No shootout needed, but Flyers keep living on the edge

No shootout needed, but Flyers keep living on the edge


The Flyers aren’t lighting the world on fire and it hasn’t burned them … yet.

They played another tight, low-scoring game Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. To their credit, the Flyers were excellent defensively and it translated into a 2-1 victory over the Canucks.

The Flyers (12-7-5) have secured at least a point in 11 of 13 games during November (7-2-4). Only one NHL team had more than 18 points this month entering tonight’s action.

The Flyers ended up splitting the two-game regular-season series with the Canucks (12-9-4).

• The Flyers have scored 2.30 goals per game over their last 10 contests. In their defense, they’ve controlled many games but they’re also playing with fire. It’s why they’ve gone past regulation eight times this month.

They have to score more goals on a consistent basis.

• Jakub Voracek buried a shot from the circle to give the Flyers the game-winner with 8:33 left in regulation (see highlights).

Voracek has looked sharp on Sean Couturier’s line. He has goals in back-to-back games after going 12 straight without a marker.

• The Flyers have preached going to and working around the net for higher percentages at goals. Couturier has been one of the Flyers’ best forwards at practicing what they preach and was rewarded with a second-period goal.

The 26-year-old center has been steady despite the Flyers’ struggles to generate goals. Couturier has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) and a plus-8 mark over the last 14 games.

• Carter Hart has allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his nine November starts after making 16 saves Monday.

The Canucks’ only goal came against the Flyers’ fourth line in the opening period. Michael Raffl, typically strong with the puck along the boards, gave it away in the defensive zone and Vancouver capitalized as J.T. Miller scored.

Thatcher Demko, the Canucks’ 23-year-old goalie who was selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, saw the Flyers for the first time in his career and converted 32 saves.

• The Flyers won their first game when Travis Konecny goes scoreless. They were 0-3-4 in the seven previous times.

• Solid work from the Flyers on limiting Elias Pettersson to no goals or shots. The 21-year-old center came in with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) over 24 games.

• On the fourth line, James van Riemsdyk played 9:57 in the game after playing only 9:06 Saturday (see story).

After morning skate, head coach Alain Vigneault said he didn’t consider the Flyers’ fourth unit a checking line. After all, van Riemsdyk is far from a checking forward.

Entering the game, van Riemsdyk was third on the Flyers in shots with 68, so the effort and process have been there. And van Riemsdyk is a player that eventually turns his chances into goal-scoring streaks.

He needs to play higher in the lineup — it’s that simple.

• Morgan Frost in four games: two goals, one assist and 13 shots.

He’s been active, creative and smart.

• Shayne Gostisbehere was healthy scratched for the second straight game. Here’s why and when he might return (see story).

• Monday was Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Wells Fargo Center.

• The Flyers take on the Blue Jackets Wednesday in Columbus (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

After Thanksgiving, the Flyers then play their sixth back-to-back set out of 17 when they host the Red Wings Friday (4 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and visit the Canadiens Saturday (3 p.m. ET/NBCSP).


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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

Oskar Lindblom, a 23-year-old forward on the Flyers, is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones.

Below is a statement from Flyers president of hockey operations and general manager Chuck Fletcher:

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. He will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter. He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season. The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available. Out of respect for Oskar and his family, the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health.

Lindblom, a native of Sweden, had been one of the Flyers’ top players through 30 games, scoring 11 goals and 18 points.

He was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round of the 2014 draft and has blossomed into a promising player.

Always smiling, positive and humble, Lindblom is beloved by his teammates. His rise from a fifth-round pick to a difference-making player has been a product of hard work.

After scoring 17 goals last season, sixth most among NHL rookies, Lindblom went back to Gävle, Sweden, to train all summer with his old team Brynäs IF.

"It’s like five minutes from my house," Lindblom said during training camp.

“It was nice to be back home for a bit, just relaxed, had some time with friends and family, so it was great.”

It didn't take long for the Flyers' new coaching staff to fall in love with Lindblom's game as the winger raced out of the chute, scoring in the team's season opener and playing a major role ever since.

“I didn’t know much about Oskar before coming here, but what I’ve found is a real smart, two-way player, hard-working young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Oct. 26.

In the summer of 2017, Lindblom talked about his climb within the Flyers' system.

"I just think about it by myself, like fifth-rounder, I just felt like I can play and I can be on this level," Lindblom said.

By the age of 23, he has more than made it on the highest level.

Below is the outpouring of support for Lindblom, via social media:

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Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip


From the moment it was announced that Oskar Lindblom would miss Wednesday night's game, the Flyers' chances at Pepsi Center felt bleak.

No Lindblom, no Travis Konecny and facing the NHL's highest-scoring team in its building was not a promising script for the Flyers, who lost to the Avalanche, 3-1.

In stretches this season, the Flyers have struggled to bury goals. And that has been with Lindblom and Konecny — their two leading goal-scorers at 11 apiece — in the lineup.

The Flyers (17-9-5) did some good things but Colorado finished plays behind its world class talent up top.

The Avalanche (20-8-3) are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've scored 4.13 goals per game.

• Without Konecny (concussion) and Lindblom (upper body), the Flyers had difficulty putting the puck in the net. They were going to have to put up some goals against the Avalanche, who entered scoring an NHL-best 3.70 goals per game. For the second time in the last three games, the Flyers scored only one goal.

The lone tally came from Claude Giroux when the Flyers were trailing 3-0 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.

• Following a first period in which they survived, especially in the back half of it thanks to Carter Hart, the Flyers actually played a solid second period. At one point during the middle stanza, the Flyers were outshooting Colorado 11-0.

But as the Flyers kept pushing to no avail, the Avalanche changed the whole complexion of the period with one play by their two best weapons. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hooked up for a nasty marker to make it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the period, a deflating goal to allow for the Flyers (see highlights).

Considering Colorado was 14-0-1 when leading after the middle period, the Flyers were in a serious hole, even after a hard-working period.

• Hart, who entered 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts, faced the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

He made a highlight-reel save and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in tough circumstances.

The 21-year-old has been impressive during the first period all season long, allowing the Flyers to find their legs and rhythm. He converted 12 of his 24 saves in the opening stanza against Colorado.

On the Avalanche's first-period goal, Scott Laughton won a defensive zone faceoff but the Flyers failed to clear the puck, resulting in Matt Calvert's tally.

Rantanen added his second goal early in the third period and that was pretty much the game.

Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz, who came in 5-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over his last eight games (six starts), finished with 32 stops.

• When Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day) is ready to return, Robert Hagg should be the odd man out on defense. Shayne Gostisbehere has found some of his offensive mojo and Myers has shown way too much promise to be sitting when healthy.

A stay-at-home guy like Hagg was far too noticeable against the Avalanche. He committed a penalty and was a minus-2 in 15:21 minutes.

• David Kase was summoned to Denver this morning to make his NHL debut and become the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season

The 22-year-old winger had a nice scoring chance and two shots in 7:47 minutes. 

• The Flyers head to the old stomping grounds of general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr when they visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Fletcher was the GM in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.

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