A late goal by Chris Kelly spoiled a fantastic goaltending performance by Steve Mason, leading to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins in the Philadelphia Flyers' season opener.
In the first regular season game of the first year of his contract extension, Mason was nearly flawless. He stopped 31 of 33 shots, including several key stops. If the Flyers were to have won, perhaps a luxurious steak dinner was in his future due to his role in this game.
The Flyers are going to rely on a balanced offense this season with the woes coming on the back-end. How fast the offense can start up this season will be key.
The first month of the season won’t be easy either. The Flyers begin their first week with back-to-back games in Boston on Wednesday and home on Thursday against New Jersey. The rest of the month is harder than running the gauntlet with games against Montreal, Anaheim, Dallas, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. On the Devils didn’t make the playoffs last season, but were in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.
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.
General Manager Paul Holmgren released a statement around 4:30 p.m. Thursday detailing that Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo will miss approximately six weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Ranked towards the bottom of the league in scoring, the Flyers were able to utilize a rare offensive outburst Wednesday night in Detroit en route to a 6-3 win.
Coming into Wednesday's game against the Red Wings, the Flyers averaged just 2.07 goals per game, which places them second to last in the league, just ahead of the Buffalo Sabres at 1.61.
Behind a career night from Sean Couturier and a strong four-goal third period, the Flyers were able to almost triple their average.
In fact, it was Couturier’s first career four-point night (at least in the regular season), as he finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has five goals and five assists in nine games since breaking his scoring drought on Nov. 19 against Ottawa.
(Photo: The Flyers celebrate a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Behind another strong performance by Steve Mason and an offensive outburst, the Flyers were able to extend their point streak to five games and have now collected 12 of 16 possible points in their last eight games.
In fact, since the disastrous 7-0 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Nov. 1, the Flyers have gone 5-1-2 and now sit just two points back from what would have them in playoff positioning.
(Photo: The Flyers celebrate Kimmo Timonen's first goal of the season, which proved to be the game-winner in the third period. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Flyers' week-long break will come to an end this Thursday when they host the Rangers.
While off, the Flyers set to work on a few things. Their powerplay unit, which is 29th in the NHL needed work; the entire team went to the Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday as a bonding experience; and they have a couple players potentially returning from injuries which will create a few decisions.
Failure to capitalize on special teams, scoring just one goal and dreadful puck possession time doomed the Flyers as they fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1, on a rainy Friday night in Philadelphia.
To add an insult to injury, along with the loss, Flyers forward corps sustained a large blow by losing Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier, forcing both to leave the game.
According to General Manager Paul Holmgren, both will miss at least a week, and will both have MRIs tomorrow. Call-up opportunities remain to be seen, as the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) were playing the Hartford Wolf Pack on this night as well.
Both Flyers power play units failed to score on multiple opportunities. Phoenix's suffocating defensive style under head coach Dave Tippett frustrated the Flyers all night long resulting in the power play going 0-for-4.
(Photo: Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson [right] celebrates his go-ahead goal in the 2nd period. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)