Despite a furious third-period rally, the Flyers couldn't survive the Hurricanes again this week.
Three days after a 3-1 loss in Carolina, the Flyers fell again Thursday night to the Hurricanes, this time, 5-3, at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers scored three times in the third period but dug too deep of a hole.
Did Scott Gordon’s decision to shake up the top line cost the Flyers early?
• After showing a different line during the morning skate and in warmups, Gordon gave us Oskar Lindblom on the top line and moved Travis Konecny to the fourth line. When the Flyers have scored two goals in three games and in the case of Konecny, no goals in his past 12 games, anything and everything should be on the table.
Lindblom, obviously, had a boost and jump to his game and that top line generated three of the Flyers' first eight shots on net.
• However, Lindblom’s inexperience and poor defensive judgment cost the Flyers the first goal of the game. Lindblom floated out near the middle of the ice and failed to pick up Dougie Hamilton. The 'Canes defenseman, skating in from his right defense position, snapped a shot high over Michal Neuvirth's glove. We've seen plays like that from Konecny early in his career, but these are the types of lapses that have been common throughout the season.
• Konecny rejoined the top line to begin the third period with the Flyers trailing 3-0 and Gordon looking for that offensive jolt. The Flyers entered the third period with just one goal in their last 10 periods of play.
• Carolina erupted for three second-period goals and 10 goals in the second period over its last five games. The Hurricanes' second and third goals came on one-timers on the power play.
The first one off the stick of Justin Williams was clearly avoidable. The Flyers' PK failed to pick up Williams, who found the soft spot in the defense. It was also a goal that Neuvirth should have stopped. The Flyers' PK had been eighth best since Thanksgiving, but on this night, it made it too easy for Carolina’s skilled players.
With eight games over the next 15 days, the Flyers will have little-to-almost no practice time for Gordon to iron out the issues and problem areas within their PK or their coverage breakdowns.
• Sean Couturier brought the Wells Fargo Center back to life by redirecting Claude Giroux’s backhand pass up high perfectly over Petr Mrazek’s glove hand in the third period. Hard to believe but Couturier is on pace to match his career-high 31 goals from last season.
• Down 4-3, the Flyers were pressing hard for the game-tying goal with a couple of scoring chances, but Jakub Voracek’s failure to hit the net saw the puck rim around the boards and propelled Carolina to a 3-on-1 break and a backbreaker for Neuvirth, who couldn't secure Teuvo Teravainen’s wrist shot that trickled through his five-hole and ended any shot of a comeback.
• A couple of things I didn’t like about Travis Sanheim’s game early on. He couldn’t outskate 37-year-old Williams from behind his own net as Williams was able to lift his stick from behind and force a turnover. Earlier in the period, with Ivan Provorov pinching, Sanheim also failed to pick up Andrei Svechnikov, who corralled a lob pass and broke in cleanly on Neuvirth. Sanheim has tailed off recently as he wasn’t that good in the previous two games against the Predators and the Hurricanes.
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