Both Couturier and Brayden Schenn gave the Flyers an opportunity to grab two full points, to walk away with their ninth third-period comeback win of the season, and their second in as many nights. They scored twice in a row, in the fifth and sixth rounds of a shootout that hadn't produced one goal before then.
But Steve Mason couldn't shut the door.
Two defensemen - Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi - beat Mason on back-to-back attempts to down the Flyers, 4-3, and cap a wildly entertaining overtime session. The loss meant the Flyers' attempt at tying a team record for comeback wins while trailing in the third period would have to wait at least another game.
It also broke a rare Flyers shootout winning streak at two. They are now 3-4 in shootouts this season, having taken part in seven shootouts before the end of January for the first time since 2008-09.
"I'm not a huge fan of [shootouts]," Mason said. "The guys gave me two opportunities to win the game and I let them down tonight."
Flyers coach Craig Berube said he thought Mason was being too hard on himself. After all, if it wasn't for Mason, the Flyers probably wouldn't have even made it to overtime. They were outshot (37-30) and outplayed for long stretches of time in their own end.
Mason now has a .653 save percentage (83-for-127) in his career in shootouts. His teammates didn't want to hear about three blunders in a "game of chance," as Wayne Simmonds termed the shootout.
"I don't think he can worry about that," Simmonds said. "He's saved our butts all year. It has nothing to do with him. We should have played a more solid 60 minutes in front of him."
With his second straight multi-point game, and seventh of the season, Simmonds nearly willed the Flyers to second straight win. His power-play goal with 1:24 to play earned the Flyers an important point in the standings, which enabled them to retain second place in the Metropolitan Division.
"We didn't play very well. We didn't play well enough to win," Andrej Meszaros said after adding a goal and assist from the point. "We had to come back again. This time it didn't work. You can't play like that every time. You want to play with the lead."
The Flyers did actually have an early lead for a change. Nashville erased that with the help of Shea Weber, who assisted on both goals to give the Predators a 2-1 lead before the end of the first period. Weber was playing against the Flyers for the first time since signing a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with them in July 2012, which the Predators matched.
Nashville and the Flyers did not meet in 2012-13 because of the lockout and Weber missed the game on Nov. 30 with an injury.
Weber scored a goal - which would have been the game-winner if not for Simmonds - in addtion to the two assists.
"It was pretty exciting to have him. This looked like a great spot for him," said Scott Hartnell, his former teammate. "They matched it after 5 days, so for the first 2 days, I think he was pretty confident that he'd be here. It was probably more of a mind-frame adjustment for him to go back there after signing with another team."
On a night in which Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren probably lost sleep over missing out on a franchise changer like Weber, Holmgren's team went to bed dreaming of a lost point that it hopes won't sting as much 3 months from now.
Updated career numbers in shootouts: Vinny Lecavalier (14-54, 25.9%), Claude Giroux (15-36, 41.7), Michael Raffl (1-2, 50), Matt Read (5-13, 38.4), Brayden Schenn (1-4, 25), Sean Couturier (1-4, 25), Wayne Simmonds (3-13, 23) . . . Steve Downie played 10:38 with two hits and no shots after sitting out two straight games as a healthy scratch. Craig Berube said he met with Downie about his "lack of intensity" in games . . . Predators starter Carter Hutton was a surprise injury replacement on the Flyers' roster in March 2010, but never played a game in the "Year of the Seven Goalies."
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