Over halfway through November, the Flyers were one of only three NHL teams yet to lose consecutive games.
Now they're on a five-game skid and trying to stop the bleeding.
The Flyers (8-7-4) will look to mercifully do so Sunday when they visit the Devils (8-6-4).
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
- When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Prudential Center
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers' five-game losing streak is the longest in the Alain Vigneault era.
Perhaps the Flyers need some patience, but that won't be any easy sell to the fan base.
With injuries, the Flyers have not had the team they envisioned during the busy offseason when general manager Chuck Fletcher revamped the roster. The Flyers have had top-pair defenseman Ryan Ellis for four games and second-line center Kevin Hayes for two. They're currently without Ellis, Hayes, Derick Brassard, Patrick Brown and now Nate Thompson.
The Flyers' organizational depth at forward, particularly down the middle of the ice, is being seriously tested.
The challenges of available players began with winger Wade Allison suffering an ankle injury during the second rookie game and center Tanner Laczynski hurting his hip in training camp.
On defense, Samuel Morin has been out since before camp because of a right knee injury.
"Injuries are part of a season and each organization understands that," Vigneault said Saturday after practice. "That's why each organization makes sure that they have depth and good depth. We started this year without Kevin and at some point Ryan went down. But the season started and our seventh D was out — Sam — Allison and Laczynski, who we probably had projected as having a real chance at making our team, they're out, they're done. It just seems like it snowballed ever since.
"Right now, we're stretched out, keeping our fingers crossed that it stops and that we get some guys back. We've got a good team, but we're like anybody else, right now we're really stretched out."
The Flyers have played some top teams during their 0-3-2 stretch. The four clubs they've lost to in this skid entered Sunday with a combined record of 51-18-7. The Flyers have lost to the Lightning (twice), Hurricanes, Panthers and Bruins.
"I don’t think there’s any major issues," Joel Farabee said Friday after the Flyers' 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes. "I think just our schedule the last five, six games has been pretty tough; we’re playing top teams in the league, back-to-backs. It hasn’t been easy for sure."
Still, the fan base has all the right to be frustrated and concerned after last season's major letdown. The Flyers pleaded for a normal season and made changes this offseason. So far, the results haven't been better in many key areas, the most important being wins. Then again, the Flyers are looking at their first 82-game regular season in three years.
On Saturday, Vigneault was asked what his message would be to the fans that may be frustrated or losing patience.
"I would say to them we have a good team. At the end of the day, we all have to be better and that starts with me. And that's what I'm trying to do," Vigneault said. "I believe in these players. We're going to take it one day at a time. We're trying to get through a tough patch. Obviously we need a few guys to step up here and give us more. That's what we're going to try to do come tomorrow."
• The Flyers entered Sunday 26th in the NHL in both goals per game (2.47) and power play percentage (13.8).
• Martin Jones is coming off a 43-save performance in the Flyers' 2-1 overtime loss to the Panthers.
Jones is 7-3-0 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in 11 career games against New Jersey. The 31-year-old hasn't faced the Devils since a pair of matchups in February 2020.
Tonight marks the Flyers' first matchup with New Jersey this season. The Devils have dropped five of their last six games (1-3-2).
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Joel Farabee-Morgan Frost-Cam Atkinson
Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-James van Riemsdyk
Max Willman-Connor Bunnaman-Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler
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