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5 Takeaways: Flyers’ Skid Grows to 4 in Loss to Canucks



Justin Braun, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Justin Braun, shown in a file photo, set up the Philadelphia Flyers' first goal Saturday in Vancouver. Photo: AP.

Facing the NHL’s second-worst defensive team, the Philadelphia Flyers had a golden opportunity to snap a scoring slump Saturday night.

Didn’t happen.

The Flyers failed to convert their chances as they dropped their fourth straight, falling to the lowly Vancouver Canucks, 6-2, before a Wave-happy crowd at Rogers Arena.

Elias Pettersson had five points, including a pair of empty-net goals, for the Canucks (22-30-4).

Vancouver, coached by former Flyer Rick Tocchet, had allowed five or more goals in its previous four games — and in 26 of 55 games.

“I thought there was no quit; the score wasn’t a reflection of the game,” said right winger Travis Konecny, whose team outshot the Canucks, 37-23. “They just had a few more bounces that ended up in the net.”

The Philadelphia Flyers (22-25-10) are 0-2 on the road trip, which resumes Monday in Calgary at 4 p.m.

Here are five quick takeaways:

1. Anthony Beauvillier now plays for a different team, but he’s still a Flyers killer.

Acquired from the Islanders as part of the recent Bo Horvat trade, Beauvillier scored a pair of goals, both on deft deflections. Carter Hart had no chance on either goal.

His second deflection came just four seconds after Travis Konecny went to the penalty box for tripping. It gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead with 6:25 to go in the second.

Beauvillier, who hit the post earlier in the second period, was a Flyers-killer when he played for the Islanders. He now has 12 goals in 26 career games against Philly.

2. Morgan Frost ends 10-game drought.

Relentless digging by Frost in front of the net enabled the Flyers to get to within 3-2 with 2:32 remaining in the second. Frost (11th goal) dug out the puck and scored on a rebound while the Flyers were in the early stages of a power play.

They had been just 1 or 16 on the power play in their previous eight games.

The Canucks increased the lead to 4-2 midway through the third period as Phillip Di Giuseppe scored on a rebound. They made it 6-2 with two empty-net goals.

3. Justin Braun, of all people, helped get the Flyers’ offense going.

The Flyers dressed seven defensmen and 11 forwards. Justin Braun was the seventh defenseman, and he was the most unlikely player in the lineup to set up a goal.

He entered the night with zero points in 35 games.

But it was Braun who helped knot the game at 1-1 with 4:04 left in the first. He gathered his own rebound and his right-circle shot deflected off Scott Laughton and past Vancouver goalie Arturs Silovs. The 21-year-old rookie was distracted by three players in front, including Laughton.

“Just keep shooting and you get lucky sometimes,” said Braun, who was originally credited with the goal.

Braun played in just his fourth game since Jan. 1.

4. The Flyers again got off to a slow start.

Like they did Thursday in Seattle, the Flyers were sloppy at the beginning of the opening period. The Canucks had eight of the game’s first 11 shots. They took a 1-0 lead as Beauvillier deflected Luke Schenn’s long shot past Hart, who was very good in the first period.

Schenn, a former Flyer, had the primary assist on Vancouver’s first two goals. He is expected to be traded before the March 3 deadline.

5. John Tortorella shook up the lineup, but it didn’t help.

Unhappy with Thursday’s shoddy performance in Seattle, Tortorella juggled his lines and two of his pairings.

When the game started, he had Nick Desaluriers, a usual fourth-liner, on a line with Noah Cates and Konecny. Frost centered slumping Joel Farabee and Patrick Brown on another line, and Laughton centered Kevin Hayes and Owen Tippett. The other line had a revolving center with wingers James van Riemsdyk and Wade Allison.

Konecny was all over the ice; he had 13 shot attempts, and seven shots on goal. Coming off a two-goal performance in Seattle, Konecny fired a shot off the crossbar in the first period. He had a shorthanded breakaway but was denied with 1:55 left in the second.

Defensively, Tortorella moved Travis Sanheim (minus-1, two giveaways) to the top pairing alongside Ivan Provorov (minus-2, three giveaways). That pairing struggled.

Provorov had been together with Cam York in the previous 18 games.

On Saturday, York was with Rasmus Ristolainen on the second pair. The third pair — Nick Seeler and Tony DeAngelo — remained intact.


Silovs made 35 saves and collected his first NHL win in two tries. … Schenn finished with three assists and was plus-5. … Philly has dropped consecutive 6-2 decisions. … Laughton (11 shot attempts) equaled a career high in goals (13) and points (32). … Kevin Hayes and Owen Tippett were each minus-4. … Brown led the Flyers with seven hits.

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