Saturday, March 28, 2015
Despite missing four regulars due to injury and illness, on Saturday afternoon in South Philly things weren't decided until Brent Burns scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout as San Jose claimed a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia.
Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski lit the lamp for the Sharks, who improved to 3-3-0 on their seven-game road trip which concludes on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Alex Stalock only needed to make 16 saves in regulation and halted four of five Philly chances in the game's terminal segment.
Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux provided offense for the Flyers, losers in five of their last six games and teetering on the edge of being eliminated from playoff contention.
Steve Mason took the loss despite stopping 42-of-44 shots. It was the 25 time the club's starter has faced at least 30 shots in a game, and fell to 10-8-7 in those games. That he was able to squeeze a point in 18 of those contests is a minor miracle.
There's six games left in the regular season and the Flyers, who fell to 3-10 in shootouts this season, has ample chance to set a new franchise record for most games played beyond regulation. Today was their 24th, tying a record set in 1998-99.
Mason looked powerless as Burns finished off the final round with several stick moves which resulted in a successful backhander.
Jake Voracek scored on the hosts' first shot, but the veritable Murderer's Row of Giroux, Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Vinny Lecavalier failed to dent Stalock.
Irwin's blast made it through traffic and past Mason just 4:38 into the contest, but Raffl popped home a loose puck from a Nicklas Grossmann rebound at 6:44.
San Jose went up 2-1 with 3:15 left in the first as a turnaround shot from behind the goal line by Pavelski deflected off Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto's leg and trickled through Mason. A brief review apparently determined the puck crossed the line before the whistle blew to stop play.
Mason then kept it a one-goal spread by stopping a short-handed breakaway from Logan Couture with 8:40 to play in the second.
Subbing for the injured Wayne Simmonds, Ryan White missed an open net on a power play with just over seven minutes played in the third, but Giroux channeled Alex Ovechkin and fired from the left circle through a screen to tie things with 11:23 left.
The Sharks failed to click on an overtime power play, then Couture misfired on a backhander with an open net ahead of him in the final seconds.
Notes: San Jose extended its win streak to seven games and run of success in Philadelphia to eight (7 wins, 1 tie) since a loss on Dec. 21, 2000 ... Raffl hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his North American career and first since reaching the mark while playing for Leksands in Sweden two years ago ...
Flyers defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Mark Streit were scratched due to flu-like symptoms, while defensemen Oliver Lauridsen and Mark Alt, and forward Jason Akeson were recalled by the Flyers from the AHL under emergency conditions. Alt, a Minnesota product, made his NHL debut ... All three players were loaned back to the Phantoms following the contest.