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The Flyers salute the fans who sat through the elements. (Photo via NHL)

Hockey

Flyers Score Final 3 Goals in 4-3 Stadium Series Win

In what could be the final time Wayne Simmonds wears the Philadelphia Flyers crest, they delivered a comeback to remember.

The weather was awful for much of the game. While the second period was relatively dry, the rain poured down in a heavy mist as the third progressed. There was talk of switching sides to make play fair, as is protocol.

Even so, a recorded attendance of 69,620 fans weathered the storm.

The Flyers came out rather flat— a recurring theme the last few games— but managed to survive, something they weren’t able to do against Tampa and Montreal. Brian Elliott made 17 saves in the first period on his way to 40 total.

What stood out was how physical the Flyers played. Even Shayne Gostisbehere was lining up Penguins, something he’s definitely not known for.

Nolan Patrick took out revenge on Jack Johnson, who tripped him on a knee-on-knee collision earlier in the game. Johnson is listed at nearly 30 pounds heavier.

It’s not crazy to suggest that playing physical was part of the outdoor gameplan. With the conditions how they were, heavy pressure on puck carriers was going to force a lot of turnovers.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, turnovers is exactly what happened to them. Sidney Crosby’s opening goal was a direct result of a Jake Voracek pass that was blocked by Kris Letang in the Flyers’ zone.

Ultimately, Voracek would end with three points (1G, 2A) including a truly outdoor-in-the-rain goal with 20 seconds left in regulation. From an impossible angle, he fired it along the ice and it found its way between the legs of Matt Murray for redemption.

“He hasn’t eaten anything for pretty much four days,” said Scott Gordon about Voracek. It could explain his three game pointless streak, but keeping his food down resulted in first star honors.

James van Riemsdyk scored a powerplay goal that survived a goaltender interference review (we all know how those go). It was the first of two goals scored with the goalie pulled in the final minutes.

To cap off the comeback and give the Flyers their first ever outdoor win, Claude Giroux scored the overtime winner. His 800th NHL game, all with Philadelphia, ended with him.

https://twitter.com/jeffskversky/status/1099522132466429952?s=21

It’s a franchise record 11th overtime winning goal.

Back in the locker room, things were a little emotional for the team. It’s no secret that Wayne Simmonds’ time with the team is likely up, after eight years together. The player of the game helmet was passed around until Voracek made sure Simmonds was the recipient.

If this was his final game as a Flyer, he went out in Simmonds-fashion, crushing Brian Dumoulin into the boards. Dumoulin wouldn’t return to the game, and Letang was injured in the resulting tangle with Gostisbehere.

Wherever he goes, everyone in Philadelphia wants him to win a cup. We saw Kimmo Timonen do it with the Blackhawks. Simmonds has earned unconditional love from a notorious fanbase like no other player since his arrival.

At the end of a heartfelt speech, Simmonds told the guys to ready up, they have a game to play Tuesday.

“I can truly say I’ve given everything I have to Philadelphia over the last eight years.”

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