Calgary Flames

Flames 3, Flyers 2 (OT): Another collapse leads to season-high six-game losing streak

Flames 3, Flyers 2 (OT): Another collapse leads to season-high six-game losing streak

BOX SCORE

The Flames buried the Flyers once again in overtime.

Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie scored in OT to give Calgary a 3-2 victory at the Wells Fargo Center, extending the Flyers' losing streak to six games.

Did Nolan Patrick make a difference in his first game back from injury, and how did the Flyers counter against Johnny Gaudreau and the Flyers' lethal top line?

• The Flyers started to fall into a similar bad trend that they found themselves in during their game in Calgary when they were forced to kill numerous power plays in the third period, which ultimately led to their demise. Radko Gudas had a trip that gave the Flames two minutes to start the third and then Ivan Provorov was whistled for a bogus hooking penalty on Gaudreau. Outside of that, the Flyers were a very disciplined team because they were moving their feet and in attack mode for most of this game.

• Another third period defensive breakdown as Matthew Tkachuk scored the game-tying goal, moving across the slot and firing a one-timer goal past Carter Hart, but once again, it was the failure by Wayne Simmonds to read the play and break up the pass/shot. These are the defensive miscues that have plagued the Flyers in the first half of the season.

• If Jordan Weal could give the Flyers any semblance of consistency, he would be an ideal third-line center. The play he made to set up Travis Sanheim’s goal was all Weal, who brought a lot of speed into the offensive zone, driving Brodie to the net with him. One of the biggest flaws with Weal’s game offensively is that he still has a hard time creating time and space, especially in tight spaces.

• It was Weal with the miscue and turnover that led to the Flames' 2-on-1 overtime goal.

• In an effort to contain the Flames' top line, Scott Gordon elected to go with his fourth line of Michael Raffl, Scott Laughton and Dale Weise in more of a checking role. Together, that trio did a solid job of not allowing the Flames to transition into the Flyers' zone. Calgary’s top line didn’t have its first solid shift against the Sean Couturier line until the opening minutes of the second period.

• Gaudreau finally broke through with a 4-on-4 goal that tied the game at 1-1, which came at the end of a one-minute shift. The Flyers had changed with Claude Giroux and Couturier on the ice coming off and Patrick and Jakub Voracek coming on too late, which was the break Gaudreau and Sean Monahan needed to create a pass/shot that Hart had very little chance at stopping. 

• While the Flyers have cycled through seven different goaltenders this season, part of the reason the Flames have been consistently good is they’ve had stability in net, even though their No. 1, Mike Smith, has not been very good. Backup David Rittich has been the Flames' stabilizer in net. He came on in relief and earned the win against the Flyers in Calgary, and in this game, he came through with some splendid saves. 

• However, there's one Rittich would like to have back. He made an absent-minded decision to come out and play the puck, leaving the net completely unattended as Travis Konecny used his speed and fired a shot underneath Rittich to snap a 13-game goalless drought.

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

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

Nothing gets easier for the Flyers.

Losers of a season-worst five straight games, the Flyers (15-20-5) now welcome the Western Conference-leading Flames (25-13-4) Saturday afternoon.

Let's look at the essentials:

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

• Calgary can flat out score. Only two NHL teams net more goals per game than the Flames' 3.57 — the Lightning (4.17) and Maple Leafs (3.67).

Calgary boasts four of the league's top-20 scorers in Johnny Gaudreau (61 points), Sean Monahan (51), Elias Lindholm (48) and Matthew Tkachuk (47), while defenseman Mark Giordano has an NHL-best plus-29 rating.

Not only do the Flames allow the NHL's fewest road goals per game at 2.32, but they're also never out of a game. Calgary leads the league in third-period goals (62) and wins when trailing after the second period (seven).

Its last comeback left the Flyers in disbelief (see story).

• While the Flames know what they do best, the Flyers are trying to find themselves before it's too late. They are tied for the NHL's fewest points at 35 and are 6-13-4 since Nov. 13.

Win or lose Saturday, the Flyers will have their fewest points at the midway mark of a regular season since 2006-07, when the club was 11-26-4 with 26 points and endured its worst year in franchise history.

"You look at the big picture, for us to make the playoffs, we have to really get on a roll and [we're] just putting pressure on ourselves," Claude Giroux said.

The trade deadline is Feb. 25 and general manager Chuck Fletcher will have decisions to make. Right now, selling seems like common sense (see story).

• The Flames will present 20-year-old rookie goalie Carter Hart his biggest test yet. In five starts, Hart is 2-3-0 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.

Calgary put up an eight-spot on Sergei Bobrovsky and six goals on Semyon Varlamov.

If Hart and the Flyers can beat the Flames, it would go a long way for their confidence (see story).

Projected lineup

Forwards
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny 
Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-Jakub Voracek 
James van Riemsdyk-Jordan Weal-Wayne Simmonds 
Michael Raffl-Phil Varone-Dale Weise

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Travis Sanheim
Christian Folin-Robert Hagg
Shayne Gostisbehere-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Carter Hart
Mike McKenna

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 film review: Dissecting a last-minute breakdown becoming all too frequent

Flyers film review: Dissecting a last-minute breakdown becoming all too frequent

EDMONTON, Alberta — If general manager Chuck Fletcher is wondering how the Flyers are 29th in the NHL in goals allowed per game, then he should look no further than Sean Monahan’s game-tying goal Wednesday night with seven seconds remaining in regulation (see story).

It’s the type of goal that seems to be a common occurrence with the Flyers this season.

And a goal that could have been easily prevented — on a number of levels.

A very easy zone entry

When the Flyers cleared the puck with roughly 20 seconds remaining, Jakub Voracek came off the ice after a 1:53 shift (which included a timeout) and Dale Weise jumped on.

The Flyers completely surrendered the blue line. As Weise crossed into the defensive zone, he had the perfect opportunity to intercept Monahan’s cross-ice pass to Matthew Tkachuk, clear the puck and end the game.

It just went over the top of my stick. I couldn’t bat it down. I couldn’t reach it with my stick. I was trying everything I could to get a piece of it.

- Dale Weise

Too much standing around

When Weise failed to corral the puck, there was an opportunity to pressure Tkachuk along the boards and tie up the puck. Instead, Weise backed off and three different Flyers watched Tkachuk assess the situation before sending in a shot on net.

I’d like to see more top-down pressure on the half wall, and that’s where a lot of it starts. There’s a switch there that would happen if Weise continues the top-down pressure. It’s not an easy read. 

- Dave Hakstol

Andrew MacDonald was at the end of a 1:01 shift when Monahan scored the game-tying goal. Standing in front of the crease, he watched Tkachuk’s shot from outside the circle and then proceeded to observe Monahan clean up the rebound in front of the crease, posing as an innocent bystander.

With MacDonald standing a few feet in front of Monahan and Claude Giroux on his back hip, there’s simply no reason why the Flames' center should have had such an easy swipe at the puck for a rebound opportunity.  

Provorov's responsibilities

Positioning himself in the circle to Anthony Stolarz’s left, Ivan Provorov was stationed between Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, who was hugging the left post. Provorov could have engaged Tkachuk, applying the pressure Hakstol was looking for, but his initial reaction was positioning and blocking the incoming shot.

Provorov’s attempt was a futile one. With the game on the line, if you’re going to commit to blocking the shot, then that would have been the moment to fully commit.

Flyers' positioning should have prevented the disaster

The Flames made this play a rather easy one for the Flyers to defend. What probably frustrates Hakstol is that the Flyers had the Flames covered, but their passiveness cost them a chance at the win — even on a 6-on-5 with Calgary having pulled the goalie.

The Flames proved they didn’t need five players on the ice to execute this play to perfection.

With the time left, there’s going to be a mentality for them to get a puck to the net, and that’s what they did. It’s a quick bang-bang play. That’s where the look on that play should and could be different.

- Hakstol

Click here to download the new 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