It was supposed to be a game full of celebration on a number of different levels for the Philadelphia Flyers last night. It looked as if the remarkable grit of the comeback kids was set to take center stage again, but another group of men never gave them the opportunity to flaunt their stuff. Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t the New Jersey Devils.
What appeared to be the game-tying goal with 40 seconds left to play in regulation ultimately ended up being waived off because of interference. The interference call was on the Flyers’ assistant captain Scott Hartnell. Hartnell, who was playing in his 500th career game in a Philly sweater, was not the least bit amused by the call. If looked at, you can clearly see contact on Hartnell from behind, forcing him into the Devils’ goalie, Martin Brodeur. Not only was a very important win for the orange and black revoked, but an encouraging night for Mr. Hartnell was destroyed in the same process.
In the 500 games Hartnell has played with Philly, he has been able to find the twine 152 times and help create a goal 162 times. His numbers prove that his services to the Flyers are indeed irreplaceable.
It was an extremely tough loss for the Flyers to take as they will now play the Pittsburgh Penguins in a home-and-home this weekend. The Flyers are slowly but surely being pushed out of their current Eastern Conference playoff spot and losing two straight to the Penguins is the last thing they’ll want to do. Look for them to at least go for the split.