Wings lose 3-1 to Flyers, get swept in home-and-home series
The Red Wings certainly played a better and more complete game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Detroit on Sunday than they did in a 6-5 overtime loss in Philadelphia Saturday.
But the result was another loss … and Detroit didn’t even get the extra point for getting to overtime.
The Flyers beat the Wings 3-1 at Little Caesars Arena to complete a sweep of the back-to-back, home-and-home series.
Philadelphia rookie goalie Carter Hart was the difference, making 37 saves.
“I think he played really good. We just couldn’t get the breaks on our shots,” said Anthony Mantha, who despite being held off the scoresheet, was the Red Wings’ best player on the night with seven shots and three hits.
“I think we created a lot off our grind, a lot of chances,” Mantha added.
He also dropped the gloves with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds, one of the best fighters in the league, just 53 seconds into the game.
It stemmed from a situation between them in Saturday’s game.
“He told me right before the anthem he wanted me, so I said, ‘Let’s get it over with and play some hockey,’ ” Mantha said.
He added how the conversation went: “He goes, ‘I hope you’re going to be a man.’ I said, ‘Will that earn your respect?’ he said ‘Yeah.’ ”
Mantha also had to consider his right hand, which he injured in a fight earlier in the season, causing him to miss 15 games.
Though he did get in a couple of good punches, it was clear Mantha was putting more effort into holding on and staying out of the way of Simmonds’ fast and dangerous fists. Still, Simmonds got in more punches, especially early in the fight, and easily won a decision before the linesmen broke things up.
“I stepped up for myself,” Mantha said.
Flyer defenseman Ivan Provorov got the game winner, breaking a 1-1 tie, 2:11 into the third period with a one-time slap shot from the left point that was screened.
“I never saw it,” said Jimmy Howard, who made 11 saves in two periods.
Howard replaced Jonathan Bernier, who left after the first period with an upper-body injury. Bernier, who stopped nine shots, was hurt when a collision with a Flyers player sent Dylan Larkin careening into Bernier in the crease. Bernier was knocked down and back into the net. Play was halted so the pair could get out of the net and the crease.
Coach Jeff Blashill said he thought Bernier would be fine and that the goalie was removed mostly due to protocol reasons.
Oskar Linsblom added his second goal of the game, into an empty net, with 1:26 left.
Darren Helm tied the game 1-1 with 5:11 left in the second period when he one-handed in a rebound from the crease for his fifth goal of the season.
Lindblom gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first period with his first goal of the night. An attempted pass by Sean Couturier went off Lindblom’s skate and the skate of Red Wing defenseman Nick Jensen and into the net.
The Flyers are 12-1-1 in their last 14 games.
Rookie defenseman Filip Hronek was promoted from AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday and played on Sunday night. Veteran blueliner Jonathan Ericsson was a healthy scratch.
… Gustav Nyquist did not play because of illness.