(SportsNetwork.com) – The Philadelphia Flyers try to end a three-game
homestand with a much-needed victory, as the playoff-hopeful club welcomes the
St. Louis Blues for Thursday’s tilt at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have lost three of four, but have earned points in both tests on
their current residency, beating the New York Rangers on Saturday before
losing 3-2 in overtime Tuesday against Calgary.
With only 18 games remaining in its schedule, Philadelphia is running out of
time to prove itself worthy of a postseason spot. The Flyers are five points
behind Boston for the last wild card berth in the Eastern Conference. The
Bruins, who hold two games in hand over Philadelphia, host the Flames on
Philadelphia trailed Calgary 2-0 after two periods, but the home club rallied
in the third. Sean Couturier and Mark Streit scored for the Flyers, while Nick
Schultz also appeared to pot a third-period marker for Philly until the goal
was disallowed following a brief conference between the officials.
The Flyers ultimately lost the contest after Jiri Hudler beat Steve Mason
between the pads to end the game at 1:23 of overtime. Mason stopped 23 shots
in the loss.
After Couturier cut the deficit to 2-1 less than a minute into the third, the
Flyers believed they had the tying goal at the 4:58 mark. Schultz crashed the
net and his own rebound deflected off his knee and past Flames goaltender
Despite a good goal call on the ice, the officials ultimately determined that
the play could not be reviewed since Schultz pushed Ramo into the net and the
score was disallowed.
“Called it a goal originally on the ice, but they huddled because … I don’t
know,” said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. “A linesman might have said
something different, and they huddled. In their huddle they decided that there
was incidental contact with the goalie.”
Streit would later tie the game for Philly when he scored on a rebound from in
The Flyers fell to 18-8-6 as the host. After capping the homestand tonight,
they will play three of their next four on the road, beginning with Saturday’s
test in Boston.
St. Louis, which sits four points behind NHL-leading Nashville for first place
in the Central Division, plays tonight for the first time since losing
Sunday’s game in Vancouver, 6-5, in a shootout.
The Blues rallied to earn the point at Rogers Arena, storming back from a 5-2
deficit in the third period before Canucks forward Chris Higgins delivered the
decisive goal in the third round of the shootout.
Ryan Reaves, Alex Pietrangelo, Dmitrij Jaskin, Petteri Lindbohm and David
Backes lit the lamp for the Blues, while T.J. Oshie recorded three assists.
Jaskin began the St. Louis comeback by notching a power-play goal at 8:18 of
the third period, just over two minutes after Nick Bonino handed the hosts a
5-2 cushion. Lindbohm cut the deficit to one goal with 5:41 left in regulation
before Backes evened the score just 72 seconds later.
Jake Allen surrendered four goals on 25 shots through most of regulation, but
was beaten three times in the contest’s final segment in defeat. Brian Elliott
gave up one goal on six shots during a brief appearance at the outset of the
Elliott is expected to get the start tonight and owns a 5-2-0 record and a
2.48 goals against average in his career versus Philadelphia.
The Blues fell to 2-0-1 on their current six-game road trip and is 18-10-3 as
the guest this season. St. Louis will have some new faces in the lineup when
it continues the swing in Philly, as defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and centerman
Olli Jokinen expect to play for their new team after being picked up at
Monday’s trade deadline.
St. Louis landed Bortuzzo and a seventh-round draft pick in 2016 by sending
defenseman Ian Cole to Pittsburgh. The Blues acquired Jokinen from Toronto in
exchange for forward Joakim Lindstrom and a sixth-round selection.
The Blues also received defenseman Zbynek Michalek and a third-round pick for
forward prospect Maxim Letunov, but Michalek is currently on the shelf with a
concussion and isn’t expected to play tonight.
Tonight’s test is the first of two between the Flyers and Blues this season
and St. Louis has claimed three of the last four encounters. Philly has won
three of four and seven of the past nine meetings in the City of Brotherly
The clubs will complete their 2014-15 series next Thursday in St. Louis.