Flyers

Sliding Flyers desperate for help after giving up 47 shots, 2-0 lead in OT loss

Flyers

Nursing a 2-0 third-period lead Saturday night, the Flyers were bending and eventually broke.

They allowed 20 shots in the final stanza and coughed up the lead en route to a 3-2 overtime loss to the Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Tomas Hertl scored the winner 24 seconds into the bonus session to cap off a hat trick.

James van Riemsdyk netted the Flyers' goals, both of which came in the third period.

Backup goalie Martin Jones got a crack at his old team and made it a pretty good one.

He didn't get enough help.

"We scored two quick goals and I think that was pretty fortunate because, honestly, if it wasn’t for Jonesy, we should have never been in that position," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said. "We were lucky to get a point tonight and obviously we have to be better."

The Flyers (13-15-7) were down eight players because of COVID protocols and injuries. They've lost five straight games (0-3-2) and are 5-5-3 under Yeo.

Since their 6-2-2 start to the season, the Flyers have gone 7-13-5 in the following 25 games with a minus-34 goal differential.

The Flyers went 0-0-2 in their two-game regular-season series with the Sharks (19-16-1).

• The Flyers are facing a serious gut check in this 2021-22 campaign. They've battled health and confidence recently, which has quickly turned into another slide.

For a third straight game, the Flyers were without Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov. For a second straight game, they were without Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim.

 

All four players were in COVID protocol. All four will be back when the Flyers finish their three-game homestand Tuesday.

"Obviously some key guys that we're missing right now," van Riemsdyk said. "Really important to get those guys back in the lineup. We've got to start putting together some wins, building some momentum and going from there. We don't want to get to the point where it's too little, too late.

"Certainly we're going to have to start really stringing together some good hockey and some good results. Hopefully we get some guys back here and we can start to get on a roll."

Meanwhile, on the injury front, the Flyers were also missing Sean Couturier (upper body), Derick Brassard (hip), Ryan Ellis (lower body) and Nate Thompson (shoulder).

After both teams went scoreless through the opening 40 minutes, van Riemsdyk answered the bell with the Flyers absolutely starving for offense. The big winger now has seven goals in the last 11 games.

But Hertl was a monster all game and thwarted the Flyers' hope of finishing the night with a win.

• Yeo put 21-year-old Cam York and 22-year-old Morgan Frost alongside veteran winger Cam Atkinson to start overtime.

The Flyers got an early shot but then the play went the other way. Game over.

With all of the absences, Yeo was missing a lot of experience on his bench. But there were some other options for the Flyers to open OT in a game they desperately needed.

It was an interesting choice from Yeo to go with York and Frost. They're two talented prospects but they have a combined 44 NHL games under their belts.

"On the goal, we win the faceoff, we got possession of the puck," Yeo said. "We shoot the puck and in hindsight, looking at that, we want to have a shooting mentality, but also when you’re in overtime, I think you do have to have your shot selection a little bit different. We lose that puck. You’d like to see Yorky play that 2-on-1 a little bit different, but other than that, there certainly was nothing that Frosty could have done any differently. That’s overtime. You lose the puck and there's a good chance that it could turn into a 2-on-1 against."

• After having the final three years of his contract bought out by the Sharks in the offseason, Jones faced his former club for the first time.

During his six seasons with San Jose, no NHL goalie played in more games than Jones.

"I think it's always special to play against your former team," Yeo said pregame. "For a guy like Jonesy, he played a lot of really good hockey for that organization. Those things happen in this business, we're all aware of that, we all understand that. But at the same time, there is a sense of pride going up against your former team.

"Now we have to make sure we play a real strong game in front of him to give him a good chance to feel good after this game."

 

The Flyers had to defend a ton, especially in the third period. They were outshot 20-5 in the final frame.

Jones, who turns 32 years old Monday, did his part with 44 saves on 47 shots. He made two quality and clutch stops in the opening minute of the third period with the game still scoreless.

Twenty-four seconds after the second save, van Riemsdyk delivered the first goal of the game.

Jones has already had to make 40 or more stops three times this season.

San Jose netminder Adin Hill converted 29 saves on 31 shots. The Sharks blocked 19 shots in front of him.

• The Flyers went 1 for 2 on the power play.

York picked up his first career NHL point with an assist on van Riemsdyk's man advantage goal, which gave the Flyers their 2-0 lead.

The club's penalty kill went 2 for 2.

• Brassard was back out of the lineup after playing in the Flyers' 6-2 loss Thursday to the Penguins.

Dealing with his hip issue, Brassard has missed 16 of the Flyers' last 18 games. The 34-year-old forward has twice made a return to the lineup, but each time has been unable to stay in the lineup.

"From what I heard, it sounded like he had a good appointment yesterday and got kind of a better read on sort of what's going on," Yeo said. "I'm hopeful and optimistic that going forward we can put a good plan in place. When he does return to play, I talked to him today, I'm going to very much make sure that he has a practice before he gets in. It sounds like we've got a real good return-to-play plan here for him. ... We've got to get him back and keep him back."

• The Flyers' schedule strengthens considerably next week when the club hosts the Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), visits the Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET/ESPN) and then welcomes the Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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