Tyler Pitlick

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

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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+).

 

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Point streak ends as Flyers lose to Senators — and things don't get easier

Point streak ends as Flyers lose to Senators — and things don't get easier

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Well, the Flyers should be ticked off for the Islanders game on Saturday night.

Alain Vigneault's team is having some trouble scoring and it resulted in a 2-1 letdown to the Senators on Friday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Flyers (10-6-3) have scored two goals over their past two games and six in their last four (1.50 per game). The regulation loss ended their seven-game point streak and the Flyers dropped to 1-6-2 when trailing after the second period.

The Senators (8-10-1), who have won four of their last five games, forced the Flyers to play their preferred style.

• Looking for an equalizer during the third period, Vigneault threw his lines in a blender but to no avail.

With 4:17 left in regulation, the Flyers still couldn't score when they went on a four-minute power play because of a double-minor penalty whistled on Ottawa.

It will be interesting to see how Vigneault constructs his lines for Saturday. And next up is the NHL's stingiest team defensively.

• The Flyers were even fortunate the Senators misfired on numerous point-blank shots. Ottawa eventually found the mark and outplayed the Flyers in a decisive second period to take a 2-1 advantage into the final stanza.

The Senators came in 4 for 62 (6.5 percent) on the power play but scored on the man advantage against the Flyers, who were not very sharp or disciplined.

• Jakub Voracek didn't open the second period on the first line as Michael Raffl took a shift with Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee.

Voracek didn't have an even-strength shift during the middle stanza until there was 6:48 left in the frame.

It was odd, especially after Voracek was bumped up to the first line prior to the game. He finished with 15:53 minutes, no shots and played 10:06 at even strength, just ahead of Raffl (9:57).

Kevin Hayes, stuck in a scoring slump, has gone nine straight games without a point and didn't have a shot, as well.

• Farabee was solid after enduring his first NHL setback Wednesday against the Capitals.

The 19-year-old had five shots in 17:46 minutes, played hard and was opportunistic offensively.

• Carter Hart suffered his first regulation loss in November. He entered 4-0-1 with a 1.72 goals-against average and .939 save percentage this month.

The 21-year-old wasn't great but wasn't bad, either. He made 17 saves on 19 shots. The second period was costly.

Senators goalie Anders Nilsson stopped 26 shots and improved to 4-0-1 lifetime against the Flyers.

• Defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Niskanen and Ivan Provorov all played 22-plus minutes but failed to generate much offense.

• After a merry-go-round process early on, the Flyers have found some consistency with their fourth line.

Raffl, Andy Andreoff and Tyler Pitlick have played well and got the Flyers on the board in the first period. Pitlick scored his first goal with the Flyers, who probably wanted to ride the fourth unit more given the back-to-back circumstances.

Because of the third-period deficit, the Flyers were unable to and instead shortened their bench. Not ideal for the first game of a back-to-back set with travel.

• The Flyers are right back at it Saturday night when they host the Islanders for a big game at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

New York is on a 13-game point streak (12-0-1) and allowing the NHL's fewest goals per game at 2.29. Brian Elliott, who went 2-0-0 with 54 saves on 57 shots against the Islanders last season, is expected to start for the Flyers.

 

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With injured Scott Laughton out, what's next for Flyers' lineup?

With injured Scott Laughton out, what's next for Flyers' lineup?

As the Flyers were turning the Wells Fargo Center into a madhouse during the third period Saturday night, Scott Laughton was somewhere getting his finger checked.

He was not a part of the Flyers’ five-goal third period that flipped a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 victory over the Blue Jackets (see observations).

The third-line winger suffered a broken finger on his right hand during the second period and is expected to miss four weeks.

The news provided a bittersweet feel to the Flyers’ first three-game winning streak in October since the 2014-15 season.

Losing Laughton for a month is no small blow. He can play center or winger in the bottom six, was leading the team’s forwards in PK minutes prior to Saturday and put up career highs last season in goals (12), assists (20), games (82) and average ice time (14:51).

He is valuable to the Flyers, who might not have him for around 14 games. Ten of those games come against teams that made the playoffs last season.

The Flyers will move forward with Tyler Pitlick entering the lineup. The 27-year-old plays a similar game to Laughton. He utilizes a north-south, forechecking style and will have to play important shorthanded minutes (see story). Before the injury to Laughton, Pitlick was the Flyers’ lone extra forward. Now the team doesn’t have one.

When the Flyers struggled to score during their four-game skid, they didn’t hesitate to make moves, calling up Joel Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev. The addition of Vorobyev moved Laughton to the wing, where the team likes him a little bit better.

The Flyers’ offense has awoken with 17 goals in the three-game winning streak.

If the well runs dry, the Flyers may have options but it would take some maneuvering. They have 22 players on the roster — which can be at a maximum of 23 — with $115,620 in projected cap space, according to CapFriendly.com.

Some call-up candidates could be Carsen Twarynski, German Rubtsov, Andy Andreoff and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. If the Flyers were in desperate need of a spark, maybe Morgan Frost would see his NHL debut. 

But the Flyers are not ready — or in a great spot — to summon reinforcements. 

After three healthy scratches, Pitlick will slide back into the lineup, play head coach Alain Vigneault’s system and try to help the Flyers not think about the roster.

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