Nobody in the Wachovia Center knew what Scott Hartnell was thinking, including the players on his own team. Lucky for Hartnell, he has a couple guardians named Martin Biron and Mike Richards.
But no one was laughing when Scott Hartnell was skating after Ryan Malone on a breakaway, threw his glove in desperation mode causing a penalty shot. Of course Marty Biron saved the penalty shot saving Hartnell's behind.
"We've found a new event for the carnival," GM Paul Holmgren jokingly stated after the game. "We're always looking for new events."
"I don't know what he was thinking," Mike Richards said after the game. "I'm speechless, I guess."
Hartnell managed to grin while talking about it after the game knowing he is going to hear it for the next couple days. "It didn't even cross my mind at the time. I just threw the glove, looking back it was kind of stupid," Hartnell said.
Hartnell also added that for Biron's efforts, he will most likely be paid back with a beer or two. Some Flyers' players spoke about the play afterwards including Mike Knuble.
"Did he say he didn't know he couldn't throw his gear?" asked Knuble. "He had to know, from mite league hockey you learn you can't throw your gear.
"I'm not sure what he was thinking on that play," Coach John Stevens said. "Marty had to make two saves, but obviously the outcome justifies it. It seems like lately Murphy's Law. If things can go wrong, they will go wrong. That second goal we had all the momentum and that puck goes up in the air then comes down," Stevens said referring to the goal that went over Biron and in the net.
The Flyers gave up 3-1 lead in the third period. A shorthanded goal by Mike Richards broke the 1-1 tie 36 seconds into the final period. That shorthanded goal by Richards was the Flyers league-leading 10th of the season.
"Richards and Gagne are unbelievable in shorthanded situations," Stevens said. "Those guys are as good as I have ever seen together killing a penalty," Coach Stevens said about Richards and Gagne's continued dominance on the penalty kill.
Then Jeff Carter scored his second goal of the night at 4:36 on the power play. Carter scored his 17th and 18th goals of season making him tied for the league lead in goals with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek. Tampa came back with a power play goal by Vaclav Prospal to make 3-2. Then former Flyer Steve Downie tied the game after picking up a rebound from Radek Smolanek's shot.
Overtime came and the Flyers gained a power play when Ryan Malone was called for interference. Kimmo Timonen made an absolutely gorgeous yet perfect behind-the-back pass to Mike Richards who let go a shot that could have dented the post if hit. The shot blasted over the left shoulder of Mike Smith.
Danny Briere, who missed the last nine games with a groin injury, left the game midway through the second period and did not return. GM Paul Holmgren said, "He's just got some discomfort in that same general area. Our doctors just think its some scar tissue breaking up." More news on Briere will be available today after practice.
Flyers defenseman Matt Carle was scratched from last night's game with what Holmgren would call an "upper body injury." The GM hinted that the injury is not serious. "He wanted to play, but we just held him out," Holmgren said.
Randy Jones could be ready to go this Saturday against Carolina. "There's an outside possibility," Holmgren said. "He had a little procedure done (Monday). We'll see how he is (Wednesday). There's no sense rushing him back.
The Flyers are now 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. The Flyers move on to play the New Jersey Devils tomorrow at the Wachovia Center at 7pm.