Flyers-Coyotes Observations: An Overtime Loss to Lowly Arizona


The Flyers know how to script a Nightmare on Broad Street.

On the eve of Halloween, the Flyers nearly overcame their most uninspiring and lackuster effort of the season before losing, 4-3, to the Arizona Coyotes in overtime Monday.

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Defenseman Alex Goligoski scored the game-winner in the extra stanza.

Trailing, 3-1, the Flyers scored a pair of goals in the final minute of the third period with goaltender Brian Elliott on the bench. Jordan Weal scored on a rebound tap-in with 53 seconds remaining in regulation, and Sean Couturier tied it as he flipped a backhand into a wide-open net.

• The victory marked the first for new head coach Rick Tocchet, as the Coyotes had begun the season at 0-10-1, the worst start in NHL history.

• Jordan Martinook, Christian Dvorak and Brendan Perlini also tallied for Arizona. Playing his first game in a year and a half, Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood turned aside 28 of 31 shots for the victory.

• Couturier scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season on a feed from Claude Giroux on the team's first power play of the game in the opening minutes of the third period. Couturier caught Wedgewood leaning to his left and then fired a shot right to put the Flyers on the board. Later in the period, Couturier added his ninth with 16 seconds left on the clock to force overtime.

• It appeared as if the Flyers would have a second opportunity to take advantage of the NHL's 31st-ranked penalty kill as Arizona's Luke Schenn was assessed a two-minute minor for roughing. However, after further deliberations, the referees also whistled Jakub Voracek with a double-minor for high sticking.

• Defensively, the Coyotes may have played their best game of the season keeping the Flyers around the perimeter for nearly the entire first half of the game. The Flyers didn't start to show life until about the final six minutes of the second period.

• Zac Rinaldo, one of three former Flyers on the Coyotes' roster, delivered a big check on Travis Konecny in the second. Rinaldo, who at times displayed a sense of undisciplined aggression during his time in Philadelphia, stayed out of the penalty box in this game.

• Giroux released a quick wrist shot 3:39 into the second period, which was not only the Flyers' best opportunity to that point, but their first shot from a forward in the game.

• Arizona's Brendan Perlini could have increased the lead to 3-0 but his shot went off the toe of his stick and went wide left of a wide-open net as the Coyotes nearly executed a 2-on-1. 

• The first period was Dave Hakstol's worst nightmare as the Flyers had very little sustained pressure and looked completely uninspired to play a Coyotes team with an 0-10-1 record. Their passing was some of the worst I've seen all season - pucks at skates, little communication and at times trying to make the perfect pass instead of the simple one. 

• The Flyers' first shot on net came nearly 6½ minutes into the game when Ivan Provorov launched a harmless slap shot from the blue line. The Flyers were outshot, 13-3, in the opening period and didn't have a real quality chance in the opening 20 minutes. All three of the Flyers' shots came from their defense. In other words, the Flyers did not have a single shot on net from their forwards.

• Wedgewood, who the Coyotes obtained Saturday in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, could not have scripted an easier first period.

• On Arizona's first goal, rookie defensemen Travis Sanheim and Mark Alt were caught on the right side of the ice at the same time. Sanheim stayed right while Alt should have recognized this and stayed on the left side to prevent the backdoor play. Martinook got tangled up with Jori Lehtera on the boards, broke free before Lehtera got up and had a wide-open one-timer on Elliott, who nearly made the save, but couldn't cover the post in time.

• On Arizona's second goal, the Flyers had the play covered defensively, but once Oliver Ekman-Larsson's shot was blocked, Elliott lost sight of the puck and briefly lost track. Once Christian Dvorak had gathered the puck and skated around the masses, he had an easy shot that found the back of the net. If Elliott had tracked the puck, it would have been a routine save as the puck never left the ice. Elliott finished with 30 saves on 34 shots faced.

Lines, pairings and scratches

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal-Valtteri Filppula-Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read-Jori Lehtera-Travis Konecny
Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov-Robert Hagg
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas
Brandon Manning-Mark Alt

Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Forwards Dale Weise (healthy) and Nolan Patrick (upper body), and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (upper body).

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