Flyers penalties allow Sharks to swarm

By MATTHEW NADU
Staff Writer — matthew.nadu@yahoo.com
________

The Flyers came out strong, but fell apart in the third period allowing the Sharks to overcome a 4-1 deficitand win the game. (Philly.com)

As time expired in overtime Mike Richards launched a shot from 10 feet out that went through two San Jose defenders and through Antero Niittymaki’s five-hole.

The Flyers celebrated. The Fans celebrated. The Sharks stayed calm and cool.

At first glance it appeared as if the Flyers have sunk the Sharks for the first time in almost a decade, essentially it looked like the first two periods- a sure-fire win.

Then with a blink of an eye the goal fell short hitting the goaline as time hit .00. Literally, if you blinked you missed it. Certainly ESPN worthy, but an opportunity the Flyers soon want to forget. Who’s crying ‘instant replay’ now?

And just like the Flyers 4-1 lead in the beginning of the third period was erased, so was Richards’ goal upon review in Toronto.

Moments later in the shootout, Sergei Bobrovsky let Ryane Clowe wrist a shot by him as the Sharks knocked off the Flyers in a 5-4 heart breaker at the Wells Fargo Center.

Never mind the fact that Jeff Carter became the 25th player in Philadelphia history to score 400 points. It doesn’t matter that Claude Giroux notched his 100th point of his career.

The number that stands out is 1-3. The Flyers record in shootouts this season.

Up 4-1 almost midway through the third, the Flyers spent 8 minutes in the penalty box- 6 by Danny Briere, as the Sharks swarmed Bobrovsky on the power play.

“It’s always upsetting to blow a 4-1 lead,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said.  “It doesn’t happen very often and when it does it stings.  The reason why we blew the 4-1 lead was because of the penalties.”

Due to men in the box, the Flyers were on the defense much of the third period. No easy task forChris Pronger and the rest of Philadelphia’s defensemen.

“If you can’t hold a 4-1 lead with 13 minutes to go, the rest of it doesn’t matter.”  Pronger said after the game. “We’ve got to stay out of the box. We’ve got to keep skating. We had full control of the game; we were dominating every aspect of the game up until… we let our, I don’t know we let or minds wander or whatever.”
“It stings a lot, “said Richards. The Flyers we’re 14-0-1 when leading in the third period this season and a win, according to Richards, “should be automatic.”
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