That is until Wayne Simmonds stripped Brent Burns in overtime and won a 2-1 game for the Flyers, Saturday. The breakaway chance was one of many for Philadelphia against Dell, but one of only two that beat the Alberta native.
The win ends a three-game losing streak for the Flyers, but extends the Sharks to four. It also featured the first time in four games that Philly scored an even-strength goal when Ivan Provorov scored in the third period.
Patrick Marleau tied the game for the Sharks on an assist from Kevin Labanc, who didn’t waste his recall. He should have had a goal on a score waved off for goalie interference in the first period and had a couple more chances later.
The Flyers dominated play for most of the 20 minutes and especially after the first five minutes, but Dell dominated the shooters. Philadelphia recorded 12 shots, some in high danger areas and the 27-year-old netminder was there to stop every single one.
Simmonds had the best chance after jumping around Burns and then putting a far-side shot on net around the 11-minute mark. Dell snared the shot with a windmill glove save.
The newly formed third line for the Flyers with Nick Cousins, Matt Read and Michael Raffl had several chances to score on two different shifts. First, Raffl misplayed a one-timer and Read attempted a wrap-around. Later, Read had a chance in front of the net. None of them were a challenge for Dell.
The Sharks finished the period with four shots on net. Despite that, they did beat Michael Neuvirth once on the power-play, but the goal was waved off after a coach’s challenge from Dave Hakstol on goalie interference. It was determined that Kevin Labanc had interfered with Neuvirth on his rebound chance.
Labanc interferes with Neuvirth, no goal! pic.twitter.com/OztFRjeQYT
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) February 11, 2017
The second consecutive stanza without any scoring was more evenly played than the first. The Flyers led in the shot department at 8-7, but the momentum from the first period did not carry over.
The Sharks first shot in the period didn’t come until five minutes in, but it was a challenge after Mark Streit was knocked over in front of the Flyers net. The Sharks put two shots on in quick succession but Neuvirth made the saves.
San Jose later had a huge opportunity on the power play after Neuvirth lost his stick and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was stung on a blocked shot. The Sharks took a few shot attempts, but couldn’t work much in close to the net.
Philadelphia got some chances from the first line toward the end of the period, but none were as impressive as any in the first and Dell continued to preserve his net.
While there wasn’t much offensive action, scrums were aplenty in the second. Simmonds took a penalty after cross-checking Tomas Hertl, but the biggest scrum ensued after Melker Karlsson hit Andrew MacDonald along the glass as he knelt to play a puck.
The most exciting period started with a goal from Ivan Provorov six minutes in. After strong possession and board play from recall Jordan Weal, MacDonald hit the post while pinching in. The rebound went to Provorov who slid the puck around a diving Karlsson and hit the right corner for his fifth of the year.
The lead lasted barely three minutes. After Brandon Manning took a holding penalty, Labanc tried passing a puck into the slot from behind the net. The puck pinballed to Patrick Marleau, who shot the puck over Neuvirth’s shoulder for his ninth goal in the last nine games.
Patrick Marleau ties it at one. pic.twitter.com/MOgwM96PaK
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) February 11, 2017
From there, it was a back-and-forth affair for the last 11 minutes. Mikkel Boedker had a chance in the slot, but Neuvirth made a right pad save on the one-timer. A nearly exact play happened for Couturier, but again the goalie got the upper hand — this time Dell.
The Flyers received a power play with just over four minutes left and had a few chances, but again Dell stood up to each and every one. The best chance came, though with 1:14 left when Voracek attempted a wrap-around, but Dell stopped that one and Couturier’s rebound after.
At just a minute into the extra period, Brent Burns started a rush from his end. He made it as far as the opposition blue line.
Simmonds stripped him of the puck, setting himself up for a breakaway. He deked left and went back right to jam it in for his first overtime goal of his career and give the Flyers a much-needed win.
Wayne Simmonds strips Brent Burns, scores the OT winner pic.twitter.com/2DhB7gpnV9
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 11, 2017
PHI-Ivan Provorov (5), assisted by Andrew MacDonald (11), Jake Voracek (33)
SJ-Patrick Marleau (20), assisted by Kevin Labanc (8), Joe Thornton (31)
PHI-Wayne Simmonds (23), unassisted
THW Three Stars
First: Wayne Simmonds (one goal)
Second: Aaron Dell (25 saves)
Third: Ivan Provorov (one goal)
Philadelphia Flyers at Calgary Flames
Scotiabank Saddledome – 9:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Broadcast Channels: TCNP
Season Series: 1-0 Philadelphia
San Jose Sharks at New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center – 12:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 12, 2017
Broadcast Channels: CSCA, MSG+
Season Series: 1-0 San Jose
Wes Herrmann graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2014. He used to write hockey for Cardiac Cane and Broad Street Buzz and has loved the game since birth. Follow him on Twitter at @Wes_Herrm or contact him at email@example.com