Flyers

A solid November could be better as Flyers go to shootout yet again, fall to Flames

A solid November could be better as Flyers go to shootout yet again, fall to Flames

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The Flyers need to start avoiding the shootout.

They lost a 2-1 lead during the final two minutes of regulation Saturday and it resulted in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Flames at the Wells Fargo Center.

Alain Vigneault's team has gone to the skills competition an NHL-high eight times. The Flyers (11-7-5) have had a solid November but it could be better. They've earned at least a point in 10 of 12 games this month (6-2-4).

The Flames (11-12-3) came staggering to Philadelphia, having lost six straight games, a stretch in which they were outscored 23-5. During that span, Calgary had dropped three road games by a combined score of 14-0.

The Flames were able to get right against the Flyers with a come-from-behind win as Matthew Tkachuk delivered in the shootout (see highlights).

• Kevin Hayes scored his second goal in as many games to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 3:46 left during regulation.

Joel Farabee started the play with his effort to make something happen behind the net. The 19-year-old always skates hard and low, even when things aren't going well for him.

Once again, the Flyers had trouble finishing.

• Jakub Voracek scored his first goal since Oct. 27 to open the game's scoring in the second period.

After diving to knock the puck home, Voracek jumped to his feet and let out a big scream. He has not produced the way he expects to, so his 200th career goal was timely.

• In his first career regular-season game at the Wells Fargo Center, Morgan Frost went scoreless for the first time in his NHL career.

On the Flames' first equalizer early in the third period, Frost was stripped of the puck.

The 20-year-old playmaking center has still been a major positive through three games.

• Carter Hart, who entered with a 2.24 goals-against average in November, took the loss despite making 25 saves.

On Calgary's first goal, Andrew Mangiapane's shot appeared to deflect off Philippe Myers.

On the Flames' second goal, Elias Lindholm scored on a shot that took a hard bounce right to him off the back boards. Calgary had pulled its goalie at that point.

They took out their goalie on an icing play and we played that 6-on-5 perfectly. There was nothing getting in the inside, everything was on the outside. They shot the puck and missed the net by a foot. It ended up on the guy’s stick with an open net. Sometimes that’s going to happen. If you look at our overall game, the way we played it, we played extremely well.

- Vigneault after the game

• The Flyers' penalty kill is 48 for 54 (88.9 percent) since Oct. 21.

Scott Laughton returned Saturday after missing 13 games with a broken finger. Laughton is one of the Flyers' top PK forwards, so the Flyers got even better shorthanded.

• Slowly but surely, the Flyers have built up confidence in Travis Sanheim after the 23-year-old went through a rough patch.

Against the Flames, Sanheim had an assist and played 2:51 on the power play. They're starting to use him more and more.

• Shayne Gostisbehere was a healthy scratch for the Flyers (see story).

• On the fourth line, James van Riemsdyk played only 9:06 and went scoreless.

• The Flyers are off Sunday before welcoming the Canucks Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

The team then plays three games around Thanksgiving — Wednesday at the Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+), Friday vs. the Red Wings (4 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Saturday at the Canadiens (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

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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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