Flyers put up historically embarrassing performance in 9-0 loss to Rangers

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Well, that wasn’t what anyone expected. The Philadelphia Flyers returned to action on Wednesday night in a clash with the New York Rangers in what would be their fourth meeting of the season. Unfortunately, it’s one that fans will want to forget in a hurry.

The Flyers were shutout by the Rangers in embarrassing fashion, ending their five-game winning streak by losing 9-0 with all nine goals coming in the first two periods. Here’s everything you need to know.

Rock the boat

Before the game, Alain Vigneault made some changes to the starting lineup. Brian Elliott got the starting nod in net, while Bobby Hagg and Erik Gustafsson rotated in for Shayne Gostisbehere and Nate Prosser. Oskar Lindblom and Nic Aube-Kubel also spent tonight watching from the sidelines while Connor Bunnaman and Andy Andreoff received starting minutes.

These changes ultimately played a factor in the downfall of the team. The Flyers went 2-0 down after the opening frame following a sloppy showing all around. It took a further four goals for Brian Elliott to be pulled – all of which were conceded in the next period. Artemi Panarin hadn’t finished putting up his property to live rent-free in the heads of Flyers fans, adding the second goal of the night after a pair of power-plays left Brendan Lemieux with an all-too-easy goal to open up the scoring.

While it’s hard to fault AV for experimenting with lineup changes, the same problems persisted. The Flyers looked totally undisciplined which has been a theme recently. Turnovers were atrociously sloppy, penalties were being given away for fun, and the Rangers punished a defense that was previously allowing over 3 goals per game, ranking 25th in the NHL.

Flyers put up a record-breaking performance…

The Rangers then scored seven times in the second period. Seven. A Mika Zibanejad hat trick headlined the day while his three assists helped guarantee a win. Pavel Buchnevich added a pair of goals and assists. It wasn’t a good day at the office for Brian Elliott, who saved just 7/13 shots. AV eventually pulled the trigger and put Hart into the game, leading to him stopping 12 of 16 in a similarly poor night.

The period was that devastating that it actually set a franchise record for the most goals allowed in a single period (7). The previous record was 6, last accomplished back in 2006. This was also the team’s most decisive shutout loss on the road, with a 1994 8-0 loss to Dallas being displaced.

There was nothing pretty about this loss. No hope, no resilience, no heart. One trade isn’t going to stop this Flyers team from self-destructing. That job falls on the shoulders of Alain Vigneault who has proven he can get the team firing on all cylinders when all is well, but what about when the sky is falling? His biggest lineup change of the year backfired massively. There’s only one way to find out if this was just a one-time hing…

The Flyers get their shot to take unleash anger in a game against the Islanders on Thursday. The Isles have dropped a pair of games in Philadelphia this season and may well sniff blood in the water…but is the perceived fear bigger than this shark’s bite?

Photo credit: Alex McIntyre

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