Flyers play commendable game but go 0 for 9 in shootout for 9th straight loss


Tuesday night was the unlucky nine for the Flyers.

The team dropped its ninth straight game with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

Nine Flyers went scoreless in the skills competition. The club is 0-4 in the shootout this season.

Travis Konecny, Claude Giroux, Cam Atkinson, Joel Farabee, Scott Laughton, Morgan Frost, James van Riemsdyk, Gerry Mayhew and Ivan Provorov came up empty.

Carter Hart was 8 for 8 on New York's attempts before Oliver Wahlstrom finally ended things.

The Flyers (13-18-8) are in real danger of losing 10 straight for the second time this season. They went 0-8-2 from Nov. 18 to Dec. 8 and are 0-6-3 in this current nine-game spiral.

"We all have our pride and losing sucks — there's no other way around it," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said. "So it’s difficult because you see the effort that was put in tonight, the way that guys were blocking shots, paying a price for each other, it felt like a lot of the areas of our team game were really strong. We didn’t come up with that win and so obviously that’s what we take out of this one."

It's the first time the Flyers have had two losing streaks of eight games or more in the same season since 2006-07, when they finished an NHL-worst 22-48-12.

"It’s adversity, it’s difficult, but seeing progress in our game," Yeo said. "It’s hard to sit here when you’re on a losing streak like this and feel good about progress but we have no other choice. We have to just make sure that we keep getting better."

Including the playoffs, the Flyers have gone to OT 10 times in their last 17 matchups with the Islanders (13-13-6). With a 4-1 loss Monday night and Tuesday's decision, the Flyers were swept by New York in the back-to-back set.

"We're playing better and better, but we just can’t find a way to win," Oskar Lindblom said. "I thought we played good enough to win this game and we were unlucky we didn’t."

• The Flyers played one of their better games since the calendar flipped to 2022.

They held the Islanders to single-digit shots in every period, responded well to a deficit and grabbed a lead early in the final stanza.

Giroux scored just over four minutes into the third period. With an assist on van Riemsdyk's first-period power play goal, the Flyers' captain finished with a two-point game.

Atkinson put up a game-high six shots and assisted Giroux's goal.

The effort was there, the defensive commitment was there and the timely offensive production was there.

But still no win.

New York got the equalizer with 4:28 minutes remaining in regulation.

To be fair, the Flyers fell short in only a few areas. But they were decisive areas: not holding a third-period lead and failing to score in the shootout.

"I'm a strong believer in not looking at the big picture," Giroux said. "For us, it's get ready for Columbus next game, go one game at a time. We keep playing the right way, keep battling together as a team and then we can start looking at the standings. It’s not a secret that we’re far off, but for us, we've just got to keep battling, keep winning hockey games and just climb back into the playoff standings."

• Farabee skated to the bench hunched over after taking a hit in the third period.

The 21-year-old winger appeared to point to his left shoulder when he was being evaluated by Flyers director of medical services Jim McCrossin. Farabee injured that shoulder earlier in the season and missed about two weeks.

He stayed on the bench and returned to the game, but something to keep an eye on this week.

More: 'Says a lot about him' — Flyers take another hit with Hayes having to miss time

• Justin Braun laid his body out there all night, blocking big shots at shorthanded. He gutted the game out in pain and played well while doing so.

• A day after snapping the second-longest goal drought of his career at 20 games, Konecny put himself on a goal streak with an important marker during the middle frame.

One of the Flyers' glaring issues has been allowing a goal against to quickly turn into another goal against.

But Konecny promptly countered an Islanders goal with his own to send both clubs into second intermission knotted at 2-2.

Overall, the Flyers played a strong second period, doubling New York in shots with a 14-7 advantage. Rasmus Ristolainen came inches away from giving the Flyers a 3-2 lead with 50 seconds left in the stanza. His shot trickled to the goal line but Semyon Varlamov sprawled and covered it up.

• Hart hasn't recorded a win since Dec. 14.

The 23-year-old finished with 28 saves on 31 shots. He stopped six in overtime and was nearly the hero in the shootout.

"Hartsy did a great job tonight in the shootout and we've just got to find a way to get one," Giroux said.

Casey Cizikas beat Hart right on the doorstep with under five minutes left to force overtime.

Hart appeared to misread Josh Bailey's goal as New York grabbed its 2-1 lead in the second period. Fortunately for Hart, Konecny answered 26 seconds later with an equalizer.

Varlamov, the Islanders' backup, converted 31 stops on 34 shots and didn't allow the Flyers to score in the shootout.

• You've got to tap your stick to Zack MacEwen for standing up to the 6-foot-9 challenge of 44-year-old Zdeno Chara during the third period.

After MacEwen delivered a hit on Scott Mayfield, Chara came to the defense of his teammate. The Flyers' winger and the future Hall of Fame defenseman dropped the gloves.

Nobody likes to fight Chara, who got the best of MacEwen. Good bout, though.

• A day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Bruins retired Willie O'Ree's No. 22 in a ceremony Tuesday night at TD Garden.

O'Ree broke the color barrier in hockey on Jan. 18, 1958, when he became the first Black player to play in an NHL game.

Prior to puck drop at the Wells Fargo Center, a special tribute was played on the scoreboard to commemorate O'Ree's immeasurable impact on the game and celebrate his No. 22 going into Boston's rafters.

• Trying to avoid a 10th straight defeat for the second time, the Flyers host the Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Jakub Voracek, who was traded to Columbus in the offseason, entered the NHL's COVID protocol last Thursday. It's uncertain if he'll back for a return to Philadelphia, where he played 10 seasons and climbed into fifth on the Flyers' all-time assists list.

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Contact Us