Flyers

Point streak ends as Flyers lose to Senators — and things don't get easier

Point streak ends as Flyers lose to Senators — and things don't get easier

BOX SCORE

Well, the Flyers should be ticked off for the Islanders game on Saturday night.

Alain Vigneault's team is having some trouble scoring and it resulted in a 2-1 letdown to the Senators on Friday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Flyers (10-6-3) have scored two goals over their past two games and six in their last four (1.50 per game). The regulation loss ended their seven-game point streak and the Flyers dropped to 1-6-2 when trailing after the second period.

The Senators (8-10-1), who have won four of their last five games, forced the Flyers to play their preferred style.

• Looking for an equalizer during the third period, Vigneault threw his lines in a blender but to no avail.

With 4:17 left in regulation, the Flyers still couldn't score when they went on a four-minute power play because of a double-minor penalty whistled on Ottawa.

It will be interesting to see how Vigneault constructs his lines for Saturday. And next up is the NHL's stingiest team defensively.

• The Flyers were even fortunate the Senators misfired on numerous point-blank shots. Ottawa eventually found the mark and outplayed the Flyers in a decisive second period to take a 2-1 advantage into the final stanza.

The Senators came in 4 for 62 (6.5 percent) on the power play but scored on the man advantage against the Flyers, who were not very sharp or disciplined.

• Jakub Voracek didn't open the second period on the first line as Michael Raffl took a shift with Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee.

Voracek didn't have an even-strength shift during the middle stanza until there was 6:48 left in the frame.

It was odd, especially after Voracek was bumped up to the first line prior to the game. He finished with 15:53 minutes, no shots and played 10:06 at even strength, just ahead of Raffl (9:57).

Kevin Hayes, stuck in a scoring slump, has gone nine straight games without a point and didn't have a shot, as well.

• Farabee was solid after enduring his first NHL setback Wednesday against the Capitals.

The 19-year-old had five shots in 17:46 minutes, played hard and was opportunistic offensively.

• Carter Hart suffered his first regulation loss in November. He entered 4-0-1 with a 1.72 goals-against average and .939 save percentage this month.

The 21-year-old wasn't great but wasn't bad, either. He made 17 saves on 19 shots. The second period was costly.

Senators goalie Anders Nilsson stopped 26 shots and improved to 4-0-1 lifetime against the Flyers.

• Defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Niskanen and Ivan Provorov all played 22-plus minutes but failed to generate much offense.

• After a merry-go-round process early on, the Flyers have found some consistency with their fourth line.

Raffl, Andy Andreoff and Tyler Pitlick have played well and got the Flyers on the board in the first period. Pitlick scored his first goal with the Flyers, who probably wanted to ride the fourth unit more given the back-to-back circumstances.

Because of the third-period deficit, the Flyers were unable to and instead shortened their bench. Not ideal for the first game of a back-to-back set with travel.

• The Flyers are right back at it Saturday night when they host the Islanders for a big game at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

New York is on a 13-game point streak (12-0-1) and allowing the NHL's fewest goals per game at 2.29. Brian Elliott, who went 2-0-0 with 54 saves on 57 shots against the Islanders last season, is expected to start for the Flyers.

 

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Flyers sign prospect Wade Allison to entry-level contract

Flyers sign prospect Wade Allison to entry-level contract

There are no more worries about the Flyers' college prospects.

Four days after Tanner Laczynski inked a deal with the organization, the Flyers signed Wade Allison to his two-year entry-level contract Friday.

Both college seniors had rights to the Flyers that were set to expire Aug. 15. Now the 2016 draft picks are officially in the fold for the future.

Allison, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound winger out of Western Michigan, will bring a craftiness around the net and powerful shot to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

“We are very happy to have Wade under contract,” Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in a statement released by the team. “He possesses a great package of size, speed and skill, and we strongly believe he’ll be an NHL power forward moving forward.”

The second-round selection has battled injuries during his time with the Broncos, including a torn ACL his sophomore year. That season, Allison was on a torrid pace with 15 goals and 15 assists in 22 games before suffering the injury. As a senior in 2019-20, Allison put up 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) and a plus-11 mark in 26 games.

Allison will turn 23 years old in October and his experience could help him climb quickly. Health will be vital, as well. There's a lot to like, though, with Allison's overall ability.

In the last 18 days, the Flyers have signed prospects Allison, Laczynski and Wyatte Wylie to entry-level deals.

Another college player to keep an eye on is Wyatt Kalynuk, who is coming off his junior season at Wisconsin. The defenseman can return to Madison for his senior year or turn pro in 2020-21 as his rights don't expire until the summer of 2021.

Meanwhile, the rights to prospects Linus Hogberg and David Bernhardt, two Swedish blueliners in the Flyers' system, expire June 1.



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Flyers' Game 6 win over Oilers at the Spectrum was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Flyers' Game 6 win over Oilers at the Spectrum was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Seventeen thousand, two hundred and twenty-two.

In 1987, that was the capacity for a hockey game at the Spectrum (WFC today: 19,537). I would suggest that on May 28, 1987, that number was elevated like a Brian Propp slap shot — because the Flyers hosted the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. It would be the last Flyers home game of season. It was the ticket of the spring season in Philadelphia. Sixers games, concerts, Phillies games — nothing came close to the anticipation, the electricity surrounding this game.

Why? 

The orange and black were supposed to get swept by an Oilers team that featured seven future NHL Hall of Famers starting with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Grant Fuhr.

But the Flyers had some great players of their own — Propp, Rick Tocchet, Ron Hextall. Trailing 3-2 in the series, they returned to the Spectrum hoping to force a Game 7.

I was covering the game for Channel 3 and I had close to an ice-side seat. No, I didn’t sit in the press box. The press box was overflowing because of the clamor surrounding the game. The Spectrum's press box was not that big. So, Lou Tilley (Channel 3), Joe Pellegrino (Channel 10) and I were about 10 rows from the glass, slightly left of the Flyers' bench. It was awesome. Until the Oilers scored the first two goals and the Flyers were staring at elimination.

To the third period with the Flyers trailing 2-1. With 6:56 left in the game, on the power play, Propp! The goal capped off an awesome rush that saw the puck go to Pelle Eklund in the corner and he snapped it cross ice to Propp, who was in the slot and put it past Fuhr. Tied at 2!

The reason this game was so special to me, the reason I recall it here, was not just because of the excitement on the ice. I have been blessed to attend every manner of sporting events in the world — World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Olympics, major tennis championships, track meets. I’ve never heard fans as loud as I did that Thursday night in South Philadelphia. They made the building tremble — like aftershocks from an earthquake.

If the volume was dialed to 10 for the Propp goal, it was at a 15 1:24 later. That’s when J.J. Daigneault (Dane-YO!) scooped up a weak Oilers’ clear attempt. The puck waffled to him lightly just inside the blue line. And he hammered it. One-timer. With Scott Mellanby standing at the crease screening Fuhr. The Flyers had the lead 3-2!  

You couldn’t hear yourself speak let alone think. I’m telling you, Tilley and I were right up to each other’s ears trying to hear each other. Not a word. The fans were screaming and stomping and shouting and laughing. Eventually we gave up and just took it in. The roof blew off the Spectrum in its first season in 1967. It almost came off again on this night. Pow! The sheer, unchecked joy of the 17,222 (plus a few more) in attendance that night is something I will always remember. It was the joy of possibility because the Flyers had evened up the series at three games apiece. 

Really, that’s all you can ask for is possibility. Hope. They had that going to Edmonton for Game 7. And when Murray Craven scored the game’s first goal, I thought, “We’re having a parade down Broad Street!” But ... Edmonton, on its home ice, scored the next two goals and battle as the Flyers might they couldn’t get the equalizer. The Oilers added one more inside two minutes to play and that was that. The Oilers were champs. Again.

But, I’ll always hear the echo of those two Flyers goals at the Spectrum the night the team took Game 6.

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