Flyers

Flyers lay a huge egg with loss to Devils, can only hope it doesn't haunt them in NHL playoff race

Flyers lay a huge egg with loss to Devils, can only hope it doesn't haunt them in NHL playoff race

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This one might haunt the Flyers.

They can only hope they got it out of their system before it’s too late.

Fighting a deep and busy playoff race in which every game counts, the Flyers fell flat on their face for a troubling 5-0 loss Thursday night to the Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.

After going 7-2-1 in their previous 10 games, the Flyers (29-18-7) suffered a brutal clunker against the fourth-worst team in the NHL. They came into the game clinging to the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot by two points (see standings).

The Flyers have five regulation losses to the NHL's bottom eight clubs. Meanwhile, they’re 5-1-2 against the Bruins, Capitals, Blues and Penguins, the league’s top four teams entering Thursday’s action.

Seen this movie before?

Before coming to Philly, the Devils (19-24-10) had lost nine of their last 12 games.

• The Flyers had a terrible start and it snowballed into a mess.

They lacked structure and discipline from the onset, allowing a goal 13 seconds into the game.

New Jersey was allowing the NHL’s second-most goals per game at 3.54 but found a way to blank the Flyers, who were shut out for only the second time.

Just an ugly, ill-timed loss for the Flyers, who now have seven straight games against the NHL’s top 13 teams.

• Jakub Voracek missed a huge opportunity on a delayed penalty when he tried slamming home a puck on the doorstep with an empty net. He clanged it off the post and the Flyers ended up not scoring on the power play as they were trailing 2-0 in the middle period.

It was that kind of night. The Flyers weren’t good and hurt themselves to compound the problem.

The Flyers' power play was a disaster, going 0 for 4. It had six shots, while the Devils' penalty kill had four shots. 

• Brian Elliott was hung out to dry by the Flyers, who gave up numerous shorthanded scoring chances, one of which resulted in a goal that handed New Jersey a 3-0 lead only 1:10 into the third period.

The wheels then completely fell off when Miles Wood scored a breakaway goal just over three minutes later, sending Elliott to the showers after four goals on 17 shots.

Elliott was 4-0-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average in Carter Hart’s absence before this nightmare.

Hart could be in line to return Saturday from an abdominal strain injury.

• Since his rookie year as a 19-year-old in 2016-17, Ivan Provorov has not missed a game as he played his 300th consecutive contest Thursday night.

Over that span, Provorov has led the Flyers in ice time with just under 24 minutes per game.

“I grew up playing a lot at home,” Provorov said after morning skate. “When I was in Wilkes-Barre, we had five [defensemen] all year. I played a lot my rookie season in the USHL, and the same thing when I got to Brandon [in the WHL]. Kind of my whole life I’ve played a lot. … It’s what I love doing.”

Only one NHL defenseman has ever played more games in succession with the same team to start their career — Dan Girardi at 330 for the Rangers from 2007 to 2011.

• Here’s the latest on 21-year-old center Nolan Patrick, who took part in morning skate Thursday (see story). Patrick has not played this season because of a migraine disorder.

• The Flyers had a few lineup changes (see story).

• Former Flyer Wayne Simmonds was back in the house. The 31-year-old power forward is on a one-year, $5 million deal with the Devils.

• The Flyers practice Friday at noon in Voorhees, New Jersey, before traveling to Washington, D.C., to take on the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Joel Farabee was 5 years old when Sidney Crosby made his NHL debut.

One would understand if Farabee was nervous playing against the two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion for the first time as a teenage rookie in the NHL.

But Farabee has more than held his own against some of the league's biggest stars, which says a lot about the Flyers' 2018 first-round pick who just turned 20 years old in February.

“Wow, there are a lot of good players in the NHL," Farabee said Monday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers Talk podcast when asked who was the toughest player he has faced in 2019-20. "Just playing against Sidney Crosby a few times was really cool, I think he had a few points in both the games that I played in. You could see him in warmups and stuff like that, how focused he is and he’s such a good player, he sees the ice so well.

“Another player I’d say is Nathan MacKinnon, how good he is, how fast of a skater he is. Those are two guys I definitely get excited playing against just because of how good they are. I enjoy being on the ice with them.”

When the Flyers beat the Penguins, 3-0, on Jan. 21, Farabee played on a line with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. That trio faced Crosby's line a bunch and No. 87 went scoreless as the Flyers shut out Pittsburgh.

The Flyers had no fear putting Farabee in such a situation. He also played on the same line Feb. 1, when the Flyers held MacKinnon to no points in a 6-3 win over the Avalanche.

In five combined games against the Penguins and Avalanche, Farabee has put up four points (two goals, two assists) — and his role grew with each matchup.

The path to his NHL dream prepared Farabee for those moments.

“Leaving to go to prep school at 14 I think it was, it was definitely totally different, I had never really lived away from home," Farabee said. "Being able to live away from home, play on a team really helped me out, it forced myself to rely on teammates. I think when I was really young, I was a really shy kid, didn’t really want to talk to people because I was so shy. Being away from home really taught me how to be an adult and how to grow up outside of hockey more or less playing hockey.”

And at 20 years old, Farabee is just getting started for the Flyers.

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Joel Farabee.

From how Farabee is staying busy during the NHL hiatus to his bond with teammates, let's dive in:

1:30 — The Flyers' regular season would have finished by now

4:20 — Neutral site playoff games at smaller venues?

7:00 — More teams in the playoffs makes a lot of sense

13:35 — Farabee back home in upstate New York

15:00 — Cooking during the quarantine and life in the NHL

16:50 — Michael Raffl's haircut!

17:25 — Farabee "carrying" his teammates on Xbox

18:30 — Playing under a coach like Alain Vigneault

20:20 — Leaving home at 14 to pursue an NHL career

21:25 — Toughest players to compete against and the NHL adjustment

22:45 — Favorite road trip of the season

• 23:20 — Growing up a Philly sports fan

• 24:00 — Staying in shape during the stoppage

• 25:35 — Great to hear Flyers players in good spirits 

• 27:35 — An example of Emmer's Minnesota roots

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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