PHILADELPHIA – Sometimes a goal like the one rookie Nolan Patrick scored on Saturday can suddenly supply all the confidence in the world.
The 19-year-old Patrick was stationed just outside the Ottawa net with time running out and the Flyers trailing the Senators, 3-2, when the puck found its way on to his stick.
With one quick swipe, Patrick tied the game with 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
While the Flyers would go on to a six-round 4-3 shootout loss, things could have been worse. A fourth straight game without a point might have started to conjure memories of that 10-game winless streak back in November.
“The puck just bounced at my feet and I knew the goalie (Craig Anderson) was down and out,’’ Patrick explained after the game at the Wells Fargo Center. “Lucky to get it on my stick and put it in.’’
Patrick’s goal was the third-latest game-tying marker by a rookie in Flyers’ history.
The two ahead of him are Freddy Meyer at 19:59 of the third period on March 8, 2006 and Bill Lesuk at 19:58 on Jan. 23, 1971.
Shayne Gostisbehere took the initial shot and there was so much traffic in front of Anderson that there wasn’t much he could do.
Patrick was glad the Flyers could come away with something after being down 3-1 in the third period.
“Yeah, there’s obviously no quit in the room,’’ Patrick said. “It’s tough to lose a tie game in a shootout but that’s the way it goes.’’
Patrick now has three goals in his last eight games after netting only two in his first 35 contests.
Duchene goal disallowed
The Flyers caught a break late in the second period (2.9 seconds left) when the Flyers challenged a Matt Duchene goal and won it when replays showed the Senators were offside.
If the goal had been allowed to stand, it would have been 4-1 Ottawa and a much tougher hill to climb.
Duchene knew right away it might be overturned.
“I remembered that I thought it might be offside right away,’’ Duchene said. “I started laughing as soon as they challenged. I was hoping they weren’t going to challenge because I think they were wishy-washy about it at first.’’
Duchene has a dubious history with replay.
“I scored a goal years ago and that was the reason the video review came in,’’ he chuckled. “It got me back tonight.’’