Flyers

Just how bad was it? Some perspective after Flyers get embarrassed by Penguins

Just how bad was it? Some perspective after Flyers get embarrassed by Penguins

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With the way the Flyers played Tuesday night, it didn't matter who was in net.

In their first of four regular-season matchups against the Penguins, the Flyers were embarrassed with a 7-1 loss at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins (8-5-0) manhandled the Flyers (5-5-1) from the opening puck drop. The game was ugly after the first period and a blowout by second intermission.

These losses do happen. They just look much worse when they come against your rival in their building. Last season, the Capitals lost to the Devils, 6-0, in their fourth game as defending champs. This season, the reigning champion Blues already have two losses to the Canadiens by a combined score of 11-5.

Still, it doesn't justify the Flyers' awful first period and loss. They're not starting well and they've been far too inconsistent through 11 games.

Fortunately for them, they don't play Pittsburgh again until Jan. 21, right before the team's bye week.

• The Penguins entered as the NHL's worst scoring team in the first period. They had four total goals during the opening stanza through 12 games.

They matched that mark in just one first period against the Flyers.

Pittsburgh completely dominated the Flyers as it was more skilled with the puck, faster to the puck and stronger on the puck. The Penguins were head and shoulders above the Flyers in all phases. The first period ultimately decided the game, so let's look at all four markers:

On the first goal, the Flyers were weaker on the puck, failed to clear it and defenseman Justin Schultz surprised Brian Elliott with his shot.

On the second goal, the Penguins won a puck battle behind the net and Jared McCann snuck in front of Chris Stewart to finish a point-blank shot.

On the third goal, Sidney Crosby made a slick pass from the side boards to a streaking Dominik Simon, who was wide open and fired away from the circle.

On the fourth goal, Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun couldn't stop a Pittsburgh rush that Crosby finished with a hell of a shot.

• The Flyers, from the forwards to the defensemen, didn't help Elliott, who wasn't good in his own right. It made for a bad combination against a team led by Crosby.

Elliott allowed six goals on 28 shots. In his previous four games (three wins), he allowed seven goals on 104 shots.

Carter Hart took over in the third period and yielded a goal in the final seconds.

• Through 11 games last season, the Flyers surrendered an NHL-most 46 goals, while scoring 31.

Through 11 games this season, the Flyers have allowed 37, while scoring 36.

Even after Tuesday night's debacle, they've been better — so that's a positive.

• If you're pleading for the Flyers to make a call-up, they're not in a favorable position to do so (see story).

• Crosby had a three-point game, giving him 102 points in 68 career regular-season games against the Flyers.

• Oskar Lindblom scored the Flyers' only goal. He is tied with Travis Konecny for the team lead at six.

• The Flyers will have a few days to stew over this one before visiting the Devils on Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

They return home Saturday to play the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

Oskar Lindblom, a 23-year-old forward on the Flyers, is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones.

Below is a statement from Flyers president of hockey operations and general manager Chuck Fletcher:

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. He will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter. He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season. The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available. Out of respect for Oskar and his family, the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health.

Lindblom, a native of Sweden, had been one of the Flyers’ top players through 30 games, scoring 11 goals and 18 points.

He was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round of the 2014 draft and has blossomed into a promising player.

Always smiling, positive and humble, Lindblom is beloved by his teammates. His rise from a fifth-round pick to a difference-making player has been a product of hard work.

After scoring 17 goals last season, sixth most among NHL rookies, Lindblom went back to Gävle, Sweden, to train all summer with his old team Brynäs IF.

"It’s like five minutes from my house," Lindblom said during training camp.

“It was nice to be back home for a bit, just relaxed, had some time with friends and family, so it was great.”

It didn't take long for the Flyers' new coaching staff to fall in love with Lindblom's game as the winger raced out of the chute, scoring in the team's season opener and playing a major role ever since.

“I didn’t know much about Oskar before coming here, but what I’ve found is a real smart, two-way player, hard-working young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Oct. 26.

In the summer of 2017, Lindblom talked about his climb within the Flyers' system.

"I just think about it by myself, like fifth-rounder, I just felt like I can play and I can be on this level," Lindblom said.

By the age of 23, he has more than made it on the highest level.

Below is the outpouring of support for Lindblom, via social media:

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Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

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From the moment it was announced that Oskar Lindblom would miss Wednesday night's game, the Flyers' chances at Pepsi Center felt bleak.

No Lindblom, no Travis Konecny and facing the NHL's highest-scoring team in its building was not a promising script for the Flyers, who lost to the Avalanche, 3-1.

In stretches this season, the Flyers have struggled to bury goals. And that has been with Lindblom and Konecny — their two leading goal-scorers at 11 apiece — in the lineup.

The Flyers (17-9-5) did some good things but Colorado finished plays behind its world class talent up top.

The Avalanche (20-8-3) are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've scored 4.13 goals per game.

• Without Konecny (concussion) and Lindblom (upper body), the Flyers had difficulty putting the puck in the net. They were going to have to put up some goals against the Avalanche, who entered scoring an NHL-best 3.70 goals per game. For the second time in the last three games, the Flyers scored only one goal.

The lone tally came from Claude Giroux when the Flyers were trailing 3-0 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.

• Following a first period in which they survived, especially in the back half of it thanks to Carter Hart, the Flyers actually played a solid second period. At one point during the middle stanza, the Flyers were outshooting Colorado 11-0.

But as the Flyers kept pushing to no avail, the Avalanche changed the whole complexion of the period with one play by their two best weapons. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hooked up for a nasty marker to make it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the period, a deflating goal to allow for the Flyers (see highlights).

Considering Colorado was 14-0-1 when leading after the middle period, the Flyers were in a serious hole, even after a hard-working period.

• Hart, who entered 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts, faced the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

He made a highlight-reel save and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in tough circumstances.

The 21-year-old has been impressive during the first period all season long, allowing the Flyers to find their legs and rhythm. He converted 12 of his 24 saves in the opening stanza against Colorado.

On the Avalanche's first-period goal, Scott Laughton won a defensive zone faceoff but the Flyers failed to clear the puck, resulting in Matt Calvert's tally.

Rantanen added his second goal early in the third period and that was pretty much the game.

Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz, who came in 5-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over his last eight games (six starts), finished with 32 stops.

• When Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day) is ready to return, Robert Hagg should be the odd man out on defense. Shayne Gostisbehere has found some of his offensive mojo and Myers has shown way too much promise to be sitting when healthy.

A stay-at-home guy like Hagg was far too noticeable against the Avalanche. He committed a penalty and was a minus-2 in 15:21 minutes.

• David Kase was summoned to Denver this morning to make his NHL debut and become the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season

The 22-year-old winger had a nice scoring chance and two shots in 7:47 minutes. 

• The Flyers head to the old stomping grounds of general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr when they visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Fletcher was the GM in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.

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