DENVER – Maybe it was asking a little too much to sweep a pair of quality teams on the road to start the season.
But the Flyers did have a chance to do that on Saturday night and came up a tad short in a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Despite some questionable play in their defensive end, the Flyers were still tied in this game at 2-2 seven minutes into the second period.
Then they gave up a goal to Gabriel Landeskog at 7:18 and the Avalanche never looked back.
The Flyers thought Landeskog interfered with goaltender Brian Elliott on the play and challenged the initial ruling of a good goal.
Off-ice officials ruled that defenseman Travis Sanheim pushed Landeskog, causing the contact and ref Jake Brenk allowed the marker to stand.
Rookie Mikhail Vorobyev scored his first NHL goal at the two-minute mark of the second period to tie the score at 2-2.
It was a bizarre play in which Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov went to stop an innocent dump-in and then suddenly got run over by backchecking teammate Mark Barberio, who apparently didn’t think the goalie was going to play the puck.
This left the puck lying just outside the crease and Vorobyev had no trouble putting it home.
For a second straight game, the Flyers fell behind early.
Elliott fumbled Erik Johnson’s long shot from the point and Colin Wilson cleaned up the loose puck just 1:35 into the contest for his first of two goals on the night.
The Flyers came back on a Sean Couturier goal. Travis Konecny broke in alone on Varlamov, who managed to make the initial save but couldn’t control the rebound. Couturier pounced it and scored at 7:12.
“I think TK did a good job reading the play and taking off,’’ Couturier said. “G (Claude Giroux) was able to find him and I went to the net for the rebound. TK was by himself but I just tried to get there for the second opportunity.’’
Colorado regained the lead at 12:58. The Flyers turned the puck over in their own end. Sam Girard took control and fed J.T. Compher for a shot past Elliott.
Trouble in front
Unlike Thursday night’s 5-2 win in Las Vegas, the Flyers struggled controlling the puck in front of the net. Colorado got several quality chances when Flyers’ defensemen failed to clear in the slot, which wasn’t the case in the victory over the Golden Knights.
Konecny at his instigating best
Konecny caused a small riot with 1:18 in the second period when he leaned into Colorado defenseman Nikita Zodorov and forced him to hit the goal post. Both players went off for minor penalties.
No doubt, Konecny is at his best when he’s stirring up trouble. This play was a little risky because it could have given the Avalanche a power play. Still, as coach Dave Hakstol says, the Flyers want Konecny “to play his game’’ and that includes plays like that.
Penalty kill success ends
The Flyers held the Avalanche without a power-play goal for four chances, but finally gave up one with 3:39 to play on Wilson’s second goal. Philadelphia had killed off six in a row, including two in Vegas before the Wilson goal.