Two of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League met up on Thursday evening at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.
The Arizona Coyotes (17-9-4) under the Head Coaching Tutelage of long-time Philly favorite, Rick Tocchet, boasting the third-ranked defense and on an impressive 7-3-2 streak challenged the Flyers who were riding a five-game win streak so something had to give.
Flyers Captain. Claude Giroux was whistled for a Slashing penalty just 2:04 into the game.
Journeyman, Phil Kessel wasted little time to light the lamp just twenty-one seconds later.
The Philadelphia defense tightened down and the offense was kept to the perimeter and the opening stanza closed with a total of 9 shots on goal with the Flyboys gathering 5.
Philadelphia controlled the second period and had a shot advantage of 13-4 but was unable to solve the ‘Yotes netminder, Darcy Kuemper.
The Coyotes kept Philadelphia on the perimeter and were grinding out the clock.
With 7:03 to play, Conor Garland bagged his 11th of the season and Arizona went further in front, 2-0.
The Flyers kept pressing and Matt Niskanen ended a 22 game scoreless streak when he converted a clean Shawn Coutourier face-off win to get it to a 2-1 game with 4:43 to play.
Kevin Hayes was cited with a Cross Checking penalty with 2:13 remaining to make the Philadelphia hill to climb, a mountain.
Philly pulled Brian Elliott in an effort to knot it up but Phil Kessel had other ideas and deposited a puck in the empty net to cement a Coyotes 3-1 victory.
Blue Lines: The lifetime Philadelphia record against Arizona drops to 19-16-0.
Faceoffs favored the Flyers, 35-22 with Couturier winning 16 of 24.
Shots on Goal favored the Orange and Black, 29-18
By: Kevin Neibauer
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Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.