December 10, 2023

Flyers lose opener to Canucks in shootout


Photo by Heather Barry

The Flyers began the night hype. The pregame into’s had the crowd loud heading into the season opener. But of course, they lost on overtime.

Here’s a full recap of Friday night’s game.

Period 1

Claude Giroux won the opening face off, and the 2021-22 was officially underway.

It took just 4:12 for the Flyers to get their first power play of the season. They weren’t successful, but just a few seconds later Joel Farabee fired one in the net for the first goat of the season. The rebounding puck bounced off Tucker Poolman and into the net at 6:15.

At the five minute mark the Flyers had 11 shots on goal. It was great to see the Flyers getting good shots on net. Seems like some things have changed. But again, it’s only game one.

Ivan Provorov was robbed of a tripping call at about the 2:30 mark, and we got the first “refs you suck” chant of the season. It was a pretty obvious trip, but of course it wasn’t called. Felt great to finally have that chant back in full strength. Nature is healing.

At 0:12 the Flyers had a great shot at getting a late goal as the net was dislodged. They had some chances, but Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko shut down. It did seem the net was dislodged on purpose, but another no call from the refs that had the crowd not happy.

The Flyers finished the first period, as of course Travis Konecny gave Conor Garland a little bump and was yapping at him at the final buzzer.

The Flyers held a 1-0 lead after outshooting the Canucks 14-5 and outhitting them 15-9 in the first period. And those numbers don’t lie, the Flyers were dominant in the opening frame. There was really very little to complain with. Forecheck was strong, great puck movement in the offensive zone, and Carter Hart — while he didn’t get a lot of work — looked sharp when he was tested.

Well deserved 1-0 lead for Philadelphia at the end of 20 minutes.

Period 2

Bo Horvat won the faceoff to begin the second period.

At 2:36, the Canucks answered. Vasily Podkolzin shot one right over the glove of Hart to tie this one up at one. Keith Yandle got pulled over too far to his right on that rush, and then couldn’t fight through a pick, giving Podkolzin way too much time and space to skate the puck down and pick his spot. Also, it was a great shot by Podkolzin.

Just 1:31 later, the Canucks took the lead. Konecny had a high-sticking penalty turned in a Elias Pettersson goal. Puck bounced off the wall, off back of Hart’s skate, and in. Unlucky bounce.

Jack Rathbone caught for holding at 4:48, and it was pretty obvious. Some good movement from the top power play early on, but nothing in the net, and Vancouver kills off the last 40-ish seconds with the second group out.

Bad second period through 12:23 for Philadelphia. Nothing was going well on special teams. And to make it worse, Ivan Provorov went to the box for delay of game. Cam Atkinson got a good steal in the neutral zone during the penalty kill, and gave it to Nate Thompson had a shorthanded breakaway, but it was shut down by Demko. Atkinson is a great penalty killer, exactly what this team needed. After, the Flyers were called for too many men on the ice. There was 34 seconds of 5-on-3. Hart made an amazing save on the first shot from Alex Chiasson, but he kept digging and got it past Hart. It went down as a 5-on-3 goal to make it 3-1 Vancouver. The Flyers killed the other penalty. I did not have fun writing this paragraph.

Canucks have three goals on 13 shots. Flyers have one goal 20 shots. Looks like they’re already in mid-season form.

Cam Atkinson got his first goal as a member of the Flyers at 12:17. He drilled one from a backdoor feed by Farabee.

Oskar Lindblom had a good chance to tie this game on a 2-on-1, but missed on a saucer-pass feed from Scott Laughton. That should have been a goal. Not sure from up here if it bounced.

Canucks made it 4-2 at 17:07. After Yandle forgets how to hold a hockey stick, Hart forgets how to hug the post again and loses sight of the puck. J.T. Miller snuck it behind him.

The Flyers got a delayed penalty for Max Willman for cross-checking at 20:00, all they had to do was touch the puck, but decided not to. Canucks will take 4-2 lead into 3rd period with a full two minute carryover power play. Canucks are 2-for-3 on the PP so far.

The second period was brutal for the Flyers. Vancouver outshot the Flyers 13-10 in the second. Four goals — a snipe, a weird bounce, a 5-on-3 against, and a brutal angle shot — have the Flyers playing catch-up in the final frame. Defensive effort has honestly not been bad, but that doesn’t really matter.

4-2 Canucks going to the final frame.

Period 3

Bo Horvat won the faceoff to start the third period.

Hart was pulled at 3:30 for the extra attacker. This period was a sleeper.

Slashing on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Flyers have a power play with 2:24 left. Konecny, he drew the penalty, got the score to make this a one goal game.

Seconds after, the captain tied it up to force overtime.


Carter Hart had a huge save on Pettersson to save the game.

Vancouver dominated the possession time in OT, but couldn’t get anything done.

In a crazy OT, no goals were scored, and we went to a shootout.


Round 1:
Couturier tries to deke out Demko but goes wide.
Pettersson finally gets one past Hart to give the Canucks an edge.

Round 2:
Giroux almost gets across to beat Demko but he gets the pad out.
Miller does the same thing but he scores.

That’s it, Flyers lose 5-4. They start the season 0-0-1.

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