‘S— game' makes for a missed opportunity as Flyers go 1-2-1 on homestand


With arguably their worst performance of a four-game home swing, the Flyers stumbled to the Kraken, 4-3, Sunday afternoon.

Late in the third period, fans at the Wells Fargo Center turned their focus to the Super Bowl by turning to the exits.

Patrick Brown took Seattle by surprise with a late shorthanded goal. But the Flyers' desperate push came up short.

John Tortorella's club went 1-2-1 on its four-game homestand with just six goals.

Owen Tippett had a multi-point game (one goal, one assist) Sunday for the Flyers (22-23-10), who are once again having a nightmarish time trying to generate offense.

They entered Sunday scoring the NHL's sixth-fewest goals per game (2.69) and with the 31st-ranked power play (15.5 percent).

James van Riemsdyk drew the Flyers even at 2-2 early in the second period. However, the Flyers couldn't find a go-ahead goal.

"It's not going to come down to disappointment or frustration or me ripping the team or not," Tortorella said. "I just don't think we played good enough. The team that won was better."

What's just as troubling is the Flyers took a step back defensively on Sunday.

"S--- game," Scott Laughton said.

The Dave Hakstol-led Kraken (30-18-5) came to Philadelphia holding the Western Conference's first wild-card spot and snapped a three-game losing streak.

"Really skilled team, really quick team," Tortorella said. "They have 30 wins for a reason."

The Flyers are 2-1-0 against Seattle since the expansion club's inaugural season.

• After the Kraken cushioned their lead to 4-2 just 1:03 minutes into the third period, the Flyers were in trouble.

Their lack of high-end scoring talent is rearing its ugly head again.

• Felix Sandstrom made his second start in the year of 2023. He didn't get much help as the Flyers were sloppy with the puck and had some breakdowns.

The 26-year-old converted 17 saves.

"First goal, 2-on-1, it's a wide-open net," Tony DeAngelo said. "Second goal, it's wide open in the slot. Third goal, wide open in the slot. Fourth goal, a little bit off the slot. So we didn't give Sandy much help. He made some real good saves for us, too."

Seattle backup Philipp Grubauer didn't have a real tough night. He faced only 10 shots through the first two periods and finished with 15 saves.

• During the back half of the first period, DeAngelo turned the puck over on an aggressive and risky play in the offensive zone.

It led to Jordan Eberle's game-tying goal after Tippett staked the Flyers to an early 1-0 lead with a power play marker.

A little over four minutes later, van Riemsdyk was stripped of the puck in an attempt to exit the defensive zone. The Kraken turned it into a 2-1 lead at first intermission.

"Certainly on their second goal, there's one I've got to get the puck out," van Riemsdyk said. "That gives them kind of a freebie there, so it leaves Felix out to dry. There was definitely some things that we could have executed on a little better."

Jaden Schwartz scored Seattle's third and fourth goals.

DeAngelo had a tough game defensively, finishing as a minus-3. If DeAngelo isn't creating offense, he has to hold his own defensively. Too often he has not done that.

"It is our job as a coaching staff to try to help him become better defensively," Tortorella said Thursday. "We need him to become better defensively without hampering one of the biggest strengths he has for us — getting us out of our end zone, just some plays that people wouldn't even try that he succeeds at."

• With Olle Lycksell entering the lineup, Tortorella made some tweaks to his combinations up front.

Van Riemsdyk was reunited with Tippett and Morgan Frost.

Lycksell, AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley's leading scorer (34 points in 34 games), opened the game on the second line with Laughton and Kevin Hayes. During the second period, Lycksell slid to the fourth line as Wade Allison moved up in his place.

Travis Konecny, whose goal drought has grown to 13 straight games, joined Noah Cates and Joel Farabee on the third line.

The maneuvering didn't lead to more offensive chances.

Hayes, who had two of the Flyers' six goals on the homestand, went scoreless, as did Konecny and Farabee.

"I just don't think we were on," Tortorella said. "T.K., no shots. Kevin, no shots. Crawl back into it, played better the second half of the third period — I just don't think we played a good enough game."

• "Go Birds" fever permeated the Wells Fargo Center.

The Eagles take on the Chiefs tonight in Super Bowl LVII.

• Following their homestand, the Flyers now head on a four-game road trip, which starts Thursday with a rematch against the Kraken (10 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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