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."
The Flyers are on their way to a Game 7 with the Rangers in New York.
Wayne Simmonds, who led the Flyers with 29 goals during the regular season, lit the Rangers up for a hat trick in Tuesday's 5-2 win in Game 6. It was his first career playoff hat trick and the first Flyers playoff hat trick since Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier did it against the Penguins in 2012.
After a game two victory, what seemed like an overplayed narrative of being unable to competently play at Madison Square Garden seemed to be vanquished by a 4-2, come-from-behind win. That storyline returned in full force after Sunday.
Heavily outpossessed and outchanced, the Philadelphia Flyers dropped game five 4-2 to the New York Rangers, giving Broadway the 3-2 edge over Broad Street in the series.
A lacking power play ruined any continuity the Flyers could have possibly constructed. Rangers forward Carl Hagelin took two penalties in two consecutive shifts to open the game. The result of those power plays was complete disaster.
It is said as a general rule that the first goal after a 2-0 lead is the most crucial. Jakub Voracek's monumental late first period goal sparked a comeback resulting in a 4-2 Flyers win over the New York Rangers. As a result, the series is tied at one apiece heading into game three.
As had been the largest story coming into this series, the Flyers snapped a nine-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden in comeback fashion.
Luke Schenn capped off the furious comeback by tapping home a rebound past a sprawled Henrik Lundqvist halfway through the second period. On a delayed penalty, Adam Hall collected a Michael Raffl pass and shoveled a shot on goal that popped right on Schenn's stick. No Ranger would score after that goal was scored.
If you go back into the early episodes of the TCL Flyers podcast, you'll hear me proclaim Ray Emery as the Flyers' starting goaltender in 2013-14. Why? He had shown an ability to be competitive after suffering avascular necrosis in 2010. He also proved to be a valuable backup on a juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks team that won hockey's greatest prize.
Steve Mason, that other guy, played well during his seven-game tryout at the 2013 season's conclusion. Prior to that, I, and many others, fell into the trap of thinking of Mason as the sad sack goalie from The Buckeye State with undersized pads who produced a record fit for the NHL's version of a discard pile.
Wayne Simmonds is making the trade from three years ago pay in full.
Simmonds scored two more goals, his second proving to be the decider in a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. The goals were his 22nd and 23rd of the season, putting him second to Claude Giroux for the team lead in goals and points.
It was the fourth straight win for the Flyers, who are now 11-2-1 since Feb. 1.
Steve Mason's new goalie mask is a perfect representation of the Flyers.
His new mask has images of some of his teammates in zombie form. And much like his mask depicts, the Flyers resemble the walking dead.
The Flyers turned in another mediocre performance, losing 6-1 in embarrassing fashion to the Bruins at home. The loss expanded the Flyers losing streak to four games as well as losses in seven of their last nine games.
(Photo: Steve Mason leans on his stick in the first period. AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
As they had done eight times prior this season, the Flyers had erased a third period deficit to defeat the New York Islanders 6-4 on Saturday night in a wild affair. This ninth comeback set a new team record.
Incredibly enough, 11 of the last 15 Flyers wins have involved coming back from a deficit.