PHILADELPHIA – Former Flyers star Jeremy Roenick made what he expects to be his final game in Philadelphia a memorable one.
Roenick scored the deciding goal in a shootout to give the San Jose Sharks a 7-6 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday night, Philadelphia’s season-opening sixth straight loss.
“This most likely will be my last game in this building and it’s a nice way to finish,” said Roenick, who was a fan favourite with the Flyers when he played in Philadelphia from 2001-2004.
“This city really means a lot to me. I’ve have a lot of great memories in this building,” added Roenick, who received a nice ovation when he was shown on the jumbo screen early in the game.
“That was awesome,” he said. “This is one building I’ll never forget.”
Joe Pavelski, who also scored for San Jose in the shootout, is not surprised that the Sharks have won six of their first seven games.
“We’ve found ways to win just about in all sorts of games,” Pavelski explained.
Pavelski and Roenick both beat Martin Biron to the glove side to help the Sharks salvage the victory after they blow a 6-4 lead in the third period.
“We just have not had any success in the shootout for whatever reason,” Flyers coach John Stevens said. “It’s a tough way to lose a game.”
Philadelphia had a 3-6 record in shootouts last season. Two of Philadelphia’s other losses this year have come in overtime.
Pavelski had a goal and assist in regulation, Patrick Marleau added two goals and two assists, and Ryane Clowe and Devin Setoguchi each had a goal and an assist.
Joffrey Lupul scored twice and Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Scottie Upshall and Danny Briere added goals for the winless Flyers. Briere tied it with 1:05 left in the third period when he punched the puck past goalie Evgeni Nabokov during a wild power-play scramble in front of the net.
Briere said that the Flyers have to do a better job defensively in front of the goal.
“I don’t know what’s going on, why they are scoring goals from there,” Briere said. “It’s disappointing. As a group we need to do a better job clearing the area around the net.”
Boyle broke a 4-4 tie at 12:52 of the second period when he picked up a loose puck during a scramble to the side of the net and swept it past Biron. Marleau made it 6-4 with his second goal on a wraparound at 47 seconds of the third.
Lupul pulled Philadelphia closer 17 seconds later with his second goal, firing a slap shot off Nabokov’s glove.
Philadelphia goalie Antero Niittymaki was lifted after San Jose took a 4-3 lead on 15 shots during a wild first period.
The seven goals were a new San Jose club record for most combined goals in the first period on the road.
Philadelphia jumped ahead 51 seconds into the game on Carter’s unassisted short-handed goal, but San Jose took a 2-1 lead on power-play goals in a 58-second span. Pavelski scored on a deflection at 7:42, and Clowe hammered in a rebound at 8:40.
After Richards tied it with a wrist shot on a power play at 12:04, and Marleau put the Sharks at 15:45.
The teams then traded goals on rebound shots. Upshall scored on another power play at 17:54, and Setoguchi put back his own shot with 39 seconds left in the period.
“Deep down we can’t be very satisfied with our defensive effort,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “We weren’t very happy with the way we played, with the way we turned the puck over.”
Lupul pulled the Flyers into a 4-4 tie with his first goal of the season at 3:30 of the second period. He beat Nabokov to the far side with a shot at an almost-impossible angle from along the right baseline.
Notes: The Sharks outshot the Flyers 35-29. Philadelphia has been outshot 114-64 in its last three games. … Philadelphia LW Simon Gagne was scratched because of the flu. … The Flyers are 0-6-3 in their last nine games against the Sharks. … San Jose began a three game trip that continues at Florida and Tampa Bay. … The Sharks went into the game 0-for-10 on the power play on the road, tied for last in the NHL. … Philadelphia RW Andreas Nodl played in his first NHL game. He had an assist.