Flyers give up 3-0 lead; lose in shootout

On Saturday, there were two versions of the Philadelphia Flyers to be observed.

Through the first two periods, the Flyers looked like a team that was on its way to win the first game of the season. But in the third, they were a team that barely came away with a point.

The Flyers blew a 3-0 lead in the third period, ultimately losing 4-3 in the shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Flyers (0-2-1) lost their third straight game, starting the season with three losses for the third straight year.

"It sucks," winger Wayne Simmonds said. "We were up 3-0. Obviously you don't get the two points, you’re disappointed."

Simmonds gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead just 55 seconds into the second period. Even though the didn't score another goal, the Flyers held a 27-18 shot advantage through two periods and looked in shape to come away with the win.

Instead, they were out-worked all third period, leaving goalie Ray Emery out to dry on all three of Montreal's goals.

Was this Montreal's ability to score late in games or was this the Flyers having a mental break down at the most inopportune of times?

"Us," Flyers coach Craig Berube said to conclude his post game press conference.

Montreal got on the board after peppering Emery with shots. An Andrei Markov shot finally got through, cutting the lead to 3-1 with 12:55 remaining in the game.

A little more than two minutes later, Tomas Plekanec brought the Habs within one. It was Plekanec's fourth goal of the season, giving him a hot start to the year.

It wasn't long before it was expected for the Flyers defense to completely break down and blow the lead. They only had to wait five more minutes.

Alex Galchenyuk scored his first goal of the season to tie the game.

Minutes later, Montreal almost took the lead. Thankfully for the Flyers, Emery was on his best all game, stopping 35 shots. He faced 19 of those shots in the third period alone.

"They took it to us," Emery said. "I think we respect that team. We know what they’ve got and how they can buzz around. It’s unfortunate that we can’t hold a lead like that because we definitely should be able to."

Emery's effort was spoiled in the shootout when P.A. Parenteau, Montreal's fourth shooter, finally beat Emery for the win. The Flyers barely tested Montreal netminder Carey Price.

"I don't even want to comment on the shootout," Simmonds said. "It is what it is. 

"I don't think it’s any way to decide a hockey game, but unfortunately that’s the way it is and we gotta make sure we're getting better at that."

It also spoiled another stellar game by Simmonds, who had his second consecutive two-goal game of the season. Michael Raffl also scored his first goal of the season in the loss.


John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers