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Flyers Actually Overcome Early Deficit and Shootout: A Fan’s Recap
The Philadelphia Flyers have at least two constant trends during this season. Flyers fans like myself are all too used to giving up opening minute goals, as well as losing in shootouts. Both of those nightmare scenarios presented themselves on Mar. 22, as Philadelphia gave up another early goal to the Washington Capitals, then faced a shootout hours later.
But for this night, both an early deficit and a shootout didn't matter to the Flyers. They overcame the first obstacle and evened things up midway through the game, then pulled out a rare triumph after overtime to get a key 2-1 victory.
Beforehand, it took only 26 seconds for Ilya Bryzgalov to give up his usual early tally - this time on an unassisted strike by Alex Ovechkin. Given that the Flyers had faced 2-0 deficits in their last three games and that Ovechkin was already on fire, Philadelphia seemed unlikely to get the next goal. However, although it took until the second period, the Flyers actually forged a 1-1 tie thanks to Claude Giroux.
After that, Bryzgalov and Washington goalie Braden Holtby were perfect until the dreaded shootout came. But the Flyers didn't lose after the first three rounds, as Wayne Simmonds then actually gave them the lead in the fourth. Bryzgalov then shut the door by stopping Troy Brouwer, as he overcame at least one of his usual deficiencies.
The goalie cannot seem to settle down in the opening minutes or in the post-overtime skills competition. But if he had to only defy one trend on this night, it was good that he did it in the shootout. After all, it gave the Flyers the two points they needed and kept them four back of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who still refuse to lose even after Philadelphia beat them on Mar. 18.
It was also nice that the Flyers didn't have to work that hard to come back this time around. Overcoming 2-0 deficits is not an ideal way to win, and it had resulted in just one last-second victory, one loss and one shootout defeat in the previous three games. 1-0 rallies are a bit more manageable, especially when Bryzgalov is perfect after the first 26 seconds.
Maybe now that the Flyers got through their shootout phobia for once, they can score the first goal at some point as well. But they can probably only master one fatal flaw at a time, although if they had done it sooner, they might actually be in first place by now. Still, beating Washington in a relatively unusual fashion kept Philadelphia within range, and that is acceptable no matter how it happened.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident and a Flyers fan since the age of eight.
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