It seemed inevitable. Two periods of being outpossessed, outshot and outchanced eventually came back to bite the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jason Akeson's double minor penalty in the third period led to two power play goals from Brad Richards and Derek Stepan, which sunk the Philadelphia Flyers in game one by a score of 4-1. With the loss, it extended the team's losing streak at Madison Square Garden to nine games.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
Sunday afternoon didn't go exactly as Cal Heeter planned, but it was a memorable experience nonetheless for the rookie goalie, who made his NHL debut.
Heeter allowed five goals, including one in the shootout as the Flyers failed to complete one more comeback. They lost 6-5 in a shootout in their final game of the season before they begin a playoff series with the Rangers.
Heeter showed obvious jitters in the first period, allowing three goals while fighting with the puck for the first 20 minutes. He settled down for the remaining 45 minutes, allowing his team to climb back into the game and force overtime.
(Photo: Cal Heeter composes himself after allowing a first period goal. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Flyers found out who their first round opponent in the playoffs will be.
The Flyers beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime, clinching third place in the Metropolitan Division. It will set up a first round series with the New York Rangers, who the Flyers have had a poor track record with this season.
Daniel Spevak is a writer for The Checking Line - Flyers Edition. This is a part of a multi-part series breaking down the potential finalists for the NHL's annual awards.
The Hart Trophy is awarded to the player deemed to be the most valuable each season.
While a lot of players fit the bill of being good and are capable of putting up statistics, only a handful fit the description of being the most valuable to their respective teams. Here are the players that have been keys to their club’s success.
Phil Kessel - Toronto Maple Leafs
Kessel has had quite the season. He’s tied for fifth in the league with 80 points, and has a career-hi...
Tuukka Rask is good at getting in the way of things.
The Flyers were on the verge of another third period comeback, but it was Rask who stood in their way. He also stood in the way of 49 shots, leading the Bruins to a 4-3 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.
Rask proved why Boston gave him an extension in the offseason. Rask was also the reason Boston skated away with two points.
He fought off an Flyers onslaught in the third period. Philadelphia out-shot Boston 52-30 on the game, including 17-6 in the third period and 8-1 in overtime.
(Photo: Boston goalie Tuukka Rask stops Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek in the shootout. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
With Claude Giroux’s MVP like performance, Steve Mason’s impressive play in net, the domination of Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier’s consistent maturity, it has been hard to think of anything negative about this Flyers team.
And why would you want to?
But unfortunately Jakub Voracek had a rather rough performance immediately after the Olympics which seemed to be a carryover of his inconsistent play through January. With just six goals in January and the very beginning of February and three goals after the Olympic break up until last Saturday, it is clear that Voracek has had his struggles.
The Flyers are on the right track to make the playoffs, and it's Claude Giroux who is leading them there.
Giroux added another three points to his season total, helping the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Friday. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Flyers, putting them back in the playoff hunt.
The Flyers scored first, and came at the Maple Leafs early. It was the exact opposite of their effort against the Rangers on Wednesday.