The orange and black came out with more energy than anyone has seen from them the past few games, especially Sean Couturier. Coots laid the groundwork for a Gordie Howe hat trick in the first period, scoring on the power play 6 minutes into the game. The goal was assisted by Scott Laughton, his first NHL points. Couturier also got into a meaningless fight with Brenden Dillon. There was no clear winner and the ref called it early because Couturier had no helmet on, but Dillon did. (Like a wuss)
The Sharks evened the tally at 1-1 in the second period thanks to Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The defenseman came rushing into the zone after a 2-on-2 rush with Claude Giroux trailing him. Giroux wasn't able to catch up to him in time and the Pickleman fired a slapshot past Mason's shoulder with 2:16 left in the period.
Nick Grossman damn near scored a breakaway goal in the second after being released from the penalty box. Bellemare saw him exiting the box and fed him a perfect pass. Grossman actually managed to fake out Antti Niemi on a deke right, but didn't quite air it enough on his backhand shot, hitting Niemi's leg. Grossman's moves still looked better than most of the Flyers involved in shootouts. Didn't know he had it in him. Yay, moral victories!
Simmonds had a nice opportunity to put the Flyers up with 4 minutes left in the game beating his defender to the net, but the Sharks purposefully dislodged the net off its moorings before anyone could get the rebound. No penalty was called.
Unfortunately, this game ended in a fashion that really made you angry you stayed up until 12:45 am. Patrick Marleau got the puck on the breakaway with 16 seconds left. Mason saved it, but Tommy Wingels ran into Mase as he was chasing the rebound. The ref didn't call it, much like the net dislodging, and Matt Nieto shot the puck into the empty net with 11.5 seconds left to give the Sharks the 2-1 win.
Not to sound like a homer here, but it was highly questionable that the ref didn't call anything on that last play. Mason was clearly ran into and that clearly interfered with his ability to get back to the net to make the save. The Flyers should have gotten at least 1 point out of this effort.
Mason saved 25 of 27 tonight.
The Flyers won't have any time to dwell on this turn of events luckily. They head down to Orange County tomorrow night to take on the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks in another 10 pm game.
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