Flyers sloppy, ugly play costs them in loss to Maple Leafs

Flyers sloppy, ugly play costs them in loss to Maple Leafs
Getty Images

The Flyers are 13-6-3since eating their Thanksgiving turkey (at least those few Americans on the team who celebrate) the third best record in the entire NHL in that span.

For the fourth time in a row the Flyers overcame a late-game deficit — and some of the team’s ugliest play of the year and looked poised to at least gain one point in the standings with an overtime berth.

But a goal with 7.5 seconds left put the Flyers on the losing end, 3-2, making a clutch, tying goal from Shanye Gostisbehereirrelevant.

The Flyers played uninspired hockey for most of the game, losing the majority of 50-50 pucks, and strong play late was not enough allow Philly to steal some points in the standings.

Here’s what we saw in Tuesday’s tough loss:

First strike

The Flyers have scored first in six of their last seven games and Tuesday was no exception.

With really nothing happening on the ice for the first half of the first period, (thoughthe Flyers boasted a11-2shot advantage early), Brayden Schenn decided a little fist fight with Toronto’s Dion Phaneufcould give the team a spark.

On the power play a minute or so later, the spark caught on with a Matt Readbackhand (his 7th) finding nylon off a sniping pass from Evgeny Medvedev, putting Philly up 1-0.

Unfortunately, as often happens, the opponent responded, this time on a Roman Polak shot that appeared to be saved by Steve Mason, but slowly dribbled through his legs to tie things at 1-all.

Sloppy seconds

The Flyers allowed 10 straight shots after scoring their first goal and were sloppy in their own end for the latter half of the first period. In fact, Philly was outshot23-6during the middle portion of the game.

The ugly and careless play continued into the second when a turnover in the Toronto end gave Peter Holland an opportunity to flip the puck through the five-hole but it was negated after review when it was revealed a Maple Leaf was offside, keeping the score at 1-all.

All it took was a five-on-six scrum in front of the Toronto net(Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer got in on the action) to lead to a breaking of the deadlock, as the Leafs kept up the momentum and netted goal No. 2 on a delayed penalty, as former Flyer Joffrey Lupul scored on an empty net as Mason was stretched in the opposite direction.

Give and take

It’s hard to win hockey games when you turn the puck over 12 times (in contrast to the Flyers’ meager six takeaways), but that’s what the Flyers attempted to do, relying on Mason to erase their mistakes.

The goalie held court and kept the Flyers in it — a miracle of sorts in itself — andGostisbehere, once again, delivered with a breakaway, beating his man one on one and burying the shot to tie things at 2-all with less than seven minutes to go.

But the Flyers couldn’t dodge a final bullet, as Matt Hundwickfired a slap shot with seconds leftto steal a point away from the Flyers and send them packing without a point.