This game was not a case for the defense.
In a wide-open, fast-skating game on Friday night, both hockey teams were going all out at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
The Flyers fell behind the Detroit Red Wings by a 5-1 count in the first period, then rallied with a pair of goals at the start of the second and three more in the third to go ahead, 6-5.
However, Detroit tied it one more time and won the shootout on goals by Lucas Raymond and Patrick Kane. The Flyers lost, 7-6, but earned a point.
Scott Laughton’s goal with 6:30 to play had tied the score at 5-5. Tyson Foerster’s initial shot was stopped by goalie James Reimer but he lost control of the puck and Laughton poked the puck into the net.
Then Owen Tippett scored with 5:07 to play to give the Flyers a brief lead. The edge didn’t last long. Dylan Larkin scored from below the end line with 4:30 to play and the score was tied again at 6-6.
Both Laughton and Garnet Hathaway saw a lot of positives in this comeback.
“It’s huge for our group,” said Laughton after the Flyers kept their hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division. “It tells you a lot about us and what guys are willing to do for each other. The guys battled, blocked shots.
“We would have liked to take the two points. But the way we battled back, we can take a lot from it.”
Hathaway, who came to the Flyers as a free agent, likes the way this team continues to stick together, even when it gets down four goals on the road.
“It’s a big learning step for us,” Hathaway said. “We’re happy that we got one point instead of zero. But I think when you talk about how we’re continuing to grow, and how you’re going to see us in the second half of the season after the break, that (rally) tonight was huge for our mentality.
“I think you’ve seen our firepower, we’re great on the transition.”
Carter Hart, who hadn’t played in 13 days due to illness, started in goal for the Flyers and was tested almost from the opening faceoff.
Coach John Tortorella’s post-game briefing lasted only about 20 seconds. The one question he did answer was about Hart’s performance.
“Up and down, all over the place (in the first period),” the coach said. “He made some great saves at the end.”
The Flyers put together that rally early in the middle frame, getting goals 24 seconds apart from Sean Couturier at 3:37 and Morgan Frost at 4:01.
Frost scored for the second straight game, tipping in a Travis Sanheim shot. Sanheim also picked up an assist on the Couturier goal, which was a nifty tip by the center’s stick.
In the third period, Garnet Hathaway tipped in Laughton’s shot at 5:51 and suddenly it was a one-goal game.
Former Chicago Blackhawk great Patrick Kane scored the first two goals of the game for the Red Wings.
On the first, he worked with Dylan Larkin and put the puck behind Hart at 4:40. At 8:16, Kane took advantage of the rebound of Alex Debrincat’s shot.
After Bobby Brink scored on a solo rush and shot past Reimer at 9:00, the Red Wings went back to work with Daniel Sprong making it 3-1 at 15:05.
J.T. Compher’s goal at 15:38 pushed the lead to 4-1.
Then ex-Flyer defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere got into the act with a goal with only 18 seconds left on the clock to give the Red Wings a 5-1 lead.
The Flyers’ 13-game streak of holding a road opponent to three goals or less came to an end. . .Flyers start their four-day holiday break and will return to action on Thursday at Vancouver. . .Cam Atkinson’s goal drought reached a personal-high 18 games. . .Nick Seeler picked up a game misconduct penalty for getting involved in a fight with Christian Fischer in the second period. Seeler protested vociferously while headed off the ice to the Flyers’ locker room