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5 Takeaways: Well-Rested Flyers Look Sleepy in Seattle

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Morgan Geekie, James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers
Moran Geekie gets around James van Riemsdyk in the opening period. The Flyers were outshot, 12-1, in the first. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers were well-rested when they met the Seattle Kraken on Thursday at Climate Pledge Arena. It was their first game since Super Bowl Sunday.

Instead of looking revived, however, they came out embarrassingly flat en route to a 6-2 loss to the second-year Kraken.

Yanni Gourde had three points, including two goals, as the speedy Kraken (31-18-6) coasted to the victory. The Flyers suffered their third consecutive defeat.

“They just wanted it more,” Flyers right winger Travis Konecny said.

Seattle swept the two-game season series, having scored a not-as-close-as-it-looks 4-3 win Sunday over the Flyers.

In the two games against Seattle, the Flyers (22-24-10) managed a total of 37 shots — 19 on Thursday, and 18 on Sunday.

Here are five quick observations in case you went to bed early:

1. The Flyers didn’t show up in the opening period.

The first period was probably the Flyers’ worst 20 minutes of the season. They were outshot, 12-1, and outscored, 2-0. They didn’t get a shot until 6:19 remained in the period — it came from long distance by Joel Farabee.

It was the Flyers’ lowest shot total in any period this season.

Philly, which looked out of sync with its new lines, was continually beaten to loose pucks by the Kraken. Seattle played in the Flyers’ end for most of the period.

2. Nick Deslauriers’ fight didn’t wake up the Flyers

Deslauriers (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) fought Jamie Oleksiak (6-7, 257) with 6:36 left in the first, trying to awaken a Flyers team that had yet to put a shot on goal and trailed,1-0.

It didn’t happen.

Not many punches were landed in the bout, but the Kraken landed a punch a little over a minute later as Gourde tipped in Justin Schultz’s shot while the Kraken were on a delayed penalty and had a six-on-five advantage.

Earlier in the period, Jared McCann pickpocketed Kevin Hayes while the Flyers were on a power play. McCann went down on a two-on-one and beat Carter Hart on a shot from the right circle. That gave Seattle a 1-0 lead.

3. Carter Hart’s “homecoming” ruined.

Hart played junior hockey about 25 minutes away from Seattle, and he had numerous friends at the game.

But the Flyers gave him little support.

After the disastrous first period, the Flyers gave Seattle a second-period power play that it converted into a goal and a 3-0 lead. Schultz scored on a point drive with 14:08 to go in the second.

Scott Laughton was in the penalty box for hooking the ever-present McCann.

Later in the second, Gourde took the puck away from Kieffer Bellows and sent Oliver Bjorkstrand on a breakaway. Bjorkstrand scored his 11th of the season, giving Seattle a 4-0 lead with 8:34 left in the second.

Exit Hart, who allowed four goals on 19 shots. Enter rookie Sam Ersson.

4. Travis Konecny snaps his long drought.

One of the Flyers’ few bright spots was Travis Konecny snapping his 13-game goal-less streak. He finished with two goals on the night.

Just 14 seconds into the third period, Konecny deflected Noah Cates’ shot past Philipp Grubauer to cut the deficit to 5-1. It was his career-high 25th goal. He added his 26th with 5:49 to go.

Now the Flyers need to get Farabee going; he is goal-less in his last 14 games.

5. Lines are scrambled, but not much worked.

Coach John Tortorella changed all four lines at the start of the game, and then made in-game alterations. Not much worked against Dave Hakstol’s fast-moving team.

These were the lines at the start: Cates centering Hayes and Owen Tippett; Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Konecny; Laughton centering Farabee and Wade Allison; and Patrick Brown centering Deslauriers and Bellows.

Konecny was on a line with Deslauriers and Cates when he scored early in the third.

Breakaways

Cates had a pair of assists. … Konecny’s turnover led to Matty Beniers’ breakaway goal, giving Seattle a 6-1 third-period lead. It was the rookie’s 18th goal. … Frost was hit on the left hand with a puck in the third period and left the game in pain; he returned to the ice a few minutes later. … Entering the night, the Philadelphia Flyers were 7-1-1 on the road since the holiday break. … Ersson made his first NHL appearance since Jan. 17. … McCann’s goal was his 26th and his 13th in the first period this season. … The Flyers will play in Vancouver (21-30-4) on Saturday at 10 p.m. Philadelphia overcame a 2-0 deficit and beat the Canucks, 3-2, on Oct. 15.

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