Once again, the Flyers are limping home from a road trip.
The Flyers were routed by the Predators, 4-0, Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena, giving them their third four-game losing streak just 39 games into the season.
After beating the Rangers at Madison Square Garden to open a five-game road swing, the Flyers (15-19-5) stumbled hard out of the three-day Christmas break to drop the next four by a combined score of 15-7.
Not long ago, from Dec. 8-15, the Flyers went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip, which resulted in Dave Hakstol's firing. The Flyers, who are 6-12-4 since Nov. 13 with a minus-27 goal differential, have more points (35) than just two teams in the NHL — the Blues (34) and Senators (34).
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was brought in to produce more progress this season, but the idea of buying at this point, on this team, seems almost crazy.
The Predators (24-15-2), on the other hand, have won two straight after losing six in a row.
• The problems are starting to compound for the Flyers, who scored just two goals over the final three games of the trip.
They did have chances Tuesday, though.
Travis Konecny struck the post during a 2-on-1, Sean Couturier was denied from point-blank range trying to deke goalie Juuse Saros and Wayne Simmonds was turned away on a third-period breakaway. When Simmonds failed to beat Saros, the Predators came back the other way 40 seconds later and made it 3-0.
• Shayne Gostisbehere's offensive numbers aren't there compared to a season ago but his defense saved the Flyers from falling behind 2-0 (for the time being) midway through the second period.
With chaos in deep and Michal Neuvirth out of his crease, Gostisbehere denied a Roman Josi shot directly in front and a second later was nailed in the helmet by Ryan Johansen's blast, causing a stoppage in play (see video).
Unfortunately for Gostisbehere, the play wasn't really rewarded as the Flyers surrendered a goal to Nashville less than two minutes later to Viktor Arvidsson.
Travis Sanheim was outmuscled in front by Arvidsson and couldn't stop Johansen's pass, giving Neuvirth little chance to make the save. Sanheim is 22 years old and could still use added strength.
• Craig Smith opened the game's scoring 2:03 into the middle stanza when he jumped into the rush and beat Neuvirth. Arvidsson then tacked on another with that 3-0 breakaway tally to put the game out of reach in the third period.
• Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon tried some adjustments with the power play by moving Jakub Voracek to the point and Gostisbehere to the wing.
It was a good thought. Voracek can utilize his skill and pass-first mindset up top, while Gostisbehere can fire away from the circle with Claude Giroux lurking in the opposite circle.
The man advantage did create opportunities and hit iron on one chance but went 0 for 2. Overall, it ranks dead last in the NHL and is 9 for 93 (9.7 percent) since Oct. 13.
We'll have to wait and see if Gordon sticks with that tweak in the hopes of getting much-needed results.
• The Flyers survived madness during the second period to keep the game from completely uncoiling at the time when Neuvirth abandoned his crease to impede a potential breakaway. Neuvirth went all out to disrupt the chance but the puck was never cleared, forcing the goalie to scramble back to his crease in the nick of time to prevent a 3-0 deficit.
It didn't matter much at all because things only got worse in the third period, while Neuvirth finished with 26 saves.
• The Flyers got a break by avoiding 2017-18 Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne and instead facing backup goalie Saros. They didn't take advantage as Saros picked up the shutout behind 32 stops.
• The Flyers are off from practice Wednesday before opening a three-game homestand Thursday against the Hurricanes (7 p.m./NBCSP), who will be well-rested coming off a 3-1 win Monday over the orange and black.
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