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