Flyers succeed in helping teams end long streaks without a win
“If your team is down,
And it’s losing games,
Who are you going to call?
Well, the Streakbusters aka the Flyers started again Tuesday night.
The oppressed New Jersey demons had been in 10 games without a win (0-9-1), but the Philadelphia team came to the rescue and made it happen in an almost comedic movie (has anyone says “Ghostbusters?”).
Just a month after helping the Buffalo Sabers end an 18-game (0-15-3) winless streak that threatened league records for futility.
After falling behind the Devils 3-0, the Flyers rallied to score one goal in the second period and two more early in the third for a 3-3 draw at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
But then, after giving up one goal and scoring another, the Flyers surrendered a fifth goal on their way to a 6-4 loss.
Another slow start contributed to the debacle. The Flyers have now allowed their opponents to score eight straight firsts and 17 of the last 19 outings.
Coach Alain Vigneault is running out of answers.
While he continues to maintain that his players don’t quit, he doesn’t talk much about the level of hockey intelligence we see there. This game saw the Flyers make one mistake after another, again leaving goalie Brian Elliott dry.
How bad was that?
The Devils entered Game 1 for their last 25 power play chances. So what are they doing? Score on their first two opportunities.
On Sunday night, the Flyers needed a pair of miracle goals from Claude Giroux in the final two minutes to send the game to a shootout and an eventual 4-3 win over the Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.
But there wouldn’t have been such a drama on Tuesday night as the Hungry Devils refused to lose.
It was only the Devils’ fifth home win (5-17-3, near an NHL record for worst home record) for the season.
The Flyers’ weak start was typical of their inability to capitalize on a four-minute power play in the first period. They pulled it off with just one hit and it seemed to give the Devils a little more life.
“In the first half, I thought energetically, I thought we had started well,” Vigneault said in a Zoom media call after the game. “Then they took the four-minute penalty and we totally lost our momentum. Our numerical advantage was not at all effective. Other than hitting a message, we had absolutely nothing. ”
Bad starts are one of the reasons the Flyers didn’t win back-to-back games in April.
One of the worrying aspects of that effort was the way the Flyers went limp after Sean Couturier scored on goalie Mackenzie Blackwood at 12:25 p.m. of the third period to tie at 4-4, only for Yegor Sharangovich from New Jersey connects in just 11 seconds. later for which was the winner of the match.
Eleven seconds. Like a scene from a pee game.
“The fifth goal was bad communication between the ‘D’ and the goalie,” said Vigneault. “Too bad to give up on this as we fought.”
With a pair of games against the Penguins and Capitals next week, the Flyers will likely have to do something in their next two games against the Devils to avoid ending the season under .500.
Zamula stable in its early days
Russian defenseman Yegor Zamula made his NHL debut and held on. The 21-year-old was a plus-1 with 27 shifts (19:19 ice time) and three shots.
“Anyone can see the potential and the benefits,” said Vigneault. “He has to work and we have to work with him to help him become the best possible player.”
Zamula said: “It’s a little different level than AHL. I tried to work hard every shift, to play faster, but this is the first game. I will work hard in training to prepare for the next game. ”
Elliott a little overworked?
Carter Hart still nursing a sprained knee, Brian Elliott, 36, has had more action than he possibly can handle. Alex Lyon has started a game for the past two weeks, but Elliott has done most of the heavy lifting, and it might start to show.
“At the end of the day, we try to win every game,” said Vigneault. “When he was fresh he was exceptional. His record is really good. This is his third game in seven nights. It makes things a little more difficult.
Fun to watch newbies make their debut
Couturier, a grizzled 28-year-old veteran, confirms he’s having fun with rookies like Zamula, Wade Allison and Jackson Cates getting their feet wet in the NHL.
“For these guys, it’s a dream come true,” Couturier said. “They have worked hard all their lives to be here. They finally have this opportunity. They are doing well, playing a good, difficult game. They don’t look out of place. It’s fun to see. Overall I think they do a great job. ”
The Flyers also had goals from Oskar Lindblom and Phil Myers, his first of the season… The setback ended a four-game winning streak for the Flyers at the Prudential Center. They were trying to win their fifth straight road game against New Jersey for the very first time … Zamula’s 19:19 is the most a Flyer has played in his NHL debut since Robert Hagg played 21: 19 to debut on April 9. 2017.
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