Patrick, Neuwirth lead Flyers to shootout win
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Philadelphia Flyers got their first shootout win of the season after losing the first four, and neded their backup goalie in to finish it off.
Nolan Patrick scored in the seventh round of the overtime shootout and Michal Neuvirth came off the bench to stop five shootout attempts, leading the Flyers to a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
Flyers goalie Brian Elliott left the game after the second attempt of the tiebreaker when Arizona’s Clayton Keller inadvertently hit Elliott near his face with his stick on the follow-through. Elliott was helped slowly off the ice, and the Flyers said he suffered a lower body injury despite where the contact was, with an update to come on Sunday.
Neuvirth entered, the first time he’d ever had to come in under such circumstances, and did not allow a shot to get by him.
”It’s one of those situations, crazy stuff,” Neuvirth said. ”I was just focusing on myself.”
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol noted that shootout wins have been hard to come by for his team.
”Nice to see (Patrick) go out there with that kind of confidence and make the play,” Hakstol said. ”`Neuvy’ came in tonight and he proved how important he is to our team.”
The Flyers won their third straight and have points in four consecutive games. Shayne Gostisbehere had two assists and Elliott finished with 24 saves.
”It’s pretty unfortunate what happened to (Elliott),” Gostisbehere said, ”but for Neuvy to step in there pretty cold and make big saves for us was huge.”
Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski and Zac Rinaldo had the goals for Arizona, which has lost five of six. Antti Raanta stopped 40 shots, including key stops in the third period and overtime. Nick Cousins scored in the first round of the shootout.
The Coyotes tied the score 3-3 on Rinaldo’s rocket of a shot from the right circle at 1:59 of the third.
The Flyers had opportunities to re-take the lead and outshot the Coyotes 16-4 in the third period, but couldn’t beat Raanta.
Goligoski’s sixth goal of the season tied it 2-2 just 24 seconds into the second period, right after a group of Flyers fans among the many in the crowd finished an Eagles chant in honor of the recently crowned Super Bowl champions.
Simmonds put Philadelphia ahead on the deflection of Gostisbehere’s shot at 2:12 of the middle period. It was Simmonds’ 19th of the season and the second power-play goal of the night for the Flyers.
”Special teams can win and lose you games,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. ”For whatever reason our special teams are good on the road and not at home.”
Raanta kept it a one-goal game with a sprawling save of Ivan Provorov’s shot later in the period.
The Flyers missed a goal chance less than two minutes into the game when Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny skated in with no defender between them and the goal, and Konecny couldn’t put the puck past Raanta, missing wide of the net from a close angle.
The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead as Demers took a pass from Derek Stepan and got a friendly puck bounce underneath Elliott and into the net 3:53 in.
Philadelphia then scored twice to take the lead. The first came when Giroux got his 17th on a one-timer that zipped past Raanta on a power play at 10:19. Voracek got an assist on the goal, his NHL-leading 53rd of the season and the eighth straight game in which he has scored a point.
The Flyers went ahead as Jordan Weal took a hit from Rinaldo at center ice, maintained control of the puck and passed to Scott Laughton. Laughton delivered a quick pass to Raffl, who scored his 10th.
NOTES: Goligoski has 20 assists on the season, the ninth straight season he has accomplished the feat. Only three other NHL defensemen have recorded 20 or more assists for nine consecutive seasons. … Arizona began a stretch in which it will play nine of 10 games at home. … Former Flyers D Luke Schenn was a healthy scratch for Arizona. … F Christian Fischer returned after missing the previous game due to injury. … Voracek played in his 500th career game.
Flyers: At Vegas on Sunday.
Coyotes: Host Chicago on Monday night.