The Red Wings were hoping to end their road trip at Philadelphia as they began it – with a fast-paced, entertaining game, and a win, just as they had done against the Chicago Blackhawks to start their road swing. They gave the fans the high-energy, watchable game, but this time they were unable to come back from a deficit in the third period, and the Flyers took a 3-2 win.
The game started with a quick pace, each team threatening to score in the other’s end. It was Henrik Zetterberg who opened the scoring, snapping his 15 game goal drought. Mathieu Dandenault made a good interception and pass at center, and Zetterberg carried the puck into the Flyers’ zone. He deked around two defenders, lured goaltender Roman Cechmanek out of the net , then cut around and put the puck in from a tight angle 7:31 into the game.
The glow of getting the first goal of the game was shortlived, however, as the Flyers came up with an answering goal only 15 seconds later. Donald Brashear took a hard shot from the blue line. The high rebound bounced off the chest of Radovan Somik and back into the net past Curtis Joseph.
Dmitri Bykov seemed to have a target on his back all through the first period- the Flyers kept taking runs at him. Darren McCarty finally lost patience and dropped the gloves against Donald Brashear. Even though Brashear has a reputation as one of the toughest players in the league, McCarty came out on top of that fight.
The Flyers came out on top of the period, even after the momentum swing of McCarty’s fight. Boyd Devereaux lost the edge of his skate and fell as he was carrying the puck out of his own zone. Jeremy Roenick picked up the loose puck and went in. He angled around Chris Chelios, then put the puck high over Joseph.
Philadelphia increased their lead before even a minute had gone by in the second period. Eric Weinrich took a shot from the blue line which was tipped by the stick of Michal Handzus as it headed into the net.
The goal by Handzus set the tone for the second period. The Flyers did a good job of clogging up center ice, intercepting passes, and generally keeping the Red Wings from setting up very many scoring chances.
The tide turned early in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk had the puck in the Flyers’ zone and was knocked down in fronto the net. He still managed to get the pass back to Brett Hull, and Hull’s shot went in high on the far side of Cechmanek.
The Red Wings brought on the pressure after that, aided by their only two power plays of the game. The Flyers stuck to their game plan, though, and Cechmanek came through with some big saves to keep the Wings from getting on the board again.
The count of shots on net at the final buzzer was 29-23 in favor of Philadelphia. The Red Wings play next on Monday evening, when they return to Joe Louis Arena for the first of a home-and-home series with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chris Chelios played in his first game back after missing four with a leg injury…. Brett Hull’s goal was the 697th of his career…. The starters for the All Star Game were announced during today’s game. Nicklas Lidstrom will be representing the Red Wings as part of the first defensive pairing on the Western team. Lidstrom had more fan votes than any other player in the NHL. Other Wings may also be going to the game: the non-starting lines are selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, and those players will be announced on Thursday.