Flyers

Tough-to-predict Flyers drop a game they had, fall in 11-round shootout

Tough-to-predict Flyers drop a game they had, fall in 11-round shootout

BOX SCORE

The Flyers are still impossible to predict so far.

The team couldn't hold a 3-2 third-period lead Saturday night and eventually lost to the Maple Leafs, 4-3, after an 11-round shootout at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (6-5-2) had a power play in overtime but failed to generate much with it. Travis Konecny, who was the only Flyer to score in the skills competition, was denied on a breakaway in the final minute of the bonus session.

This was the Flyers' third back-to-back set of 17 this season. They are 0-2-1 in the second game of such situations.

A positive for the Flyers: Following consecutive ugly losses to divisional opponents, the team picked up three of a possible four points its next two games.

Andreas Johnsson delivered the shootout winner for the Maple Leafs (7-5-3).

• Coming into the season, it looked like the Flyers' defensemen were going to make or break the team's fortunes and that storyline still rings true.

When the blueliners are good, the Flyers are scoring and dictating tempo. When they're not sharp, they're losing 1-on-1 battles, making mistakes with the puck and breakdowns ensue.

So far, the Flyers' defensemen have been inconsistent. It's no coincidence the team has been, too.

• This felt like a big night for Claude Giroux, who entered with 33 points in 34 career games against Toronto. The Maple Leafs' up-and-down style plays to his strengths. Against Toronto, the Flyers' captain put up his second multi-point game of the season with an assist and this nasty power play goal.

Jakub Voracek was good, too, in his second game after head coach Alain Vigneault challenged the two vets to lead with top-end play.

However, things went somewhat quiet in the final stanza.

• Joel Farabee truly can play anywhere in the lineup. He climbed to the top line and was superb alongside Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. The 19-year-old was making plays and knows how to complement talented linemates. He committed a costly penalty when the Flyers went on the power play with a 3-2 lead in the third, an infraction that led to Mitchell Marner's 4-on-4 goal.

The goal was avoidable, though, if Sean Couturier and the Flyers were cleaner through the neutral zone and Matt Niskanen didn't get beat on the play.

Overall, more positives from Farabee a game after he scored his first career goal in clutch fashion.

• The Flyers shouldn't be overly concerned with Travis Sanheim but it is puzzling to see the 23-year-old have this much trouble skating. He has fallen down in back-to-back games on an opposition's goal and three times this season.

He appeared to be fighting himself in the first period. On one play, Sanheim had an opportunity to hold the blue line but was hesitant and started backpedaling.

What do you know, Sanheim redeemed himself with a go-ahead goal early in the third period. He let out a huge fist pump as the play had to be massive for his psyche.

The 2014 first-round pick was arguably the Flyers' best defenseman in 2018-19 and didn't just forget how to skate. Sanheim will be fine but his confidence is worth monitoring (see story).

• Ivan Provorov replaced a struggling Shayne Gostisbehere on the Flyers' first-unit power play and wasted no time delivering during the first period. He pinballed a shot through traffic to erase the Maple Leafs' 1-0 lead and salvage the opening frame for the Flyers, who were toyed with by Toronto's speed and pressure. He tacked on a power play assist in the second period.

Provorov will put a stranglehold on that role if he continues to produce. Thirteen games into 2019-20, the 22-year-old already has a new career high in man advantage points with six (two goals, four assists). As Gostisbehere still tries to find his game, Provorov might have the first-unit quarterback spot until he shows he doesn't deserve it.

• Couturier took 10 faceoffs and won four of them after losing his only three draws Friday night. He's not 100 percent healthy but good enough to play — and help — right now.

The Flyers have 16 games this month, so it's a tough stretch. He's gutting it out and any day off will be vital.

• After allowing six goals through two periods against the Penguins, Brian Elliott was fine with 23 saves. He gave the Flyers a chance in the crazy shootout.

• The Flyers are off Sunday, practice at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey, and host the Hurricanes Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Injuries to Scott Laughton, Tyler Pitlick, a lopsided fight for Joel Farabee and Flyers lose to Wild

Injuries to Scott Laughton, Tyler Pitlick, a lopsided fight for Joel Farabee and Flyers lose to Wild

BOX SCORE

With a 4-1 defeat to the Wild, the Flyers have two straight losses and they lost two more players in the process.

Alain Vigneault's team stomached a discouraging night Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, suffering consecutive losses in regulation for the first time since Oct. 27-29.

The Flyers (17-10-5) have scored just one goal in three of their last four games, resulting in three regulation losses. In their previous 17 games, the Flyers lost in regulation only twice.

The Wild (16-12-5) improved to 9-1-3 at home and 12-3-4 overall since Nov. 5.

• The Flyers entered the game without forwards Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Their only extra healthy player was defenseman Robert Hagg.

News on the health front got worse during the action as forwards Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick left the game with undisclosed injuries and did not return.

Some more roster maneuvering could be on the way as early as Sunday morning. The Flyers have no time to rest up.

• Flyers defensemen were not sharp.

Philippe Myers had a bad turnover on Zach Parise's first-period goal. Ivan Provorov had the same in the second period, which led to Eric Staal's second goal of the night to give the Wild a 3-1 lead.

Travis Sanheim and Justin Braun were also a step behind and not in good position on Staal's first goal, which turned out to be the game-winner during the opening stanza.

Just one of those games in which the Flyers were off from top to bottom.

• As a result, Carter Hart was sprawling all over the place, trying to save the Flyers. He finished with 24 stops on 27 shots.

• Joel Farabee dropped the gloves with Marcus Foligno and it was a rough matchup for the 19-year-old.

• James van Riemsdyk got the Flyers on the board 1:34 into the game. However, the lead didn't last long and the Flyers finished with just 18 shots.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 3 and is 6 for its last 55 (10.9 percent).

• Lindblom's jersey hung symbolically in the team's dressing room. The Flyers are rallying behind their 23-year-old brother and teammate as he starts his fight against cancer (see story).

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they visit the Jets (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Flyers rallying behind Oskar Lindblom after his Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis

Flyers rallying behind Oskar Lindblom after his Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis

The No. 23 jersey of Oskar Lindblom hung proudly and powerfully in the Flyers' dressing room of Xcel Energy Center.

It was a sign of unity.

The Flyers are rallying behind Lindblom, their 23-year-old brother and teammate who has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones (see story).

Teammates were emotional but strong Saturday night.

“I just went in the room and I saw it, it’s kind of tough not to be emotional," Claude Giroux told reporters before the Flyers' game against the Wild after seeing Lindblom's jersey. "But it’s good for everybody to see his jersey there.”

The team announced Lindblom's diagnosis on Friday afternoon. The Flyers then had to open a back-to-back set on the road against the Wild on Saturday and the Jets on Sunday. 

“He’s a fighter, he’ll get through this," Ivan Provorov said to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher before the game. "We love him, we’ll support him all the way and he knows we’re here for him. He’s not fighting this fight alone and we’ll do everything that we can to make sure he feels that there’s all people supporting him.”

The Flyers' captain knows that is most important.

"When one of your teammates is going to go through a fight like this, we’ll all behind him," Giroux said. "We’re there to support him. … We love Oskar a lot, he’s a strong kid."

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

(Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Images)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers