Flyers analysis

Flyers suffer wild, 7-6 shootout loss, but gain mojo for after holiday break

The Flyers now have five days between games before returning from the NHL holiday break

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If you were looking for some entertainment at the holidays, you got it Friday night from the Flyers and Red Wings.

And perhaps further reason to tune in when the Flyers come back from the break.

John Tortorella's club will have to stew over back-to-back losses after dropping a chaotic and eventful 7-6 shootout decision to Detroit at Little Caesars Arena.

After having their nine-game point streak snapped Thursday night, the Flyers should absolutely take the point from this one.

Nick Seeler, as well-liked as anyone in the team's locker room, blew a gasket only 23 minutes into the game. His emotions woke up the Flyers, who rallied from a 5-1 deficit early in the second period to take a 6-5 lead with 5:07 minutes left in regulation.

The Flyers, however, relinquished the lead 37 seconds later and eventually suffered their first loss in the skills competition.

Carter Hart was up and down for the Flyers (18-11-4) in his return to the net. He was brilliant in overtime before Lucas Raymond and Patrick Kane handed him the shootout defeat.

The Flyers are 6-4 after regulation this season — 3-3 in overtime and 3-1 in the shootout.

The Red Wings (16-13-4) got some payback on the Flyers after losing in Philadelphia, 1-0, six days ago.

The two clubs meet for a third and final time Jan. 25 back at Little Caesars Arena.

The NHL goes on hiatus Sunday through Tuesday for the league-mandated holiday break. The Flyers will have five days between games.

• The Flyers' comeback attempt was spurred when Seeler became irate about three minutes into the second period.

Seeler was checked into the boards by Christian Fischer after the Flyers' defenseman drew a hooking penalty. Seeler quickly bounced back up to his feet and dropped the gloves with Fischer. Both players threw punches but Seeler was hit hard by penalties.

He was booted from the game, compiling 27 penalty minutes. He was handed a two-minute instigator, five-minute major for fighting, 10-minute instigator misconduct and 10-minute game misconduct.

Fischer was assessed two minutes for hooking and five minutes for fighting.

As Seeler was tossed, he turned incensed in the penalty box and departed the ice with a mouthful for the officials.

Seeing the team-first Seeler so angry clearly bothered the Flyers. Trailing 5-1 at the time after a brutal first period, the Flyers had the deficit cut in half a minute after Seeler's exit. Sean Couturier and Morgan Frost each redirected a Travis Sanheim shot for goals within a 24-second span.

During the third period, Garnet Hathaway, Scott Laughton and Owen Tippett scored to temporarily put the Flyers in front.

Flyers defenseman Nick Seeler was irate in the penalty box after receiving a game misconduct.

• Hart made his first start in 13 days. He has dealt with an undisclosed illness.

The 25-year-old showed rust in the first period, looking a bit off with his reaction time.

The Flyers also didn't help him. They watched a lot, appearing like they were a step behind Detroit all period.

The killer goal Hart allowed was the 6-6 equalizer from Dylan Larkin in the third period. From below the goal line, the Red Wings' captain snuck a shot through Hart and the post. It was a save he has to make.

But to Hart's credit, he was masterful in overtime, recording six saves on grade A looks from Detroit. He finished with 31 saves.

Red Wings netminder James Reimer stopped 37 of the Flyers' 43 shots. Couturier and Bobby Brink couldn't beat him in the shootout.

The Flyers rallied from being down 5-1 in the first period, but they fell in the shootout, 7-6, to the Red Wings.

• Despite these two losses heading into the holidays, the Flyers put themselves in a very good position over the last 20 games. They went 13-4-3 since Nov. 10. Entering Saturday, their 29 points through that span are the most in the NHL.

Losing in blowout fashion would have soured their progress going into the break. But they rallied around Seeler and found a way to pick up a point when it looked like they had no business coming back.

One would think the fan base can appreciate the run the Flyers put together in the last 20 games and the fight they showed Friday night.

• If you like close games, you'll like watching the Flyers. They've gone to overtime in eight of their last 13 games.

• The Flyers are back in action next Thursday when they visit the Canucks (10 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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