Another Third Period Collapse: Flyers Down 1-0 and Thoresen May Be SERIOUSLY Hurt

Another Third Period Collapse: Flyers Down 1-0 and Thoresen May Be SERIOUSLY Hurt

The Flyers' period-by-period identity crisis has followed them into the playoffs. As they did so many times during the regular season, they entered the third period with a lead, up 4-2, and promptly squandered it, giving up three unanswered goals in the final frame. The last of the goals was to the Russian they'd worked so hard to minimize all night, with Alex Ovechkin showing us why John Stevens has kept Lasse Kukkonen off the ice seemingly inexplicably for much of the season.

We quickly learned that the Capitals are not just a one-line team. Former Flyers enforcer Donald Brashear lit the lamp for the game's first, and fellow fourth liner David Steckel added another in the second. The Flyers, who boast three solid scoring lines, saw all their goals come from the top line combination of Danny Briere (2 goals, 1 assist) and Vinny Prospal (2 goals). Cristobal Huet showed that he's human, and for the first time since he was traded to the Caps, he allowed more than three goals in a game. The Flyers moved with energy and intensity in the second period, and looked like they had the game won, but anyone who has watched them this season knew it was far from over.

Highlights and a disturbing injury report on Patrick Thoresen after the jump.

The Capitals banged and bruised in the third, and showed they weren't going away lightly. The Flyers, on the other hand, did just that. Phenom Mike Green netted two goals, one of which was somewhat controversial, in that Flyers winger Patrick Thoresen was hit by a shot, and did not get up, writhing in agony on the ice while the Caps cycled the puck on a momentary 2-man advantage. The whistle did not blow to stop play, and the Caps scored.   Thoresen had to be helped off the ice, still in a lot of pain. The shot hit him in the groin area, and reports from Comcast SportsNet and other outlets indicate he may require surgery to have a testicle removed. Now that's taking one for the team.

"He's going to the hospital to get an ultrasound done on his testicles.
It's bad enough they may have to remove one," Flyers general manager
Paul Holmgren said. "Right now, we're not sure how serious it is, but
there's a chance he may need surgery."

It's the prerogative of the officials whether to stop the game when a defensive player is hurt and the offensive player has the puck, and despite the outcome on the ice and in Thoresen's hockey pants, it's not at all uncommon for play to continue. If the refs blew the play dead every time a defensive player went down, it'd become part of their defensive strategy. We really hope Thoresen is OK and doesn't require such a traumatic surgery. He'll likely be replaced in Sunday's lineup with Sami Kapanen, who was a quasi-healthy scratch last night.

In heroic fashion, Ovechkin put the Caps ahead for good, stealing the puck from Kukkonen, who was lazily advancing it when Ovie jumped the play, broke across the crease, and fired it past a stunned Marty Biron. Game. Full highlights:

Instant Replay: Braves 12, Phillies 2

ap-phillies-adam-morgan-face.jpg
The Associated Press

Instant Replay: Braves 12, Phillies 2

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA – The Phillies continued to stumble toward the season’s finish line on Wednesday night. They were hammered, 12-2, by the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

Adam Morgan was bruised for 10 hits and nine runs in five innings.

The Phils have lost five of their last six games. They have given up 63 runs over that span.

The Phils have lost six straight to the Braves and are 16-35 in their last 51 games against the NL East.

With four games to play, the Phils are 70-88.

Starting pitching report
Morgan was hit hard early but had to give the Phils some innings as the bullpen has carried a heavy load lately. He finished the season 2-11 with a 6.04 ERA in 23 games, 21 of which were starts.

Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz picked up the win. He gave up just one run over five innings.

At the plate
The Phillies had just four hits. They have scored 599 runs this season. They are the only team in the majors not to reach 600.

The Braves had 13 hits, including six for extra bases. They were 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Matt Kemp doubled and homered for the Braves.

Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games. He has reached base safely in 46 straight games, tying Washington’s Jayson Werth for most this season.

ICYMI
Like Pete Mackanin, GM Matt Klentak sees a need for offense, but he remains committed to the team’s rebuild (see story).

Health check
Roman Quinn is likely done for the season. Aaron Nola is throwing in Florida (see story).

Up next
The series concludes on Thursday night. Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 3.78) will make his final start of the season (and likely his final with the Phillies) against Atlanta right-hander Josh Collmenter (3-0, 4.19).

It will be the Phillies’ final appearance in Turner Field. The Braves move into a new park next season.

10 Flyers-Devils observations: Travis Konecny impresses

10 Flyers-Devils observations: Travis Konecny impresses

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Flyers on Wednesday night took to the PPL Center — home of the AHL affiliate Phantoms — to give fans an early glimpse of the organization’s young talent, much of which will play on a nightly basis in Lehigh Valley.

One player that may reach Philadelphia before he ever lands in Lehigh Valley did not disappoint as the evening’s main attraction.

In his quest to make the Flyers’ roster at 19 years old, heralded prospect Travis Konecny scored a goal and tallied an assist to lead the orange and black past the Devils, 2-0, in their fourth preseason game, improving to 2-2.

Let’s dive into the action with 10 observations from the game:

1. We start with who else? Konecny. Head coach Dave Hakstol paired the talented winger with Brayden Schenn and Michael Raffl, two of the few NHLers to suit up Wednesday. Konecny jumped all over the opportunity, deflecting an Andrew MacDonald shot for a goal 4:30 into the second period. Just shy of five minutes after, he delivered a pretty touch pass to Raffl in front for a 2-0 lead. Konecny just narrowly missed adding another goal and assist, as well, later in the stanza. You know when he’s on the ice because you’ll see bursts of unmatched speed. 

The 5-foot-10, 184-pounder is incredibly shifty with the puck and adept at avoiding contact. At times, he’ll get pushed around when a bigger body squares him up, but he makes up for it with his elusiveness. The 2015 first-round pick sure played the part of an NHL player ready to contribute to a team in need of playmaking.

2. Samuel Morin is a big boy. The 6-foot-7 defenseman really utilizes his tall frame and upper-body strength when battling along the boards. Obviously he needs to work on his skating and puck handling, but he has the size and makeup to compete.

3. Goalies Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon will duke it out for playing time in Lehigh Valley. It’s an impressive tandem. Both combined for the shutout. Stolarz, 6-foot-6, made eight saves in the opening period and 11 total over 29:23. He showed good quickness and instincts. Lyon, not so big at 6-foot-1, is sound and holds records for his time at Yale. He converted seven saves. It’s a duo worth keeping tabs on throughout the season.

4. Forward Colin McDonald will be a nice safety net for the Flyers if they ever need a body willing to bring nothing but physicality. He made loud, impactful hits and had a fight — albeit a short and weak one — early in the first period.

5. Defenseman Mark Alt lost a fight quickly in the second period. He may have lost his balance, but he went down hard. Alt appeared fine when he got up. However, he never returned to the game.

6. The Flyers killed two power plays on the night. The PK continued to show more aggressiveness and disruptiveness on the puck carrier, which wasn’t always the case last season. It’s a big reason the Flyers fell in such a big hole against the Capitals during the playoffs. So far this preseason, the Flyers are 16 for 17 on the penalty kill.

7. Along with Schenn, Raffl and MacDonald, other Flyers to play were Boyd Gordon and Chris VandeVelde, who handled themselves well, as expected. Defensive prospect Robert Hagg had an assist, as did Schenn and MacDonald.

8. Keith Kinkaid was in net for the Devils. He’s expected to be New Jersey’s backup netminder. The 27-year-old is 15-14-5 in his career with a 2.71 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Not crazy stuff, but still a goalie with NHL experience. However …

9. The Devils visit the Rangers Thursday night, so they too deployed a fair share of prospects, resulting in Kinkaid without a ton of help.

10. The PPL Center is a beautiful venue and should be a hot-spot for Flyers fans throughout the 2016-17 season. The trip is doable, parking is accessible and cheap and the arena doesn’t sport a bad seat. The Phantoms should be fun with added experience and talent.