Flyers, Red Wings have tough act to follow -- themselves
The first game this weekend between Philadelphia and Detroit produced a wild finish. The Flyers and Red Wings will have a tough time attaining the same level of excitement when they square off again on Sunday night.
Philadelphia scored a 6-5 home victory on Saturday afternoon, but only after blowing a four-goal lead. The Flyers scored twice early in the third to take a 5-1 lead before Detroit, not known for its offensive attack, stormed back with four unanswered goals.
The last of the tallies came on Anthony Mantha's second goal of the season with just seven seconds remaining. Travis Konecny scored his second goal of the game 1:27 into overtime to prevent a total Flyers collapse.
The teams then headed out to Detroit for the rematch at Little Caesars Arena.
"Once we scored, we seemed to get some momentum," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "The rest of the game, we played on our toes and played the right way. We want to be a pressure team and we were a step behind most of the night. When you're a step behind and you're a pressure team, you're giving up tons of ice.
"They were certainly the better team for the majority of the night," Blashill added. "Once we started to get momentum, we tilted the rink a little bit. Good for our guys to stay with it and find a way to tie it. Disappointing ending, though."
Mantha's goals were his first since Jan. 18. The Red Wings' five-goal output was their most since they defeated Minnesota 5-2 on Jan. 12.
"I just need to keep going into traffic and putting shots on net," Mantha said.
The rally came after Blashill pulled All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard and replaced him with Jonathan Bernier.
"It just wakes us up and tells us we're playing terrible," Mantha said. "We had to play way better than we did in the first two periods."
The loss ended a modest two-game winning streak, but Detroit at least salvaged a point.
"It is a resilient group for sure," Blashill said. "We've done a good job of that through most of the year, but we have to be way better than we were for the course of the 60 minutes in order to win the game 1/8Sunday 3/8."
Detroit got a boost from Tyler Bertuzzi, who played his first game since suffering a concussion on Jan. 22. He had a goal and an assist.
"He has a huge impact," Mantha said. "He played amazing tonight."
The Flyers are now 11-1-1 over their last 13 games in their quest for a playoff berth. But they weren't happy to give the Wings life.
"We made a lot of soft plays, particularly coming out of our zone, instead of making plays with certainty," Philadelphia interim coach Scott Gordon said. "They were able to pick some things off at the blue line. Credit to them, they didn't lay down and die just because it was 5-1. Obviously, we have to do a better job."
Konecny now has 17 goals this season. Jakub Voracek reached the 15-goal mark with a tally early in the third period.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 16, 2019