Flyers

Flyers fail biggest test of season with loss to Blue Jackets

Flyers fail biggest test of season with loss to Blue Jackets

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Allowing two goals during a span of 11 seconds in the first period set the tone for the Flyers in a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in the final meeting between the two teams.

Bad defensive coverages and a failure to clear their own zone led to a very poor start.

Claude Giroux scored the Flyers' first goal for the third straight game and has now scored 11 goals in his last 18 games.

The Flyers had to fight back from three different two-goal deficits, but couldn’t manufacture the game-tying goal in the third period.

Shayne Gostisbehere scored his 12th goal just 16 seconds into the second period to reduce the Blue Jackets' lead to 3-2, but Columbus answered just 3:09 later as Cam Atkinson scored his second goal of the game.

Atkinson netted a hat trick after adding an empty-net goal in the final second.

The Flyers and Blue Jackets are now tied with 81 points in the Metropolitan Division as both teams have 11 games remaining. The Flyers hold the tiebreaker with one more regulation/overtime victory.

• It took all of 11 seconds for the Flyers to fall behind 2-0. With the Flyers chasing the puck around their end, they couldn’t clear the zone as Travis Sanheim pushed the puck forward without gaining possession. That allowed the Jackets to maintain possession and Oliver Bjorkstrand from one knee roofed a shot from close range. Those types of mishaps the Flyers must avoid.  

• Columbus came right back and doubled its lead with four of its defenders along the boards. Once the Blue Jackets gained possession, Boone Jenner simply beat Brandon Manning to the front of the net and redirected Jack Johnson’s slap pass in which Petr Mrazek had very little shot at stopping. It’s a lost board battle leading to a breakdown in coverage that we’ve seen from the Flyers on several occasions this season.  

• Giroux had Sergei Bobrovsky beaten on a breakaway attempt but the puck hit the post. However, Giroux received his redemption and fired a one-timer past Bobrovsky. The Flyers' top two lines were very good in the offensive zone in the first period.

• Another tough break for Mrazek as the Blue Jackets took a 3-1 lead after Atkinson batted in Seth Jones’ shot from the point. Another goal where the Flyers were chasing the puck in their end and couldn’t clear the zone.

• Two bad goals to start the second period. Gostisbehere scored on a simple snap shot from the right circle that Bobrovsky couldn’t contain as the puck snuck past him. Mrazek answered with a bad goal of his own as Atkinson beat him blocker side. The way Mrazek played it appeared as if he was never on his angle. 

• Giroux took a puck to the side of his face that forced him to go to the locker room and get treatment. The Flyers' captain returned in the final three minutes of the second period.

• Andrew MacDonald needed every bit of the 72 inches from post to post to beat Bobrovsky as his slap shot clanked off the right post and then the left post to cut the Jackets' lead to 4-3 after 40 minutes of action.

• The Flyers came out for the third period with a desperate mindset, outshooting Columbus, 9-3, in the first 10 minutes, but not much from the high-danger areas.

• John Tortorella completely lost his mind when the officials whistled the Blue Jackets for too many men on the ice. His theatrics make those seats behind the bench worth the price of admission.

• The officials let a lot of stuff go in that first period, including a clear crosscheck into the back of Sean Couturier on the Giroux goal. Not sure how or why that wasn't called. 

Controversial, confusing hit by Joel Farabee on Mathieu Perreault crushes Flyers (and it could cost him)

Controversial, confusing hit by Joel Farabee on Mathieu Perreault crushes Flyers (and it could cost him)

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The Flyers' lineup had a supremely uncharacteristic look Sunday at Bell MTS Place.

Joel Farabee then made an uncharacteristic play and the Flyers' road trip went completely haywire with a 7-3 loss to the Jets.

The Flyers (17-11-5) limped through an 0-3-0 swing away from home in which they were outscored 14-5. Prior to this stretch, the Flyers had lost three straight games in regulation only one other time — Oct. 15-19.

The Jets (20-11-2) pounced on the Flyers in a ripe opportunity.

• In his quick climb to the NHL, Farabee had been lauded for his smarts and the way he thinks the game at an advanced level.

On Sunday, though, the 19-year-old rookie made a dumb, ill-advised play and it crushed the Flyers. Really, it cost them any chance at a win and it could cost the rookie a game or two.

With the Flyers trailing, 2-1, almost midway through the second period, Farabee flattened Mathieu Perreault just as the Jets' forward was turning from sending a pass up the boards. Perreault left the game and did not return.

Farabee may have been frustrated as he was crosschecked in the back moments before the hit. Still, the Flyers had just trimmed the deficit to one and were already playing with a patchwork group of forwards.

Farabee was whistled for interference and given a game misconduct, putting Winnipeg on a five-minute power play. The Jets went on to score four goals in fewer than six minutes and the game was over (see highlights).

The NHL will look at the Farabee hit. Stay tuned.

• This was not a game the Flyers could afford mental mistakes or self-inflicted wounds.

The club rushed Carsen Twarynski and Nicolas Aube-Kubel to Winnipeg on Sunday because it's ravaged by injuries at the forward position.

The Flyers came in without Scott Laughton (groin), Tyler Pitlick (concussion), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

To the Flyers' credit, they played with great energy during the first period and were in the game midway through the action.

• Matt Niskanen, James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere scored goals for the Flyers.

Niskanen's marker was actually meaningful. When van Riemsdyk and Gostisbehere lit the lamp, the game was out of reach.

• Brian Elliott was pulled after the second period. Winnipeg bombarded the 34-year-old goalie after Farabee's hit.

Carter Hart made six saves on seven shots in the final stanza.

• The Flyers are off from practice Monday before hosting the Ducks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Flyers at Jets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Jets: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers have lost three straight games in regulation only once this season.

They'll try to keep it that way Sunday as the Flyers (17-10-5) visit the Jets (19-11-2) after failing to pick up any points in back-to-back losses.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 5 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bell MTS Place
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The carousel at forward continued with Sunday's call-ups Carsen Twarynski and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

In Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Wild, Scott Laughton (groin) and Tyler Pitlick (concussion) left the game and did not return.

On Sunday, the Flyers will be without forwards Laughton, Pitlick, Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

With Sunday's roster transactions, the Flyers placed Konecny on injured reserve and Lindblom and defenseman Samuel Morin (ACL) on long-term injured reserve for salary cap relief.

Aube-Kubel, a 23-year-old winger who played nine games for the big club last season, will become the 10th rookie to play for the Flyers this season.

• With all the injuries, the Flyers are in desperate need of their big boys to carry the load.

The Flyers have gone to a different level when Kevin Hayes has produced in the points column. The team is 10-2-1 when he records a point and 7-8-4 when he goes scoreless.

Hayes went without a point over the Flyers' last two games — both regulation losses — and returns to Winnipeg for the first time since being traded by the Jets in June.

• The Jets are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Red Wings. Winnipeg hasn't dropped consecutive games since Oct. 13-17, when it lost three straight.

• Here is the Flyers' projected lineup, according to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Carsen Twarynski-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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