Flyers Lose Ten Straight, Fall 2-1 to CBJ

Flyers' Carter Hart
Flyers’ Carter Hart (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

A few hours before faceoff, Jakub Voracek caught up with former teammates.

“They didn’t kick me out, so that’s good.”

Jakub Voracek; 1/20/2022

Those were the last of pleasantries exchanged between the two clubs. The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming off a 9-2 loss, ready to prove that was a fluke. Mike Yeo and the Philadelphia Flyers have something to prove, too. They’re trying to avoid another ten-game losing streak while miraculously staying barely in the wildcard race.

The last time the Flyers were home, they dropped their second straight in back-to-back days to the New York Islanders. In the nine-round shootout loss, Philadelphia improved on a few critical elements. It’s time that they finish a game before the losing streak reaches double digits.

Were the Flyers able to get into the win column? Here’s how it all unfolded from the Wells Fargo Center:

First Period

Less than a minute into the period, Philadelphia had their first of two powerplay opportunities. They weren’t able to convert on either chance. Keith Yandle may have had the best shot on the powerplay, but he missed wide from above the faceoff circle. The inability to convert on special teams is a critical issue.

“I think our personnel’s there. We just have to want the puck.”

Cam Atkinson; 1/20/2022

Voracek received his flowers from the fans attending. Many anticipated he would still be in COVID protocol, which may explain how sparse the crowd was.

Travis Konecny, Cam York, and Max Willman drove entries into the offensive zone. Their contributions were noticeable, moving the puck smoothly. Give credit to Columbus for getting in shooting lanes. Zack MacEwen was as stubborn on defense, continuing to prove that he fits the description of what Flyers hockey should be.

“York, I think, has really grown his game here the last couple weeks since he’s been up. You can see the confidence in his game is growing and he’s making a lot of plays with the puck. You see how skilled he is as a defenseman; I think he’s done a great job for us back there and on the powerplay as well.”

Carter Hart; 1/20/2022

Finishing the first period, the Blue Jackets were analytically superior to Philadelphia. The scoreboard didn’t reflect that. Both teams were lax in the first. Whoever came out hot in the second would have momentum in hand. The eye test didn’t show a dominant team on the ice.

Second Period

Yeo continued his decent track record in terms of coach challenges. An early goal was not after goaltender interference.

Opposite to the powerplay, the Flyers penalty kill performed better than recently. Hart did a great job not allowing rebound chances on the penalty kill, serving up a 2/2 success rate in the second period. Moments after Philadelphia killed the second penalty, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the go-ahead goal.

Ivan Provorov turned the puck over in the defensive zone. Sean Kuraly contained the puck, then Boone Jenner served a close dish at the crease. Bjorkstrand had Hart, point-blank. Giveaways were massively in favor of Columbus, 9-1.

Despite a 1-0 deficit, Scott Laughton went to bat for his team, taking down Gavin Bayreuther in a fight, earning a powerplay in the process.

Third Period

Similar to the first, the Flyers couldn’t convert on the man-advantage. Philadelphia began the third on the powerplay and finished without one conversion.

“The powerplay’s been a big story for a long time here. As far as I’m concerned, whether your powerplay scores a goal or not, you can still win the game.”

Mike Yeo; 1/20/2022

Already down by a goal, the Flyers kept swinging and missing when they had chances to get back into the game. Then, Patrik Laine sniped the high, blocker side of Hart. That’s a 2-0 lead for the Blue Jackets with 13:54 remaining in regulation. Elvis Merzlikins has a shutout intact.

Any hope of snapping a losing streak before it hits ten straight became bleak.

Gerry Mayhew, who has been relentless, threw a puck on the goal. It saw its way through traffic past Merzlikins. Recalled players continue to impress when given the opportunity. He spoils a shutout while being rewarded for his effort. Tonight provided evidence to why Yeo likes Mayhew in the lineup.

“I’m just trying to earn my spot, do the little things right, and just try to keep the puck out of our net.”

Gerry Mayhew; 1/20/2022

Yeo pulled Hart with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Like the rest of the man-advantages, the six-on-five didn’t work. Columbus earns the regulation victory, 2-1, extending the Flyers losing streak to ten games.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers take the show on the road Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. The puck drops at 1pm.

(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)