Flyers Drop 12th in a Row, Lose 3-1 to Stars
There are no moral victories in hockey, especially when a team falls into as deep of a crater as the 2021-22 Philadelphia Flyers. With the exception of a plug-ugly blowout loss in Buffalo this past Saturday, the Flyers have recently been losing a multitude of games that were up for grabs in the third period.
Ultimately, though, a close loss is still a loss. When the defeats pile up at the rate they have for the Flyers since mid-November -- 10-game winless streak, a 5-0-2 stretch and now a 12-game winless streak (0-9-3), it rings hollow to talk about subtle improvements that still are not good enough game after game.
On Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers lost a 3-1 decision to the Dallas Stars. The game was tied at 1-1 entering the third period and play was more or less even through the first 40 minutes. Nonetheless, there was still the foreboding sense that the Flyers would be the one to get beaten in crunch time. That's how it played out yet again.
Roope Hintz (18th goal of the season) put Dallas ahead, 1-0, on a breakaway goal late in the first period. Ivan Provorov (5th) got a friendly bounce of the puck to tie the game at 1-1 in the middle stages of the second period. In the third period, Jacob Peterson restored a 2-1 lead for the Stars at 16;35. Joe Pavelski (17th) then iced the win for Dallas with a long-range empty net goal.
Carter Hart turned in a 33-save performance in a losing cause. Jake Oettinger earned the win in net for Dallas, denying 27 of 28 Philadelphia shots.
There were no penalties called in this game. The entire 60 minutes was played at 5-on-5 except for late in regulation after the Flyers pulled Hart for a 6-on-5.
The Flyers' only goal was some self-made puck luck at 12:06 of the second stanza. Scott Laughton won a right circle draw. The Flyers retained possession. Oskar Lindblom then went toward the net and Provorov's shot from left boards deflected into the net off John Klingberg's skate. The assists went to Travis Konecny and Justin Braun.
There was nothing pretty about it. But, for a Flyers team for whom goals have been hard to come by for all but short spells in October and December that were like a fleeting oasis in a desert, they'll take whatever they can get.
For much of the game, the Flyers' got more offensive push from their third line (Gerry Mayhew, Morgan Frost and Max Willman) and from the blueline than from the top six in the lineup. Afterwards, interim head coach Mike Yeo called it the best all-around game he's seen from Frost in particular on a shift-in, shift-out basis in their time together so far.
The Flyers didn't make a ton of mistakes in this game. But the breakaway goal by Hintz was caused by a Travis Konecny turnover trying to pass back to the point and two Flyers (Rasmus Ristolainen and Oskar Lindblom) going at Jason Robertson as the puck got poked past both of them ahead to Hintz. The game winning sequence for Dallas started with Jackson Cates falling in the defensive zone and Peterson getting a favorable bounce. The play was very briefly reviewed on replay but was clearly under the crossbar and inside the net.
Zack MacEwen, who was banged up in Saturday's game in Buffalo, gritted his way through this game. Nick Seeler, typically a defenseman, skated on fourth line right wing.
Keith Yandle tied Doug Jarvis' NHL-record 964-game ironman streak of consecutive games played. He will establish a new record on Tuesday, when the Flyers are in New York to take on the Islanders.
For a full recap, analysis and stats from Monday's game, see the Postgame 5
The Flyers will have an off-day on Wednesday. That day, general manager Chuck Fletcher will hold a state-of-the-team press conference at 1:00 p.m. ET.