The Philadelphia Flyers lose a tough one tonight against the Buffalo Sabres in overtime 4-3. After falling behind 2-0 early in the first period, the Flyers fought all the way back to tie the game at 3s with less than a minute to go in the third period. Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons scored a breakaway goal half way into the overtime period to cement the Sabres’ win.
Although the Flyers lost the game, there was still plenty to be excited about as tonight the Flyers honored Danny Briere. Briere retired from the NHL at the end of last season capping off a remarkable 17 year career. Known in Philadelphia as “Mr. Playoff”, Briere was a beloved player known not only for his outstanding play on the ice, but for his generosity and charitable endeavors off the ice as well. He was given numerous standing ovations as well as dropped the ceremonial first puck at center ice accompanied by his three sons.
Remembered for his clutch play in the playoffs, which includes scoring 29 goals in 57 playoff games with the Flyers, Briere was also a key player in the Flyers’ Stanley Cup run in 2010. The Flyers lost to the New York Rangers, but Briere’s efforts did not go unnoticed. The city of Philadelphia will always have a soft spot for #48.
When Briere was asked what he misses most about being a player, he had this to say:
“Probably being around the guys,” Briere says. “I know it’s a cliché, but you hear the guys all say that once they retire, but the friendship that you forge with the 25 guys that you travel the country with all of Canada and the U.S.. I spent a lot of good time with these guys. We go out there protecting each other, so the bond is strong with your teammates and that’s probably the toughest part.”
Briere retires after 17 seasons in the NHL (6 with the Flyers) with 307 goals, and 389 assists.
On a more serious note, Flyers’ forward Michael Raffl returned to action tonight after collapsing on the Flyers’ bench in Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers. Raffl caused a scare after he collided with Rangers’ forward Jarret Stoll, then needed assistance from the bench to the locker room. He practiced Monday in his usual spot on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.
“I feel fine now. I don’t know, I just got elbowed in the corner there and just felt a little bit dizzy,” Raffl said after Monday’s practice. “I was just trying to make my way back to the bench to take a seat and next thing I know I just woke up again and everybody was freaking out.”
Raffl logged 17:05 minutes of ice time in tonight’s game and appears to be ok.
In tonight’s loss, Brayden Schenn scored 2 of the Flyers’ 3 goals including the tying goal with less than a minute to go in regulation to force overtime. Schenn spoke after the game after the difficulties of playing from behind:
“It’s never fun to play from behind,” Schenn said. “We have to start the game like we’re behind. We have to play better and put our foot on the gas pedal a little bit. Goalies are too good, teams are too good, to always try to come back. So it’s something we have to change.”
Flyers’ goalie Steve Mason had a busy night stopping 36 of 40 shots on goal, but allowed the Sabres’ overtime game winner. When asked how he feels about the new overtime rule change, where both teams play 3-3 for the first 5 minutes of overtime, this is what Mason had to say:
“It’s chaos out there,” Mason said. “[Sabres’ goalie Chad Johnson] made a great save coming across and then a couple seconds later back on a breakaway… it’s tough out there. It’s chance after chance; it’s grade A chances. That’s why so many games are ended in overtime. There’s just so many quality chances that eventually a guy is going to score.”
Goalies may not like the new overtime system, but it certainly makes watching the game much more entertaining.
With tonight’s loss, the Flyers drop to 4th place in the Metropolitan division with a 4-2-2 record.
The Flyers look to bounce back on Thursday night when the rival New Jersey Devils come to town. The puck drops at 7pm.