Two records were equaled Monday night at the sparsely attended Wells Fargo Center — one honorable, the other dubious.
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle tied an NHL record for consecutive games played (964) in his team’s 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. He will have the mark to himself when he steps on the ice Tuesday on Long Island against the New York Islanders.
The loss increased the Flyers’ winless streak to 12 straight (0-9-3), tying the franchise mark for futility that was set in 1998-99 (0-8-4), a season in which the Orange and Black still earned a playoff berth.
An all-alone Jacob Peterson snapped a 1-1 tie by scoring from deep inside the left circle with 3:25 left in regulation to put the Stars ahead. Joe Pavelski later added an empty-net goal.
During their latest skid, the Flyers have been outscored, 46-23. They were missing eight injured players Monday: Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee, Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard, Nate Thompson, Patrick Brown, and Wade Allison.
“The last thing I want to do is sit here and and say it’s OK that we lost a hockey game. None of us accept this,” interim coach Mike Yeo said. “But there is a certain reality to it, and we’ve got eight guys out of the lineup. Obviously, we’re feeling the effects of that.”
Yeo said players like captain Claude Giroux are forced to “take on heavier matchups … and we’re asking young kids to come in and play in hard matchups. Normally, young kids would come in and play with vets. Right now, they don’t have that opportunity, so we’re asking an awful lot of everybody.”
With the game tied at 1-1, Carter Hart made a spectacular sprawling save on Miro Heiskanen’s point-blank shot with about nine minutes left. But it only delayed the inevitable.
Congrats to Keith Yandle on tying the record for most consecutive games played at 964! pic.twitter.com/qudtTSsdev
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 25, 2022
Earlier, the Flyers fell into a 1-0 hole. The Flyers seem to always fall into a 1-0 hole. They have allowed the first goal in 10 of the last 11 games, and they had little first-period, offensive-zone time until a flurry by Morgan Frost’s line late in the session. (Frost’s line, with Max Willman and Gerry Mayhew, had a strong game.)
With 2:14 left in the first, Dallas struck first as Roope Hintz was sent away on a breakaway, and he put his shot between Hart’s legs. Oskar Lindblom made a bad decision in the offensive end and didn’t get back, and defensemen Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen were caught up ice on the breakaway.
The Flyers tied it when Ivan Provorov’s pass from near the left boards deflected off the skate of Dallas defenseman John Klingberg and past stunned goalie Jake Oettinger with 7:54 remaining in the second. Hey, when you are struggling to score goals, as the Flyers have been during their winless streak, you’ll take any break you can get.
Travis Konecny collected his 14th assist in his last 18 games on the goal, Provorov’s fifth of the season.
Oettinger was ineffective and pulled from his previous two starts, but he wasn’t tested much Monday.
“One thing we didn’t lack tonight was energy,” Yeo said. “The work ethic was there. Again, maybe we didn’t create enough offense, but the guys battled hard. That’s not an easy team to generate offense against.”
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 25, 2022
Yandle tied Doug Jarvis’ 35-year record for consecutive games played. Amazingly, he has played the equivalent of nearly 12 seasons without missing a game. He last missed a game in 2009, back when gas was $2.01 a gallon and Barack Obama was early in his first term as president.
“I remember (former NHL winger) Ray Whitney said to me when I was young, ‘As long as there’s an NHL symbol on your jersey, that means you’re having a good day,’ ” Yandle said on Sunday. “I haven’t taken that for granted.”
The Flyers haven’t won since Obama was in office. OK, that was a cheap shot. It only feels that way.
Actually, Philly hasn’t won since a 3-2 overtime victory in Seattle on Dec. 29, and they are winless in their 11 games in 2022.
Happy New Year, folks.
The game marked the second time in the Flyers’ history that neither team took a penalty. The other time: Nov. 24, 2018 in Toronto. … Dallas outshot the Flyers, 36-27. … Because of injuries, Nick Seeler, a 28-year-old depth defenseman, played left wing on the fourth line; he hadn’t played there since his freshman year at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. … Zack MacEwen suffered an ankle injury in his previous game but was able to play Monday. … Mayhew and James van Riemsdyk each had five shots, and Ristolainen had six hits. … Dallas winger Michael Raffl, a former Flyer, missed the game with a foot injury.