(Photo: Kate Frese)
By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
It was happening on home ice again for the Flyers. Two shorthanded goals allowed in 24 seconds helped Arizona erase a 2-0 lead and turn it into a 4-2 deficit and frustration was setting in.
The Flyers stayed the course this time, getting two goals in the third before Shayne Gostisbehere scored the overtime winner to give the Flyers a 5-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
For the fifth straight game, the Flyers got the first goal, and they wasted little time doing it. Travis Konecny executed a perfect give-and-go with Claude Giroux, and Konecny lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Darcy Kuemper to make it 1-0 just 1:18 into the game.
Still buzzing from the early goal, the fourth line got in on the action just over four minutes later. Scott Laughton stayed with the puck in the slot and managed to gain control and turn a backhand shot into the net for his fifth goal of the season to make it 2-0 at 5:37.
The momentum the Flyers had was quickly halted when the 30th-ranked penalty kill took the ice. Trying to kill off a delay of game penalty, the Flyers paid for a mistake. Ivan Provorov had a chance to clear and turned the puck over into the slot for Clayton Keller. Keller's shot was stopped nicely with the pad of Cal Pickard, but the Coyotes stayed with the play and got the puck back to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who fired through a screen to score and cut the lead to one. It was the ninth straight game the Flyers have allowed a power-play goal.
After 20 minutes, the Flyers held a 2-1 lead with Arizona holding a slight edge in shots, 9-8.
The Flyers killed off the final 27 seconds of a penalty to Wayne Simmonds to start the second before the familiar home-ice demons that followed the Flyers before struck again.
First, Brad Richardson scored the tying goal at 1:51 off a rush. Michael Grabner and Radko Gudas came together bidding for a loose puck. The puck hit Gudas' skate and went right to Richardson up the wing. He went wide on Gudas and got a shot off that beat Pickard.
The Flyers were on a power play less than five minutes later with a chance to regain the lead. Instead, the Coyotes top-ranked penalty kill put on a clinic.
Gostisbehere turned the puck over at the blue line and wasn't able to recover as a linesman got in the way. Derek Stepan got a breakaway out of it and beat Pickard through the five-hole to give Arizona the lead. Just 24 seconds later, Grabner out-raced Voracek to a loose puck and also scored on a breakaway.
The two shorthanded goals chased Pickard from the game for Brian Elliott. The Flyers also called timeout to try to regroup.
Arizona dominated the second period, outshooting the Flyers, 15-7, in the middle period to hold a 24-15 lead in shots through 40 minutes.
The Flyers failed to take advantage of carryover time on the power play to start the third, but did get an early goal to cut into the lead. Out of a net-mouth scramble, Laughton was able to find the puck and put it in on the backhand for his second goal of the game at 2:21.
The 4-3 Arizona lead held up for a large portion of the rest of the third. The game went nearly six minutes without a stoppage as time started to wind down on the Flyers.
Gostisbehere created a chance by breaking up a play in the defensive zone and sprung Dale Weise the other way on a breakaway and he lifted a shot over Kuemper to tie the game with 2:13 remaining in the third. That forced overtime for the second time in three games for the Flyers.
In the overtime, a great individual effort by Jake Voracek allowed him to control the puck and eventually get it to Gostisbehere for the one-time blast for the win.
Gostisbehere, Weise and Laughton each had two-point games in the win. Pickard stopped 14 of 18 shots faced before exiting the game. Elliott stopped all 16 shots he faced to pick up the win. Kuemper made 26 saves in the loss.
The Flyers are back on home ice on Saturday for the second game of the five-game homestand, facing the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time is at 1 p.m.