Flyers give up another hat trick as help and time fail to stop skid


Four big reinforcements and three straight days of practice failed to produce a streak-snapping win for the Flyers.

Despite the returns of Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim from COVID protocol, the Flyers fell to the Bruins, 3-2, Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston.

After already stomaching a 10-game skid earlier this season, the Flyers (13-16-7) find themselves on another deeply concerning slide. They've lost six straight (0-4-2). Illness and injuries haven't helped, but the Flyers have to stop the bleeding if they want any chance of salvaging this season.

The Flyers went 1-2-0 in their three-game regular-season series against the Bruins (21-11-2). The victory came in the third game of the season, when Ryan Ellis was in the lineup. The top-pair defenseman has played in one game since then because of a lower-body injury.

David Pastrnak did all of the goal scoring for Boston, which is starting to roll. The Bruins have gone 7-1-0 since the holiday break, a stretch in which they've outscored the opposition 36-18.

• Pastrnak has picked apart the Flyers over the last two seasons with three hat tricks and 10 goals total in 10 games.

The Flyers have given up nine hat tricks over the last two seasons.

That is awfully troubling.

Under five and a half minutes into Thursday night's game, Pastrnak handed the Flyers a 2-0 deficit. His first goal came off of a Flyers turnover at even strength and the second was on a Boston power play.

After second-period goals from Cam Atkinson and Joel Farabee knotted the score, the Flyers burned themselves with penalties. Pastrnak scored the game-winner at 5-on-3 fewer than two minutes after Farabee's marker.

• The Flyers had their opportunities to tie the game in the third period.

Zack MacEwen hit iron after Kevin Hayes found him on a nice play up ice.

They had a 5-on-3 power play for 51 seconds with 6:45 minutes remaining. The Bruins gifted them the opportunities with back-to-back delay-of-game penalties.

Interim head coach Mike Yeo emptied his net with 3:45 left but the Flyers couldn't net the equalizer.

• Carter Hart now has more saves this season (653) than he did all of last season (632).

Playing his first game back at TD Garden since his stick-shattering moment in Boston last season, Hart was strong with 33 saves. Many of them were of high difficulty and acrobatic-type stops.

The 34-year-old Tuukka Rask made his anticipated return and stopped 25 of the Flyers' 27 shots. The Bruins' winningest goalie in franchise history was making his season debut after signing a one-year deal two days ago.

• Atkinson (one goal, one assist) and Keith Yandle (two assists) finished with two-point performances.

Atkinson has 15 goals and is on pace for 34.

Giroux went scoreless and won 17 of 24 faceoffs after being named an All-Star before the game.

• Thursday night was more than just another trip home for Hayes. It marked his first game back in Boston since the tragic death of his older brother Jimmy Hayes on Aug. 23.

The Hayes family is from the Dorchester section of Boston. The brothers went to Boston College and Jimmy Hayes played for the Bruins from 2015 to 2017.

"When I'm having bad days or bad games or not playing up to how the fans want me to here, I'll probably just think of my brother and he'll hopefully push me through," Hayes said in September.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Friday in Voorhees, New Jersey before hosting the Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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