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Flyers Takeaways: Trouble Brewing as Flyers Blown Out Again



Philadelphia Flyers news
The Philadelphia Flyers allowed two goals in eight seconds in the third period to blow their chance at saving the game. (Photo: AP)

During the most important time of the year, the Philadelphia Flyers have been out-scored 15-5 over their last three games.

The Flyers were blown out 7-0 by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa on Saturday, bounced back with a nail-biting 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at home on Tuesday, and got blown out again on Thursday night, this time falling 6-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Wells Fargo Center.

Oh, and the Flyers started the month of March with a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. As it stands, they are just a very volatile team as of late. Why is that?

Saving Sam

The Flyers said they weren’t going to run Sam Ersson into the ground, but they have. The 24-year-old has played five times in the last 10 days, going 2-2-1 and allowing 11 goals across that span.

Ersson was pulled for the start of the second period against the Maple Leafs after allowing three goals on 12 shots in the first period. Tyler Bertuzzi’s redirection goal was a bit fortunate, as was Pontus Holmberg’s shot that came off a bouncing puck from a lost faceoff. Timothy Liljegren beat Ersson with a knuckler on the rush with 4:21 left in the first, and those would be Ersson’s last four minutes of the night.

Ersson’s last five games, by save percentage, in chronological order: .750, .931, .733, .967, .960. He hasn’t fallen off, and in fact, he’s been excellent most of the time. The product in front of Ersson matters, and the Flyers haven’t given him a very good one lately. Perhaps a bit more of a rotation with Felix Sandstrom (12 saves on 15 shots in relief) will be beneficial for both goalies.

Twenty-Four Tippett

Owen Tippett scored his 24th goal of the season just 1:42 into the second period, giving the Flyers a power play goal and some life, now down 3-1. This was one of those timely power play goals that I often talk about, except this goal was not reinforced by anything.

The Flyers could have scored many more goals than the two they managed, and the one they managed when the game was actually still within reach. Denis Gurianov set up Scott Laughton for a chance in the low slot, Joel Farabee chipped a loose puck over an empty net, and Ronnie Attard hit Ilya Samsonov in the chest on a chance from the right circle. Those chances need to end in goals, simply put.

On the other end of the ice, the Maple Leafs finished their chances. Yes, Auston Matthews and Willian Nylander scored eight seconds apart after two Flyers defensive breakdowns, but that wasn’t those two players using their game-breaking skills to manufacture goals. That was just hockey. The Flyers lost because they played badly, not because they had less talent.

A Flyers first for Foerster

Matthews, Nylander, and Matt Knies put the Maple Leafs up 4-1, 5-1, and 6-1, respectively, in the third period, but the Flyers were able to come away with a very small moral victory.

Rookie winger Tyson Foerster scored his 17th of the year, tying him with Marco Rossi for second-most amongst NHL rookies behind Connor Bedard’s 20. But, that’s not what was special about it. Foerster’s goal was also short-handed, giving him his first career short-handed goal and first career short-handed point.

Sean Couturier freed a loose puck along the wall, moved it up to Travis Sanheim, and Sanheim teed up Foerster for a one-timer that beat Samsonov over his right shoulder. It was a nice reward for Foerster, who has often been lauded as one of the team’s very best defensively, especially with his stick and along the boards.

A few weeks back, Couturier, Noah Cates, and Garnet Hathaway all agreed – in different ways – (exclusive to PhHN+ subscribers) that penalty killing could be in Foerster’s future in the NHL. Thursday night was a step in the right direction.

Moral victories aside, the Flyers need to kick it into a higher gear now. They cannot afford to keep getting blown out by teams during this playoff chase.

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