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5 Observations: Flyers Fall to Flames, Suffer 7th Straight Loss

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Coots, Atkinson, Grande, TK, Philadelphia Flyers
Cody Grande, whose brother A.J. died last month of cancer, with Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson and Travis Konecny. Photo: Joe Siville

Another game, another loss.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ losing streak was extended to seven games Monday as they dropped a 5-2 decision to Calgary at the Wells Fargo Center.

On Hockey Fights Cancer Night, Philly chased the game again as it fell behind early and never caught up.

During their skid, the Flyers (7-8-4) have been outscored, 32-15.

Here are five quick observations from Monday’s game:

1. Joel Farabee broke a long drought.

With 11:57 left in regulation, Joel Farabee picked up an errant Calgary pass and scored an unassisted goal from the slot to get the Flyers within 3-2. It was Farabee’s first goal in nine games.

Farabee almost tied the score when the Flyers pulled their goalie in the waning minutes, but the Flames then added a pair of empty-net goals.

2. This is not a recording: The Flyers fell into a big early hole.

For the 10th time in 19 games, the Flyers faced a 2-0 deficit. They have won only two of those games.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim said the Flyers need to find a way to “start on time.”

Early in the game, the Flyers were twice caught up ice, and Jonathan Huberdeau  and Dillon Dube each finished off two-on-ones in the first 6:09. That put the Flames (9-7-2) ahead, 2-0.

“We were flat,” coach John Tortorella said. “Both of the goals, we were just not supporting our D. Our D were in a rush, our D pinched on the two situations, and a forward did not come up (ice) and we gave up a two-on-one.”

 

3. It was a memorable night for Tanner Laczynski.

Laczynski, 25, recalled from the Phantoms earlier in the day, deflected home Kevin Hayes’ drive for his first NHL goal, cutting the Flames’ lead to 2-1 with 5:27 to go in the first. (Hayes, a natural center, played his first game with the Flyers as a left winger. He also played some shifts at center later in the game.)

It was Laczynski’s first goal in 19 career NHL games.

Earlier in the day, the former Ohio State standout said he got “more puck touches” during his two games with the Phantoms, and that it helped his confidence.

“I was able to get some big-time minutes and kind of get my feet under me,” he said after the morning skate.

4. Carter Hart isn’t making as many big stops as he did in the first month.

Yes, the Flyers’ defensive play was again sloppy — they allowed three two-on-ones in the first 26-plus minutes — but Hart hasn’t been as sharp as he was earlier in the season, and his goals-against averages (still a respectable 2.68) has climbed.

That said, Hart had no chance on Calgary’s third goal, a shot that inadvertently deflected off the stick of Farabee. Rasmus Andersson got credit for the goal, which gave the Flames a 3-1 lead with 16:31 to go in the second.

“We’re going to need great goaltending. Our goaltender is going to have to be our best player every night,” Tortorella said. “We’ve got to try to keep it close to make it a one-bounce game — a lucky goal, or whatever it may be. I think that’s the way we’re going to have to find our way until we get some of our lineup solidified.”

The Flyers are missing six injured forwards.

5. Where’s the defense?

The Flyers’ defense is not nearly as banged up as they are up front.

Yet, they continued to struggle mightily. It’s a combination of poor defense, and the forwards not being effective two-way players.

During their seven-game losing streak, the Flyers have allowed four or more goals in each contest.

Breakaways

Tortorella: “I thought there were two teams with low energy.” … Huberdeau now has six goals in seven career games against Hart. … Morgan Frost again centered the top line, with Farabee and Owen Tippett as his wingers. … Hayes, who now has a six-game point streak, was the second-line left winger, and was on a unit that had Noah Cates at center and hustling Zack MacEwen at right wing.¬† Hayes won eight of 11 faceoffs and had an assist. … Nick Deslauriers had six hits and was plus-1. … Nick Seeler was plus-2 and blocked two shots. … Blake Coleman had two assists and an empty-net goal for the Flames. … The Flyers play the Capitals in Washington on Wednesday.

On Hockey Fights Cancer Night, Flyers Pay Tribute to A.J. Grande, Joe Fisher

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