Red Wings' rally falls short in 6-5 OT loss to Flyers
Philadelphia — Really, did you expect the Red Wings to win here?
They rarely ever do — only once in the last 16 games — so Philadelphia’s 6-5 overtime victory Saturday afternoon shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Maybe the way the entire afternoon unfolded was a bit of a surprise, though again, the final result wasn't entirely shocking.
Travis Konecny scored at 1:27 of overtime, giving the Flyers the victory, putting a wraparound goal past goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
Essentially, the Wings played one good period, the third, and it wasn’t good enough to steal two points.
“That’s one good period, only,” said Anthony Mantha, whose two goals in the third period forced overtime, the second goal coming with 7 seconds left in regulation time. “I don’t think we played 60 minutes. They were all over us in the first and second periods and we decided to play one.
“We have good talent. If we play the right way, we could win games. It shows great character.”
The Flyers scored twice in the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie, and seemingly had the game in control.
That certainly appeared to be the case after Jakub Voracek and Nolan Patrick scored quick goals, giving Philadelphia a 5-1 lead just 1:24 into the third period, and nudging coach Jeff Blashill to replace Jimmy Howard with Bernier.
As it often does, for whatever reason, the goalie switch temporarily worked.
“We just started playing our hockey,” said Tyler Bertuzzi, who had a goal and assist in his return. “Berns (Bernier) played unbelievable for us, made some big saves that kept us in the game so we could come back there.”
Immediately, the Wings answered those two early Flyers goals.
Bertuzzi, who was impressive in his return to the lineup after missing seven games with a concussion, and Thomas Vanek scored goals 44 seconds apart (Bertuzzi at 2:39, Vanek 3:23), cutting the Flyers lead to 5-3.
Mantha's tip of Danny DeKeyser's shot at 8:36, his 13th goal, cut the lead to 5-4. Then Mantha added the exclamation mark, redirecting Mike Green's shot with 7 seconds left to force overtime.
“Once we scored we started getting momentum,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We started to be on top of them a little bit more. We’re a pressure team and when you’re a pressure team and a step behind, like we were for most of the night, you’re giving up way too much space and they’re able to make plays.
“We had too many guys not going (early on). We pulled Howie but it wasn’t his fault. He kept us in the game early on. We got to be way better than that.”
Gustav Nyquist opened the Wings’ scoring with his 15th goal in the first period, with Bertuzzi getting the primary assist. Bertuzzi fired a pass to Nyquist alone at the post, Nyquist tapping the puck into the net and tying the game 1-1.
The teams flew to Detroit afterward to complete the weekend back-to-back series Sunday at Little Caesars Arena (6 p.m./NBCSN/97.1).
The Wings (23-28-8) saw their modest two-game win streak end, while losing for the fourth time in the last six games.
Philadelphia (27-24-7) is making a late charge, having won 12 of their last 15 games (12-2-1), largely behind the goaltending of rookie goalie Carter Hart.
But the Wings made Hart look human, especially in the third period, after falling behind 5-1.
But, in the end, the poor start kept the Wings from stealing two points.
“It’ s not easy to score from four goals,” Mantha said. “We proved we can do it. (Sunday) if we play 60 minutes that way, we can try to pull a win.”