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5 Observations: Flyers’ Offense, Special Teams Falter (Again) in Loss to Dallas

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Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny points to Kevin Hayes, who set up his goal, which got the Flyers to within 2-1. They lost to Dallas, 5-1.

For the fourth time this season, the Philadelphia Flyers played the second end of back-to-back games Sunday afternoon.

This one ended like the other three.

With a loss.

The Flyers fell to the Dallas Stars, 5-1, at the boo-happy Wells Fargo Center and slipped to 7-6-2. It was Philly’s third straight defeat, during which it has scored a total of four goals.

“I’d be more upset with the loss if I felt they weren’t trying,” surprisingly upbeat coach John Tortorella said after the defeat. “You can boo us, you can talk (bleep) about us, (but) I will back those guys because they’re trying. If it was an effort problem, it’s a different story.”

Added Tortorella: “Those are the things I have to coach. Those are the things I have to be fair about when we’re trying to build this team. I’m very pleased with the effort. I don’t give a bleep what people think about out there.”

Here are five quick observations:

1. The offense is struggling mightily.

The Philadelphia Flyers have scored two goals or fewer in six of their last seven games. Travis Konecny is their only player with more than three goals.

They entered Sunday with the second-fewest amount of goals in the NHL.

Yes, they could use Cam Atkinson. But that won’t happen for a while. Atkinson appears to be the closest to returning among an injury list that includes Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk.

2. The Flyers’ special teams were awful. Again.

One day after allowing two goals on Ottawa’s three power-play chances, the Flyers’ penalty kill was again victimized.

This time, ageless Joe Pavelski (three points) got behind the defense midway through the second period and redirected Miro Heiskanen’s drive into the net, putting the Stars ahead, 3-1. Kieffer Bellows was in the box for slashing.

Less than a minute into the third, Dallas made it 4-1 with a shorthanded goal. Luke Glendening finished off a three-on-two by tipping a shot/pass past Felix Sandstrom. Later in the game, Jason Robertson added a power-play goal.

The Flyers were outscored on special teams, 3-0, on Sunday. They went 0 for 6 on the power play after going 0 for 3 on Saturday.

In Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Ottawa, they were outscored on special teams, 2-0.

“The special teams really cost us the game today,” defenseman Ivan Provorov said after Sunday’s loss. “I think five-on-five, we’re actually playing pretty good.”

3. Morgan Frost can’t get out of his drought.

Frost is working hard and getting his chances, but he hasn’t been able to finish them. (He’s not alone.) The former first-round draft pick scored two goals in the opener, including an empty-netter, but hasn’t turned on the red light in the 13 games that have followed.

On Sunday, Frost had five shots (three on goal), but goaltender Jake Oettinger, who made 37 saves and was superb, had all the answers. Frost played center on the third line with Kieffer Bellows and Joel Farabee as his wingers.

4. Travis Konecny continues to be the Flyers’ offensive leader.

Konecny cut the deficit to 2-1 when he took a slick feed from Kevin Hayes and whipped a left circle shot past Oettinger just 54 seconds into the second period.

It was Konecny’s team-leading sixth goal, and he also tops the Flyers with 17 points. He finished with a team-high six shots.

5. The Flyers are a well-conditioned team, but they are failing in the second end of back-to-backs.

The Flyers are now 0-4 in the second half of back-to-backs. Some of it can be blamed on fatigue, because they have left goalie Felix Sandstrom hung out to dry. He has all four of those losses.

“We haven’t given him much support,” forward Scott Laughton said the other day.

In the second end of back-to-backs, the Flyers have been outscored, 17-6.

Breakaways

Bill Clement and Al Morganti will go into the Hockey Hall of Fame for their media accomplishments Monday. … Matej Blumel, a rookie playing in his second NHL game, scored his first goal to open the scoring. A blown coverage left him alone in front. … The Stars’ second goal bounced into the net after it accidentally deflected off Flyers defenseman Justin Braun. … Right winger Wade Allison, injured in Saturday’s loss, did not play. The Flyers did not give an injury update or a timeline for his return. … With Allison sidelined, Bellows entered the lineup. … Philly won just 26% of the faceoffs. … Nick Deslauriers had seven hits. … Dallas had Tyler Seguin’s first-period goal nullified by the Flyers’ successful offside challenge. … The Flyers visit Columbus on Tuesday for the second time since Thursday’s 5-2 loss in Tortorella’s unhappy return. In that game, South Jersey’s Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists for Columbus.

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