Less than twenty-four hours after giving away a game to the Capitals, the Flyers look to put a better effort on the ice when they take on the New Jersey Devils. After having a great first period and gaining a two to nothing lead, the Flyers stopped playing and allowed five straight goals to end up losing the game five to three.
The Flyers now have played in three straight games where they only had one good period in the game. The Flyers were fortunate to have picked up the overtime win against Detroit but allowed five goals in the games against Tampa Bay and Washington. Will the Flyers be able to put more than twenty minutes of effort in the game against the Devils?
The Flyers came out with a bit of jump in the first period. The Flyers seemed to have recovered a bit from last nights collapse and generated some chances and shots on net. That all changes with just under four minutes gone in the period when Nolan Patrick got called for knocking down Niko Hischer in front of the net to give the Devils their first power play.
The Devils needed only a minute to set up their power play in the Flyers zone. Kyle Palmeri took a cross-ice pass and put the puck short side past the shoulder of Alex Lyon to give the Devils a one to nothing lead.
Less than two minutes after the Devils picked up the power play goal it was the Flyers turn to go to the man advantage. Mirco Mueller picked up an interference penalty on Jordan Weal. While already down a man the Devils Travis Zajac got called for cross-checking on Shayne Gostisbehere giving the Flyers a two-man advantage for a full minute. The Flyers only needed only sixteen seconds to capitalize on the five on three.
On a broken play while on the power play Jakub Voracek made a pass across the crease to a wide-open Claude Giroux who had a tap in to tie the game at one. The Flyers once again started to pay in the Devils end of the ice when Radko Gudas accidentally ran into Kyle Palmeri while trying to make his way back to the point and got called for interference. The devils set up in the Flyers zone and John Moore sent a pass into the middle of the penalty kill box that was deflected between the legs of Lyon to allow the Devils to take the once again this time two to one.
In a period where the power plays played a big role in the scoring, it was the Flyers turn back on the power play. Devils forward Travis Zajak picked up a roughing call against Radko Gudas that led to the two players picking up fighting majors on the play. The Flyers needed less than a minute on the power play for Wayne Simmonds to put home a rebound to tie the game up at two. Jakub Voracek picked up his league-leading 50th assist on the power play goal. The period would end at a two-all tie.
The second period did not have all the power plays that the first did but the action was still fast pace with some big hits sprinkled in for more excitement. The only goal of the second period came with just over seven minutes into the period. After causing a turn over in his defensive zone Shayne Gostisbehere led a rush up the ice and dumped the puck off to Taylor Leier. Gostisbehere could have turned back to the blue line but instead just drifted to the side of the net. That is where Valtteri Filppula found him with a cross-ice pass and Ghostisbehere put a wrist shot short side beating Keith Kinkaid next to his blocker to give the Flyers a three to two lead.
Once again the Flyers failed to show up for a full game. From the start of the period, the Flyers coaching staff pulled out the same style of play that gave the Flyers a ten game winless streak. The Flyers did not register a shot on goal until the period was half over. Prevent defense gets you the same result in hockey as it does in any other sport. The Flyers should have learned from the last three games but sadly they have not. the Flyers spent almost the whole period shipping the puck out and allowing the Devils to freely skate into the zone. The Devils picked up goals from Damon Severson and Nico Hischer to turn a one-goal lead into a one-goal loss in a period that the Flyers had well in control.
The loss now extends the losing streak to three games and the Flyers poor play has extended to four games. The Flyers coaching staff has a big hand in the last three losses. The Flyers penalty kill is now third worst in the league and has allowed four goals in the last seven times short-handed for a 47 percent kill rate. The Flyers have given up a lead to lose in back to back games which is similar to when they kept giving up leads to find a way to lose the games during the losing streak. The games are just going to get harder and the Flyers cannot keep giving up points to the teams around them in the Eastern Conference.
The Flyers now have two days off until the play the Ottawa Senators at home. The Flyers are 44 W 32 L 8 T 7 OTL all-time against the Senators and lost the last meeting five to four back in October. Will we see the same Flyers team that has playing over the last four games or will the team that went from last place in the division to a playoff spot.