The Philadelphia Flyers came into the game having lost three straight on the road. Their latest loss came at the hands of Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers back on Wednesday night in a game where they didn’t even play that bad. Last night, the Flyers got off to a fast start but couldn’t find a way to beat the Stars losing by a final score of 4-1. Without further or do, here are three takeaways from last night’s game.
A Lack of Momentum
The Flyers struck early in the first as Sean Couturier put the puck into a wide-open net to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Everything was going well for the orange and black. They had the advantage in shots and were doing a good job of not allowing the Stars to get any high-quality scoring chances. That changed pretty quickly as the Stars scored two goals courtesy of Roope Hintz and Esa Lindell in a span of a little less than seven minutes to take a 2-1 lead. The Stars ended the period with the lead and had all the momentum.
In the second period, momentum was up in the air. Shots and scoring chances were hard to come by for both teams. However, the Flyers held the Stars to only one shot on goal in the second while recording nine shots on goal themselves. If there was such thing as momentum in the second period, it belonged to the Flyers in that regard.
Heading into the third period, the Flyers were down only one, which was quite manageable. However, Corey Perry quickly made it 3-1 Dallas on a backhand shot that beat Carter Hart. The Stars would go on to win 4-1 after adding on an empty-net goal.
The fact of the matter is, the Flyers had trouble gaining momentum throughout the contest. One way they could’ve helped themselves out was by lighting the lamp more than once. Unfortunately, the Flyers were only able to solve Stars goaltender Ben Bishop once. Generating more high-quality scoring chances was something that also could’ve helped the Flyers out. Unfortunately, they had trouble doing that tonight also. Momentum proves to be big in a lot of situations and it’s something the Flyers lacked tonight.
Powerplay hits a bump in the road
Coming into last night’s game versus the Stars, the Flyers power play was six for 20 on the season. They ranked fifth in the NHL with a success rate of 30.0%. Unfortunately, the Flyers were unable to capitalize on the man advantage last night going 0/4.
Overall, there was nothing to write home about regarding the Flyers power play. Through their first two power plays, which came in the first period, the Orange and Black managed five shots on goal. However, none of those shots proved to be very dangerous. On the other two power plays, the Flyers managed just a single shot on goal further proving the point that it was a rough night five-on-four. They failed to move the puck around while also failing to create really any high-quality scoring chances.
“The power play had been real effective as far as getting results”, said Flyers Head Coach Alain Vigneault. “I think it got some looks tonight but it’s been able to, in the past games, I thought give us momentum at certain times. Tonight it wasn’t as effective as it has been in the past”.
Lots of shots but no finish
The Flyers came into last night’s game having outshot their opponents 178-140. Last night, the Flyers continued to pepper the opposing goaltender with shots outshooting the Stars 39-16. The shots are there. The finish, however, has not been. Is it a matter of creating more high-quality scoring chances? Is it a matter of having bad puck luck? To be honest, it’s likely a little bit of both. Flyers center Sean Couturier believes if the Flyers continue doing what they’re doing, they’ll eventually have success.
“I don’t know, just finishing off and executing”, said Couturier. “Just executing. We are getting shots, chances and we are not scoring, but I guess we have to stick to what we are doing. Bounces are going to come our way soon and we will have success”.
While the Flyers did register 39 shots on goal tonight, they failed to really create a lot of high-quality scoring chances as mentioned earlier. In other words, Ben Bishop had it pretty easy tonight. He stopped 38 of 39 shots fired his way. Someway, somehow, the Flyers are going to need to find a way to execute. It would better if it happened sooner rather than later too.
Next Up for the Flyers:
The Flyers return to action Monday night as they host the Vegas Golden Knights. Last year, the Golden Knights and the Flyers split the season series with both teams securing wins on the road. In the Flyers 5-2 win over the Knights to kick off the 2018-2019 season, former Flyer Wayne Simmonds potted two goals. Puck drop is set for 7 PM.
Mandatory Credit: Alex McIntyre