolas Roy) 11:27
  • PHI Travis Konecny (12) (Unassisted) 14:40
  • VGK Pacioretty (18) (Mark Stone) 17:03

2nd Period

  • VGK Cody Glass (5) (William Carrier) 9:37
  • PHI Couturier (11) (Matt Niskanen, Ivan Provorov) 12:08

3rd Period

  • PHI Couturier (12) PP (Giroux, Provorov) 0:15

Game Statistics

  Flyers Golden Knights
Shots 38 33
Power Plays 1/3 1/1
Hits 37 34
Faceoff % 53.2% 46.8%
Giveaways 3 4
Takeaways 9 14
Blocked Shots 13 11
Penalty Minutes 2 6


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