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Philadelphia Flyers

5 observations: Flyers lose and road winless streak is longest since 1972

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Derick Brassard, Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers center Derick Brassard scored his 200th career goal Saturday against the Hurricanes. Photo: Zack Hill.

The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t won a road game since Dec. 29 in Seattle.

In other words, they are still searching for their initial road victory in 2022.

Carolina 3, Flyers 1.

Their latest gut-wrenching loss was absorbed Saturday afternoon, extending their road winless streak to 11 straight, their longest skid since 1972.

Some observations:

1. The Flyers just can’t close out games.

Give the Flyers (18-30-10) credit for staying with an elite team like the Hurricanes (41-12-5), but they just can’t seem to finish out close games with a victory.

They have been either ahead, tied, or down by a goal in 21 of their last 23 games — and have just five wins in that span.

Jordan Martinook scored on a deflection with 3:50 left Saturday to snap a 1-1 tie and give Carolina the win. The Canes later added an empty-net goal.

“I liked the effort. I liked a lot of the details in our game,” interim coach Mike Yeo said. “Obviously not every shift is perfect, and it’s tough to be against a team like that. But I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win. Just have to finish it.”

2. Derick Brassard used his hustle to score his 200th.

Injured for most of the season, Brassard has quietly had a quality year when he’s been able to be in the lineup: 14 points, including six goals and a plus-7 rating in 27 games.

Brassard, 34, a prospective UFA, scored his 200th career goal by outracing Jesper Fast to a fat rebound allowed by Frederik Andersen, knotting the game at 1-1 with 3:10 left in the second.

And, yes, he could aid another team in a deal. Speaking of which …

3. Martin Jones helped his trade value.

The Flyers’ backup goalie was the only reason Philly didn’t face a big deficit in the first half of the game. He withstood a barrage of shots — 15 in the first period — and stopped Andrei Svechnikov on a breakaway to keep the game scoreless until Steven Lorentz scored with 11:26 left in the second.

Lorentz, guarded by Keith Yandle, took a brilliant behind-the-net pass from Derek Stepan (500th career point) and knocked in the goal from the doorstep.

All told, Jones stopped 33 of 35 shots.

4. Morgan Frost, in his first game with the Flyers since Feb. 22, was not a factor.

Frost, 22, replaced the injured Scott Laughton (concussion) and centered wingers Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny on the third line and had no shots in 12:41. He had two giveaways and was minus-1.

Yeo said he liked Frost’s first two periods, but not the third, when he hinted he played too safe. He said it’s part of “learning how to play in these tough games, and learning to stick with it. You have to want to be in that moment. You can’t be afraid of making a mistake.”

Konecny said he loves playing alongside Frost, calling him a “smart player.”

 

5. The Hurricanes play with speed and relentlessness.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ front office needs to take note. This is the type of team they should strive to build.

It would have been tempting for Carolina to look past this game. After all, it was a “tweener” between their 2-0 statement  win over Colorado and Sunday’s contest in Pittsburgh.

But Rod Brind’Amour’s team does not look past anyone, not even the lowly Flyers.

Carolina had 74 shots attempts, while the Flyers had 45.

“They’re right on top of you and keep coming at you all the time,” Jones said.  “It’s tough to get through the neutral zone and exit the zone with any kind of possession. … and you end up dumping a lot of pucks.”

Breakaways

Shortly before Brassard’s goal, he was called for incidental contact with goalie Frederik Andersen, negating Cam Atkinson’s rebound goal. … Konecny had five shots to lead the Flyers. “TK is playing his butt off for us right now,” Yeo said. … The Flyers host Montreal on Sunday night, and Carter Hart will be in the nets.

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