Only five games remain in this lockout-shortened regular season for the Philadelphia Flyers. These five games serve as a tryout period for players to show why they should or shouldn't stay beyond next season. Some players have already been written off, as it may not make much sense to keep for the future.
Many difficult decisions have to be made this summer, including players that have had extended stints as Flyers.
Sometimes, coaches get a little more out of certain players than they hope for in certain situations.
For head coach Peter Laviolette, he wanted to neutralize Washington's top scoring tandem of Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro. By doing so, he put forechecking specialists Sean Couturier and Ruslan Fedotenko out onto the ice.
Laviolette wound up getting more out of Fedotenko in that situation than he had hoped. Fedotenko got himself in the right position, scoring the game-winning goal to seal a comeback win for the Flyers, stealing an important two points in the process.
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
All it takes is one ill-fated blast from the point to ruin a season.
At the time, that unfortunate situation struck Scott Hartnell down on January 24—a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. A rocket propelled puck off the stick of Kimmo Timonen broke the first metatarsil in his left foot, keeping him out of action for a while.
Hartnell has since returned, and in his return, he has scored a goal and added two assists since then. The team also won two of its last three games in its homestand at the Wells Fargo Center since the #19 orange sweater stepped back onto the ice.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell celebrates after scoring his first goal on Monday. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Flyers host a hot Washington team looking to rebound from their slow start. Both teams are in need of points as they near the half way mark of the season while resting in the middle of the division.
The Flyers have acquired former left winger Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings.
The Flyers sent a conditional fourth round pick to the Kings in exchange for Gagne, bringing the 33-year-old winger back to Philadelphia where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career here. If the Flyers make the playoffs, it becomes a third round pick.
"Simon is a guy who has a lot of experience and played in a lot of positions, penalty kill, power play and regular shifts," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "He is a good two way player that can skate. We think he will add to us a lot.”