Oilers blow another lead as Flyers score late winner
Raffl's late goal latest in a series of defensive struggles for Edmonton
After leaning on Steve Mason throughout most of the last three weeks, the Philadelphia Fyers bailed out their goaltender with a strong offensive display.
Michael Raffl scored with 1:29 remaining to cap Philadelphia's rally from two goals down in the third period to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 Thursday night for the Flyers' seventh straight win.
Claude Giroux had two goals and one assist, and Mark Streit, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Jakub Voracek also scored for the Flyers.
"It's a sign of good things, hopefully," said Mason, who stopped 28 shots to win his sixth straight and improve to 11-8-3. "When your goalie's not making saves that you need, but the guys are still battling in front, from a personal standpoint, it's huge to see that."
Raffl's sixth of the season came after he brushed off a check by Klefbom and lifted a shot over Gustavasson. The Flyers trailed 5-3 before scoring three times in a 12-minute stretch.
"Once we got to 5-4, I just tried to lock it down as best I could," Mason said. "There's nights where you're just not feeling as sharp as you'd like to. But this is a situation where the guys in front never quit. They earned the two points tonight for sure."
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, and Andrej Sekera, Benoit Pouliot and Oscar Klefbom also scored for the Oilers, who have blown leads in four straight games. Jonas Gustavsson finished with 25 saves.
"I'm not too sure what it is. It's definitely something we need to find out real fast here," McDavid said of the Oilers' late-game collapses. "I think as a group we're still trying to learn how to win games. We did a good job of it early, and there's definitely a certain talent to being able to win games and close it out. I think maybe we're still trying to figure that part out right now."
With the score tied 3-3 after two periods, Pouliot and Klefbom scored 2:05 apart to give the Oilers a two-goal lead 5:12 into the third.
Voracek's snap shot on a power play pulled the Flyers to 5-4 at 6;31 and Giroux tied it with 7:49 remaining.
"We know we've got some areas to get better at, and we're going to keep working and keep trying to get better as a team," said Giroux, who now has 28 points, 10 behind McDavid's league-leading 38. "We've just got to keep working here. Right now the team's just rolling and we're winning."
McDavid calls Flyers defenceman 'classless'
McDavid was back in Philadelphia for the first time since breaking a collar bone here last season after a collision with Flyers defenceman Brandon Manning, an injury that forced him to miss the next 37 games in his rookie campaign. The two had a minor scuffle in the first period.
"I did all I could defending him last year in the media," McDavid said of Manning. "Everyone wanted to make a big deal saying he did it on purpose, and he wanted to say some comments today about what went on last year. I thought it was one of the [most] classless things I've ever seen on the ice. He said some things, and our guys responded accordingly.
"I guess we can put the whole `if he did it on purpose thing' to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that."
Manning said his hit on McDavid last season was not an intent to hurt the budding superstar.
"I would never intentionally hurt someone," Manning said. "Anybody who knows me, I play a hard game. That's the reason I'm here, that's the way I'm in the NHL."
The Oilers, who came into the game fourth in the NHL in goals, opened the scoring when Draisaitl beat Mason from the left circle at the 4:39 mark of the first. The goal was Draisaitl's fifth in five games and 12th of the season.
McDavid made it 2-0 at 4:345 of the second with his first power-play goal of the season and 12th overall.
The Flyers took over midway through the second, scoring three goals on three shots in a span of just 1:12 to take a 3-2 lead. Seconds after a holding penalty to Matt Hendricks expired, Streit scored his fifth goal of the season with a blast from the point.
Bellemare tied it 53 seconds later with his first of the season. With the crowd still on its feet, Giroux gave the Flyers the lead just 5 seconds later, slamming a pass from Voracek past Gustavsson for his eighth.
With the Flyers on the power play, McDavid helped set up a a one-timer by Sekera to send the game into the third period knotted at 3-3.