The Flyers drop another one by a score of 2-1, making it two in a row to round out road trip that saw only one win
BY JAY BOEHMER. Staff Writer
Out-shooting the Wild 17-7 in the first, the Flyers had the better of the puck control. The few shots the Wild did have, however, were close calls. Minnestoa netted their first goal as Owen Nolan pressured Flyer goalie Michael Leighton into a turnover that went out front to Cal Clutterbuck for an easy goal and a 1-0 lead. The Flyers answered 26 seconds later as Dan Carcillo batted a Braydon Coburn rebound out of the air past goalie Anton Khudobin to tie the game 1-1.
Despite exciting scoring chances abound, both teams struggled to find the back of the net until Owen Nolan tapped in a weak rebound left behind by Leighton to go ahead 2-1. The Wild outplayed the Flyers this period and accumulated the majority of the scoring chances. With a minute left, Scott Hartnell took a hard hit that led to a scuffle with Owen Nolan. Each player took a roughing minor.
Philadelphia seemed to take back control of the game in the third, but continued to fall just short of getting the goal they needed to tie it. With 1:46 remaining, coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout and pulled Leighton. Minnesota held on, ending up 14-0-1 when leading after two periods with this 2-1 win.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Anton Khudobin: In his first NHL start, Khudobin stopped 38 of 39 shots to steal a win for his team. Khudobin is the third string goalie behind a sick Niklas Backstrom and injured Josh Harding.
Owen Nolan: The 37 year old veteran found himself in the right place at the right time around Leighton, creating the turnover that led to Clutterbuck’s first period goal as well as notching one of his own that ended up being the game winner.
Michael Leighton: Leighton, usually solid at controlling the puck, aided in the Flyers’ downfall last night after turning it over twice around his net. Both turnovers led to easy Minnesota goals.
Offensive Defensemen: The Flyers defensemen, especially Matt Carle and Lukas Krajicek, were seen stepping up on offense tonight. The defensive corps combined for 13 of the Flyers’ 39 shots.
Frustration: With the top two lines of scorers continuing to struggle as a whole, the Flyers offense is nothing if not stagnant. Over the last two games, the Flyers have scored only once on 72 shots.
The Flyers, for the second game in a row, piled on a multitude of shots, but found it nearly impossible to get them across the goal line. Much of this is coming from several expected goal scorers who have been ice cold as of late. Simon Gagne, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere have combined for three goals in the last ten games, a disturbingly low number. The hot rookie Anton Khudobin took advantage of this team’s struggles and turned away nearly every scoring chance he saw.
In more positive news, the Flyers recently traded defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to Detroit, along with a 5th round draft pick, for forward Ville Leino. Leino got lost in the shuffle of a revolving door of players coming in and out of an injured Detroit team this season. Having shown skill in the past, we hope that he will come alive with the Flyers. Leino is expected to make his first appearance in their next game, at home against the New Jersey Devils.