Calgary Flames

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

BOX SCORE

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 vs. Flames: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Flames: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Can the Flyers jump on a team at home?

They'll have a good opportunity to Saturday when the Flyers (11-7-4) host the Flames (10-12-3).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Coming off a big 5-3 win Thursday over the Hurricanes, the Flyers want to build on the momentum at home, where they have a 6-1-3 record.

The Flames also come staggering into the Wells Fargo Center. Calgary has lost six straight games by a combined score of 23-5. During that stretch, the Flames have lost three road games by a combined score of 14-0.

Just a season ago, though, Calgary went 50-25-7 with 107 points, second best in the NHL to only the Lightning.

They’ve got some of the best skill. We just played Florida two days ago where I thought as far as D jumping up in the play and being a part of the attack, that was a huge challenge. We’re getting the same thing from Calgary [Saturday]. There’s no doubt that alert and readiness will be two key words [Saturday] right from the start. They’re going to be focused and hungry and we have to be the same.

- Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault

• The Flyers will see the return of Scott Laughton, an important depth piece who could help Kevin Hayes (see story). Laughton has been out following a broken right index finger Oct. 26.

• Travis Konecny is coming off a three-assist game in which the Flyers' top line shined (see story). The Flyers are 5-0-0 this season when Konecny records a multi-point game.

• Sean Monahan has killed the Flyers with 10 goals in 13 career games against the orange and black.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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Johnny Gaudreau trade buzz? Flyers should only think about welcoming him for 1 game

Johnny Gaudreau trade buzz? Flyers should only think about welcoming him for 1 game

VOORHEES, N.J. — Johnny Gaudreau is coming to the Wells Fargo Center.

No, he did not get traded to the Flyers. He is playing them Saturday.

Moderate buzz has circulated on the beloved interwebs regarding the possibility of Gaudreau being dealt by the Flames. Rewind to 2018-19, the mere thought would have been chastised and deemed ludicrous.

However, Calgary is severely underperforming during 2019-20 after going 50-25-7 with 107 points last season, second best in the NHL to only the Lightning. The Flames are 10-12-3 and have lost six straight, a stretch in which they’ve scored 0.83 goals per game while allowing 3.83.

When a team isn’t in the vicinity of its high expectations, bold ideas come to mind and serious questions are asked.

Kevin Hayes, who said Gaudreau is one of his best friends after the two played together at Boston College, understands this is a part of the NHL in today’s world.

“We haven’t talked about the trade [rumors] at all,” Hayes said Friday after practice. “He’s one of the best players in the league. I’m sure if they were winning every game, there would be no trade talk at all.”

Flyers fans, undoubtedly, know well of “Johnny Hockey.” Gaudreau is from South Jersey and played at Gloucester Catholic High School. The electric 5-foot-9, 165-pound winger has blown up on the NHL stage, becoming a five-time All-Star by the age of 26. He scored a career-high 99 points (36 goals, 63 assists) last season.

Naturally, the local hockey fans will always hold out hope for Gaudreau coming home. The key word is hope. Right now, it is purely hopeful and for many reasons.

Think about the package the Flyers would have to send to the Flames. We’re talking about young, already established NHLers, top prospects and high draft picks.

The Flyers are in Year 1 under general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Alain Vigneault. A GM is never quick to give up on his plan or tamper with it to a great degree so early in a season, especially for one player. Fletcher and Vigneault like the club’s current state as they mold the Flyers into their own. The team’s younger cornerstones are starting to blossom, prospects are making an impact and they’re all surrounded by an experienced core. 

Whether some see it or not, there’s a lot to like.

Simply put, the Flyers are not in trade mode. Thanksgiving has yet to arrive and the Flyers are better than they were last year, having shown progress but with room for further growth. 

Can things change when the Feb. 24 trade deadline is closer? Absolutely, and that brings us to a guy like Morgan Frost. The playmaking center, along with fellow prospects like winger Joel Farabee and defenseman Philippe Myers, could have a loud say in what Fletcher and the Flyers aim to do when the trade market actually heats up. What might the Flyers need then?

Frost, a 2017 first-round pick with a bright future, has opened his NHL career by making a bang, scoring two goals and three points in two games. It has been only two games and Frost is only 20 years old. His ceiling, though, is excitingly high.

Farabee, a 2018 first-round pick, rapidly climbed to the Flyers and has shown flashes in 16 games. He’s a point-producing winger that can play all over the lineup. Finding consistency through the NHL grind at just 19 years old will be his challenge.

Myers, a 6-foot-5 blueliner with offensive skills, didn’t crack the Flyers’ season-opening roster but made his way back and has shown why in 10 games. The Flyers want to see the 22-year-old be sound and smart as best he can on a game-to-game basis.

“I’ve said this many times, talent has no age,” Vigneault said Friday. “I’m looking to have the best possible team that is going to give us the best possible chance to win. I don’t care if you’re 43 or you’re 18, whoever is ready to play and whoever is going to help us win.”

Gaudreau probably isn’t a thought right now because the Flyers believe in their kids and the process overall. Saturday is Game 23 for the Flyers. They’ll play the Flames. Gaudreau will come and go.

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