Jet Set: Flyers Topped by Winnipeg in Spirited Shinny Match, 9-8

Jet Set: Flyers Topped by Winnipeg in Spirited Shinny Match, 9-8

You won't see a game with more profound shifts in momentum than the one the Flyers lost, 9-8, to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. After getting off to a good start and opening the scoring, the Flyers conceded the game's next five goals, going down 3-1 in the first period and 5-1 by the time 5 minutes had ticked off in the second. After getting one back, they let up another, and were down 6-2 at the game's halfway point.

But the Flyers stormed back, scoring two before the second period was out, heading into the second intermission down 6-4. Lavvy may have broken some faces in the dressing room, because his boys came out of the break on fire, scoring three goals in the first three minutes of the third period, marking five unanswered to go ahead by a 7-6 count.

That's right—both teams scored five unanswered goals in this game.

The Jets would score the next two before the Flyers again tied it up, but one final defensive breakdown with just over a minute left led to Andrew Ladd of the Jets scoring the game-winner.

The Flyers were once again victimized by a combination of soft defense around their net, but also a series of deflection goals. And, there was also just some plain old bad goaltending. They'd need a combination like that to lose a game in which they scored EIGHT goals. It's the first time in franchise history they've scored that much and lost.

Below, a look at what went so incredibly wrong, as well as a handful of bright spots, and some head-hanging, painfully honest quotes from Ilya Bryzgalov. Plus video highlights that'll look like a normal game's highlights set on a repeat loop.

Since it was a loss, let's take a look at the bad first.

I don't know which member of the Flyers organization pissed off the wrong witch doctor, but this team is downright cursed when it comes to bounces and deflections. Part of it is on the personnel not clearing out the lanes in front of the net to let their two capable goalies get a clean save once in a while, and their defense has been atrocious in its marking, but man… there really have been some fluky caroms finding their way to opposing stick blades and into the Flyers net. It was a big part of the loss in Montreal, and it continued loudly tonight in South Philly.

The defense can't allow opposing forward to enjoy so much real estate in and around the slot and goal area though. It's like an #occupy event in front of the goalies lately. Chris Pronger's absence has been a huge factor in the last two losses, during which the Flyers have given up a total of 14 goals.

Tonight's 9-spot came on just 25 shots.

The goaltenders were also to blame. (With 9 goals, there's plenty to go around.) Ilya Bryzgalov didn't start the game, but he put the heat on himself during his postgame media availability. If you were miffed in thinking that Bryz threw his defense under the bus after the loss to the Blues, you'll want to cozy up to the footage from tonight's rant against himself. It's early, and we fully anticipate he'll turn it around, but Bryz's comments didn't inspire much confidence.

"I have zero confidence in myself right now," Bryz began, before saying he felt like he was "lost in the woods." [More here, plus video]

Hopefully this ends better than that episode of The Sopranos that Steve Buscemi directed. That Russian lost in the woods was never seen again...

Bryzgalov did play poorly, and his bad stretch came during the Flyers' dramatic comeback, but Sergei Bobrovsky shouldered his share of the fall as well. Deflections victimized Bob early, but he was small in net, failing to cut off angles, and let up a softie or two of his own (5 goals on 15 shots in 24:39).

Ready for the good? Good! After the last two games, I think we need a few positives to look at heading into Saturday's game.

First, the Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr line got on the board quickly again, with Jags setting up Hartnell in close for Harts' third tally of the season. Brilliant patience by Jagr to let his defenseman overcommit, then pass behind him to find Hartnell on the back door.

Danny Briere lit up the scoresheet, potting two and assisting on a pair of others. He and James van Riemsdyk worked well together, and both got their scoring touches back and picked up their third and fourth goals each. Riemer's brace came in the third, with his first goal putting the Flyers up for the first time since the opening period, and his last tying the game at 8. A few of the goals by this duo were pretty sweet too, especially the moves Briere put on when coming from his office (behind the net) to the crease and sliding one across to JVR.

Matt Read picked up his third of the season, a nice glove-down play that tied the game at six. Kimmo Timonen did his part in the offensive end, assisting on four of the Flyers' eight goals.

Zac Rinaldo had more hits (7) than minutes played (6:45), including probably the best check of the game, coming on a high-energy shift in the first period.

Only five Flyers skaters failed to register a point in the game (Couturier, Gustafsson, Rinaldo, Shelley, and Simmonds).

Despite the loss and some very ugly play in their own end, it was encouraging to see the Flyers come back swinging. Coming off a bad loss last night and a terrible first period and a half, it looked like the wilt would continue to set in. But the forwards kept attacking and finally broke through, chasing Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec from the crease too. They piled 19 shots on net in the second and 16 in the third.

Check out this Momentum chart at PowerScoutHockey…

The Skinny on the Shinny:

Phillies can exhale after bullpen nearly blows 10-0 lead

Phillies can exhale after bullpen nearly blows 10-0 lead

BOX SCORE

The moment when the ball struck first baseman Tommy Joseph’s glove for the final out of the Phillies 10-8 win over the Mets — dealing a major blow to their rival’s wild card hopes in the process — felt more like a collective exhalation than a moment of celebration (see Instant Replay).
 
Two days earlier, the bullpen faltered suddenly. A game-tying two-run homer by Jose Reyes in the ninth was the first body blow. The game-winning three-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera was the knockout.
 
Saturday, the collapse occurred over the course of five innings as the Phillies let a lead that was once 10-0 slip away, one drawn-out at-bat after another.
 
Missing, of course, was the moment of impact in the proverbial slow-motion car crash, thanks to well-placed sinkers and four-seamers from Michael Mariot.
 
“The bullpen’s been sputtering,” manager Pete Mackanin said in an understatement.
 
Joely Rodriguez entered in the sixth inning with a 10-4 lead to face a string of lefties and it quickly became apparent that he did not have his fastball. A middle-in four-seamer that caught too much of the plate was slapped for a double by Mets shortstop Gavin Cecchini, his first major-league hit and a run. A second run scored when a little dribbler by third baseman T.J. Rivera died on the third base line, leaving Rodriguez with no play.
 
“He just didn’t throw quality strikes,” Mackanin said.
 
Even the normally-reliable Hector Neris struggled on Saturday. In his 77th outing of the season, Neris walked two straight batters and then surrendered an RBI double to Cecchini of his own which narrowed the lead to 10-7 and thrust the uncertainty of a save situation onto Mackanin.
 
Mariot was given first crack at the ninth inning one day after Mackanin said he would give Jeanmar Gomez a break from closing duties.
 
Mariot’s audition got off to a rough start. He gave up a pinch-hit solo home run to Jay Bruce — who had been mired in an 0-15 slump — with one out in the ninth and then walked Eric Campbell and Michael Conforto after a pair of grueling at-bats that lasted a combined 18 pitches.
 
The two hitters fouled off eight of Mariot’s pitches and took several four-seamers that just missed the plate.
 
“I was pretty upset about that,” Mariot said of the four-seamers that missed. “I was hoping to get at least a swing or maybe a call on those. Talking to [catcher] A.J. [Ellis], I think he said that they missed but I was hoping at least one of them to get called a strike.”
 
Gomez was up in the Phillies’ bullpen but Mariot ensured that Mackanin wouldn’t need to throw the recently-struggling closer back into the fire in a high-stress situation.
 
Mariot was able to locate his fastball when he needed to most. He fooled Lucas Duda with a two-seamer that the slugger popped out to Freddy Galvis and got Travis D’Arnaud to ground a four-seamer outside right back to him.
 
“I just told myself: ‘keep throwing strikes and good things will happen,’” Mariot said.
 
He threw just enough strikes to ensure that the Phillies didn’t end up on the wrong end of what would have been the Mets’ biggest comeback in team history.

Find great deals on Philadelphia Phillies tickets with TicketIQ. Buy cheap Phillies tickets with no hidden fees for all games on their 2016 schedule. 

College football wrap: Auburn upsets No. 18 LSU with controversial finish

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College football wrap: Auburn upsets No. 18 LSU with controversial finish

AUBURN, Ala. -- Gus Malzahn was ready to try anything to get a win for his Auburn Tigers.

Malzahn relinquished offensive play-calling duties. Following his daughters' advice, he traded his usual game-day visor for a cap. And then, when the clock expired and LSU players were celebrating an apparent last-second win, the Auburn coach put all his faith in a ruling he couldn't control.

Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat No. 18 LSU 18-13 on Saturday night after officials ruled Danny Etling's apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired.

Malzahn said he knew there were only zeroes on the clock before the snap to Etling.

"I was pretty confident time had expired," Malzahn said. "It was just a matter of going to the booth and confirming it."

Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark in the back of the end zone on a 15-yard pass, setting off a short-lived celebration by LSU players (see full recap).

Hornibrook proves he's ready in Badgers' win over Spartans
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- By the time Alex Hornibrook's first start was over, there wasn't much question about whether he could handle one of the toughest road tests in the Big Ten.

Hornibrook threw for 195 yards and a touchdown, and 11th-ranked Wisconsin turned its early-season showdown with No. 8 Michigan State into a rout, beating the Spartans 30-6 on Saturday.

"You've got to have respect for a guy whose first start is against a Michigan State defense," Wisconsin running back Corey Clement said.

"He's going to come out the next game and do even better. I think he's just getting his feet wet."

The freshman quarterback outplayed fifth-year senior Tyler O'Connor, his Michigan State counterpart. The Badgers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) were the better team in the first half and then outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the third quarter (see full recap).

No. 23 Rebels find their rhythm, beat No. 12 Georgia 45-14
OXFORD, Miss. -- Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly faked the handoff and then took off running toward the end zone. A few seconds and 41 yards later, the quarterback had cruised through the middle of the Georgia defense and into the end zone untouched.

It was pretty much that easy for the Rebels all afternoon. Ole Miss finally built a lead it couldn't give away.

No. 23 Ole Miss rolled to a 45-14 victory over No. 12 Georgia on Saturday, building a 31-0 lead by halftime and a 45-0 advantage by midway through the fourth quarter.

Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Ole Miss (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) broke a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996 (see full recap).

Dobbs rallies No. 14 Vols to 38-28 win over No. 19 Gators
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback.

And in the process, the Volunteers took out 11 years' worth of frustration on Florida.

Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns Saturday and No. 14 Tennessee erased a 21-point deficit to beat No. 19 Florida 38-28 and end their 11-game losing streak in the annual series.

"I didn't see anybody blink," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "Nobody flinched. They just kept playing."

This marks the first time Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has beaten Florida (3-1, 1-1) since 2004. The Volunteers had lost to Florida by one point each of the last two years despite leading in the fourth quarter of both games (see full recap).