Flyers edge Predators 3-2 in shootout
The Philadelphia Flyers have started their six-game, 13-day road
trip off in winning style even if they needed more than overtime to
pull out the victory.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the only goal in the shootout, and the
Flyers edged the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday night for their
second straight win.
Claude Giroux scored in the first period, and Sean Couturier’s
goal at 13:06 of the third tied it up at 2-2 to help the Flyers
reach the shootout.
”It’s huge to start off the road trip the right way,”
Couturier said. ”I think we deserved the win by battling hard, not
quitting and coming back.”
Steve Mason made 34 saves and stopped Craig Smith, Matt
Hendricks and Matt Cullen in the shootout for the second win in as
”It’s nice to come out on top in one of these games,” Mason
said. ”We’ve struggled in tight situations like this before. Being
able to come out and get the extra two points is huge.”
Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson each scored for Nashville, which
has lost two straight.
”We should have won the hockey game, but we didn’t,” Nashville
coach Barry Trotz said. ”We couldn’t hold onto the lead. Their one
play, they capitalized on it, got it tied up and I thought Mason
came up with some pretty big saves for them.”
The Predators were playing their fourth game in six nights and
without captain Shea Weber who is day to day with an eye injury
after taking a puck to the face in Thursday night’s 3-0 loss to the
Their most experienced defenseman on the ice was Roman Josi with
116 career NHL games.
Mason gave the Flyers a chance to win in the shootout. He had a
big save inside the final 30 seconds of regulation when Seth Jones
passed to David Legwand for a shot in front.
In overtime, Wilson hit a post at 2:30, and Mason stopped him on
a breakaway with about 30 seconds left. Matt Read was wide on a
shot on Nashville goalie Marek Mazanec during the extra period.
In the shootout, Lecavalier was the first shooter for the Flyers
and beat Mazanec with a forehand. Giroux was stopped at the post,
but the Flyers didn’t need a third shooter when Cullen missed.
Not only did Nashville not have its leading goal-scorer in
Weber, but defenseman Kevin Klein also was out for the Predators
with a lower body injury, their team leader with 58 blocked
Goalie Pekka Rinne also hasn’t played since Oct. 24 because of
an infected hip.
”When you lose your two All Stars, everybody has to pick up the
slack, they say it, but I think everybody becomes a little bit more
aware,” Wilson said. ”Everybody is taking care of the `D’ zone
and being more detailed. I think we saw that tonight the way
everybody was playing and playing as a unit.”
The Flyers missed a prime chance at scoring on their lone power
play of the first period when a shot slipped under Mazanec and was
lying just near the line only to be poked away by Philadelphia
forward Jakub Voracek. The Flyers went 0-for-3 with the man
advantage but killed off five power plays.
”I didn’t think we were very sharp, but they hung in there,
they battled and they won a game,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said.
”A win is a win. The team showed character tonight, and that’s
what is important. But we have got some things that need to be
A couple of minutes after the power play ended, the Flyers took
advantage of a Nashville turnover as Giroux scored on a slap shot
that went up into the net over Mazanec at 16:49.
The Predators answered right back a minute later when Fisher’s
snap shot from the left circle beat Mason five-hole.
Giroux hit the post during the Flyers’ second power play early
in the third period, and Nashville killed it off.
Then Wilson put a backhand under Mason’s left leg at 5:05 to put
Nashville ahead 2-1. Couturier tied it up when Andrej Meszaros
found him in front at 13:06.
Notes: The Flyers are 1-1 in the shootout this season and 11-3-1
when scoring first. … Fisher has three goals in four games, and
Nashville is 4-2-0 when he scores this season. … Wilson’s goal
was the 50th of his career. … Cullen played his 1,100th career