Flyers suffer another frustrating finish, this time with their own fans watching


The Flyers had extra juice from the onset Sunday night as 3,023 fans were back at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time in nearly a year.

Given the Flyers were playing their sixth game in nine days and the second game of a back-to-back set with travel, they needed the energy from the fans.

The juice fizzled with a couple of breakdowns and missed opportunities as the Flyers lost to the Capitals, 3-1.

"The will was there tonight," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "Our guys came out and competed."

The Flyers (12-7-3) have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 31-Jan. 4 of last season.

The Capitals (14-6-4) didn't have Tom Wilson (seven-game suspension) but got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen.

• A game-changing sequence came a little over four minutes into the third period.

Joel Farabee took a hit up high near his face in open ice by Zdeno Chara. There was no whistle. Just as James van Riemsdyk was standing up for Farabee, six seconds later Washington extended its lead to 3-1 with a goal from Jensen.

"I think there should have been a call on Chara for high-sticking there to Joel’s head," Vigneault said, "but the referee let it go through."

The Flyers were then chasing the game the rest of the final stanza. They pulled the goalie with four-plus minutes left but had no luck.

• The game truly turned with around six minutes left in the second period. Right at the net, the Flyers had about two or three chances in succession to balloon their lead to 2-0. A two-goal lead or any lead at second intermission would have put the Flyers in the driver's seat.

"If we bury one of those, we’re in a real good spot with I think more energy and more gas in the tank," Vigneault said. "We don’t, they tie it up and made it real challenging for us."

Instead, the Flyers couldn't convert and Ovechkin tied the game a little over a minute later. Then, with 16 seconds left in the period, Orlov was left all alone in front and Washington found him on the backdoor for the lead.

The Flyers were frustrated by a questionable icing call that set the Capitals up in the offensive zone for Orlov's goal.

Another crucial, backbreaking type of sequence. The Flyers had costly breakdowns in Saturday's game, which resulted in them relinquishing a 3-2 lead for a 4-3 loss.

Whether the icing call was bad or not, the Flyers have to regroup and finish that period. They didn't and ended up trailing at second intermission.

"Some people will question if there should have been an icing or not," Vigneault said. "But at the end of the day, we had an assignment to make off that lost draw and we didn’t do it. ... That to me was probably the goal that made the big difference in this game."

Perhaps the Flyers are feeling some fatigue but they hurt themselves in many ways over the back-to-back set.

• Farabee brought the fans to their feet with the game's opening goal in the first period.

Farabee put his hands in the air as if to say let's hear it, Philly.

"We feed off their energy and it was really nice hearing them when that one went in," Farabee said at first intermission on the radio broadcast.

Through 21 games, the 21-year-old is already one point shy of matching his total from last regular season. Farabee has 10 goals and 20 points after putting up eight goals and 21 points in 52 games as a rookie.

• Carter Hart made 24 saves on 27 shots. He gave the Flyers a good chance to win that game.

Washington netminder Ilya Samsonov was very good with 36 saves.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 4. Since Feb. 1, the team's man advantage is 6 for 47.

Both of the Flyers' special teams units ranked in the top half of the NHL last season. They became strengths under the club's new coaching staff. So far in 2020-21, those units have ranked in the bottom half of the league.

Special teams can be susceptible to streakiness, both good and bad, but it's just weird that both units have taken a step back through 22 games of this season.

• Philippe Myers returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with an undisclosed injury.

Michael Raffl was out after taking a shot to the hand Saturday. Head coach Alain Vigneault said Raffl consistently plays through pain and is nursing a couple of issues, so they held him out.

• Oskar Lindblom played his first game in front of Flyers fans since December 2019, when his life and career were rocked by a diagnosis with Ewing's sarcoma. Lindblom, who missed the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season, completed his radiation treatments last July at Pennsylvania Hospital.

On Sunday night, he received a touching standing ovation from Flyers fans during a second-period stoppage. Boy, did he deserve that moment.

The night was also notable for Nolan Patrick, who missed all of last season because of a migraine disorder. Prior to the start of this season, Patrick had gone over 650 days since he last played an NHL game. Sunday night marked his first game in front of Flyers fans since March 2019.

• The Flyers' four-game homestand continues Tuesday night when the club hosts the Sabres (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Contact Us