Rangers 3, Flyers 0: Eliminated Flyers with uninspired performance vs. Rangers



The Flyers were feeling the blues Sunday afternoon in front of their home fans a day after being eliminated from playoff contention.

In a completely uninspiring performance, the Flyers lost to the rebuilding Rangers, 3-0, at the Wells Fargo Center.

This New York team had lost 13 of its last 16 games (3-8-5) by a combined score of 55-37 and had just one road victory since Feb. 20.

Yet, it had its way with the Flyers (37-34-8), who are 3-7-0 over their last 10 games after going 18-4-2 in the previous 24.

If the Flyers (82 points) don't win their remaining three games, they'll finish with their fewest points in a season since 2014-15, when they had 84.

Meanwhile, the Rangers (31-34-13) snapped a six-game losing streak to the Flyers.

• Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon, who typically experiments with different combinations throughout a game, tried shuffling his lines to get something going.

Travis Konecny was on the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, then moved to the second unit with Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick.

Even Giroux and Couturier couldn't rekindle their old chemistry, while James van Riemsdyk (goalless in his last five games) played mostly on the third line and was denied on a breakaway.

• Patrick, a streaky player so far in his first two seasons, has gone quiet again with zero points in his last eight games. Konecny, another young player prone to hot-cold spells, has one point over his last seven games.

• Carter Hart, who had to make 36 or more saves in each of his previous three starts, wasn't as busy Sunday but couldn't deliver enough timely stops.

He wasn't bad, though, either, finishing with 22 saves. The Flyers were a step behind most of the day.

Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, 23 years old, finished with 29 saves.

• Following a non-performance-based healthy scratch Saturday to get Samuel Morin more game action, Shayne Gostisbehere was back in the lineup. He played 25-plus minutes but couldn't ignite the man advantage.

• During the second period, the Flyers were gifted back-to-back power plays by Brendan Smith, who committed a silly tripping penalty and was then called for interference because he touched the puck before fully exiting the box.

The man-advantage units didn't do anything with it. The Flyers had good zone time but couldn't generate a ton of quality looks.

Smith gave them two more opportunities in the third but the Flyers went quietly.

The power play has been way too up and down this season and we'll have to wait and see who is running the show if any changes come systematically in 2019-20.

From Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, a span of three games, the man advantage went 7 for 10. But from Oct. 13 to Jan. 2, it went 9 for 93 — mind-blowingly inconsistent.

• The Flyers did a lot of watching in the first period, not showing a ton of energy after being eliminated from the playoff race.

New York, looking like it cared more, broke down the Flyers twice to grab a 2-0 lead. If Hart didn't bail the Flyers out in the first five minutes, the deficit could have been much worse.

Too often have the Flyers started slowly through the opening 20 minutes and then there's never a great reason for why it happened.

The Flyers have been outscored 84-59 in the first period — that won't cut it.

• Peter Forsberg was in the house and Gritty paid the Hall of Famer a visit.

• The Flyers finish up the regular season next week with three games: Tuesday at the Stars (8:30 p.m./NBCSP), Thursday at the Blues (8 p.m./NBCSP+) and Saturday vs. the Hurricanes (7 p.m./NBCSP).

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