The Philadelphia Flyers losing streak has reached five games after a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. The team got off to fast start, but a bad 19 second span in the first period and miserable second period doomed them.
The Flyers got on the board first just eight minutes into the game in a rare goal that was not produced by the top line. Ivan Provorov’s shot from the left circle hit of the let of Canucks defenseman Alex Biega and got in behind Jacob Markstrom. Travis Konecny and Valtteri Filppula assisted on Provorov’s fourth goal of the season.
The lead was not meant to last long as Daniel Sedin tied the game just 1:42 later. Sedin got by Shayne Gostiisbehere and beat Neuvirth to the right pad side. The puck hit of the post and was then pushed over the line by Neuvirth’s leg. The officials originally waved the goal off, but after a quick review they put it back on the board.
The Canucks grabbed a 2-1 lead just 19 seconds later. Jordan Weal tried to get cute with an entry pass, but it was picked off while the defensemen were changing which gave Brock Boeser a clear lane where he beat Neuvirth from right. It was a goal that Neuvirth should have stopped as there was no screen in front of him and the puck never changed direction.
At the end of the first period, the Flyers led 27-13 in shot attempts and won 68% of the faceoffs and yet trailed 2-1.
Boeser struck again with a power play goal at 1:56 of the second period to give Vancouver a 3-1 lead. Three of the four Flyers on the ice drifted towards Daniel Sedin at the left circle and he found Boeser wide open in the slot where he flicked the puck past Neuvirth for his team-high ninth goal of the year.
The Canucks extended their lead to 4-1 with another power play goal at the 14:40 mark of the middle frame. Neuvirth could not control a rebound from a Tomas Vanek shot and Loui Eriksson grabbed the loose puck and fed it to a wide open Sven Baertschi at the side of the net for an easy tap in goal.
Dave Hakstol decided to make a goaltender swap after the fourth Canucks goal and sent Brian Elliott onto the ice.
Travis Sanheim pumped some life into the building by starting the play that led to the Flyers second goal midway through the third period. Sanheim led the rush into the zone, dropped the puck to Claude Giroux in the left circle then headed straight to the front of the net to provide a screen which aided Jakub Voracek’s one-timer in finding its way into the Canucks net.
The Flyers had plenty of life after Voracek’s tally, but they were unable to get another puck past Markstrom. Eriksson iced the game with an empty goal with 20 seconds remaining.
There are still 61 games remaining on the schedule, but the Flyers need to turn things around fast if they want to seriously contend for a playoff spot. Their play over the past two weeks has been very concerning and unless a change is made soon, this will likely be another spring without playoff hockey in Philadelphia.
Will Ron Hextall make a call up or two from Lehigh Valley or try to really shake things up with a trade? We shall see.