Flyers

Flyers' 'f---ing brutal' winless streak reaches 10 games with shutout loss to Bruins

Flyers' 'f---ing brutal' winless streak reaches 10 games with shutout loss to Bruins

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The Flyers were looking to change anything. 

Some of the guys even grabbed a haircut in the days in between games. While they may have switched up their look, the Flyers outlook remained the same following a 3-0 loss on home ice to the Boston Bruins (see observations), extending their winless streak to 10 games, two shy of the franchise record.

“Yeah, I mean, it sucks,” said defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, “There is not much to say. It’s f---ing brutal. Sorry for cursing, but it's tough right now.”

“Nobody’s going to feel sorry us. Everything we touch right now turns to s---,” said forward Jake Voracek.

Or what the Flyers barely touch.

Late in the second period, the Flyers appeared to have scored a power play goal when Claude Giroux snapped a shot past Tuukka Risk that would have cut the Bruins' lead to 3-1 just before intermission. However, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the play arguing Wayne Simmonds interfered with Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

However, replays showed that Simmonds barely made contact and wasn’t in the crease at the time. After the horn sounded, Simmonds approached referee Dave Jackson for an explanation and then slammed and snapped his stick on his way back to the dressing room.

“He said I clipped him in his head. I honestly didn’t feel it if I did,” said Simmonds. 

When asked if goalies have a way of embellishing those plays Simmonds responded, “Yeah, probably. If I was a goalie, I’d probably do the same thing. I honestly didn’t think I touched him. Clearly I got a piece of him, but I’ve seen way worse than that and called still a good goal.”

However, the Flyers' results and mistakes are definitely self-inflicted at this point, and any sign of a comeback appears to be futile as they’ve gone their last 119:12 without a goal after Claude Giroux scored in the opening minute of Tuesday’s game against the Sharks.

“It’s not a good time right now. We need to figure it out and figure it out soon,” said Giroux, “I think now we’re just squeezing our sticks. We just got figure it out here. We just need that first win to get that breather.” 

The Flyers not only had a power play goal taken away, but they also had power play negated after Gostisbehere committed an unnecessary cross-checking penalty around the neck of Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who was trying to dump the puck and get off the ice for a change.

“Well, there’s probably a little bit of (frustration) there at that time of game,” said head coach Dave Hakstol, “I would rather he make a different choice. I’ll leave it at that.”

And then the Flyers were doomed by icing infractions. Two led to goals where they were burned defensively by the Bruins top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.

“Both stem from icings that we’d like to avoid and then they’re different plays from there - one’s a face-off play that we get beat off the wall to a puck in the middle of the rink and then the second one is a coverage out of a scrum on the half wall in our zone,” said Hakstol.

The Flyers proved last year that a team could win 10 in a row and miss the playoffs. They also showed in 2008 they could lose 10 straight and still get into the postseason.

Right now, they could use any source of motivation just to get a win.

“It’s not a magical recipe,” said Elliott, who has lost his eighth straight start, “It’s playing the game the right way. We have the personnel in here to do it. There’s no give up in this, that’s what I know for sure.”

2 more key Flyers out with injuries

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2 more key Flyers out with injuries

There's more bad news on the injury front for the Flyers.

Winger Wayne Simmonds (upper-body injury) will miss two to three weeks and goalie Michal Neuvirth (lower-body injury) will be out the next four to five weeks.

With yesterday's news that the Flyers had recalled surging forward prospect Oskar Lindblom (see story), a corresponding move seemed imminent. With Simmonds out, Jordan Weal took his place on Nolan Patrick's line, which had been clicking lately, during the morning skate. It appears Lindblom will see his first NHL action on Scott Laughton's line along with Michael Raffl.

With Brian Elliott likely out for the rest of the regular season and Neuvirth's status, the Flyers' trade for goalie Petr Mrazek makes obvious sense (see story). Mrazek was on the ice for morning skate and will be available tonight vs. the Canadiens (7 p.m./NBCSP), according to GM Ron Hextall, who was a guest on 97.5 The Fanatic's midday show.

Capitals regain top spot in Metro as Ovechkin scores NHL-best 35th goal

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Capitals regain top spot in Metro as Ovechkin scores NHL-best 35th goal

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Alex Ovechkin can stop fretting about what the Washington Capitals captain described as the worst game of his career.

He and the Capitals were much better in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, two days after a 7-1 meltdown at Chicago.

After being held without a shot against Chicago, Ovechkin responded by scoring his NHL-leading 35th goal, and Washington reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division

"Yeah, I think the last game I didn't play my game. I think it was the worst play of my career by myself. I take the blame on it," Ovechkin said. "I think we understand the game in Chicago was just forget about it, you know. We moved forward. We got two points."

Capitals coach Barry Trotz noticed how much more involved Ovechkin was against Buffalo, particularly after a few early exchanges with Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (see full recap.)

Marchand's OT goal gives Bruins win over Flames 
CALGARY, Alberta — Brad Marchand scored his 22nd goal 3:36 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday.

After a turnover deep in the Flames end, Riley Nash sprung the Bruins' leading scorer on a breakaway and Marchand made no mistake, slipping the puck through the pads of David Rittich.

David Pastrnak also scored for Boston (36-13-8), which moved within one point of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Boston has two games in hand.

Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames (30-21-9), who fell to 1-3-4 in their last eight home games.

With the teams meeting for the second time in six days, Calgary was territorially outplayed by a wide margin in the first period but Rittich kept the Flames in it (see full recap.)

Cullen, Ennis star in Wild win against Islanders 
NEW YORK — Minnesota knows it needs to play better on the road to strengthen its push for a playoff spot. The Wild also want to do a better job of holding third-period leads than they have lately.

They accomplished both Monday against the New York Islanders.

Matt Cullen and Tyler Ennis scored in Minnesota's three-goal second period, and the Wild beat the Islanders 5-3. Jason Zucker added two goals, Joel Eriksson Ek also scored, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots as Minnesota improved to 4-1-2 in its past seven games.

The Wild just lost three of five on their homestand, including twice when they gave up the tying goal in the third period before falling after regulation.

"Having the lead in the second and keeping it is really good for us," Zucker said (see full recap.)

Arvidsson scores twice in Predators' win vs. Senators 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Viktor Arvidsson scored twice to reach 20 goals this season, and the Nashville Predators beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Monday night.

Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith also scored for Nashville, which ended a two-game skid and tied Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division.

The Predators recorded two power-play goals and scored on the man advantage in their second straight game after going six games without converting on the power play.

Pekka Rinne made 36 saves to earn his 30th win of the season.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Max McCormick scored for the Senators, who played catch-up most of the game. Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots (see full recap.)