It’s the cruelest running joke. The 2021-2022 Philadelphia Flyers are the undisputed worst in franchise history.
On the night when Keith Yandle became the NHL’s ironman, the Flyers couldn’t finish the job. They took a two-goal lead but then coughed it up. Thirteen straight sets a new low for franchise standards as the longest losing streak in team history.
“To see the amount of support I had, and people taking their time out of their lives to support me, it meant the world to me.”Keith Yandle; 1/25/2022
Next up, at this pace, is the 2020-2021 Buffalo Sabres NHL record eighteen straight losses.
Ilya Sorokin and Martin Jones contested closely. Philadelphia kept up with the New York Islanders. The Flyers are on the wrong side of too many one-goal decisions. Here’s how tonight unraveled on Long Island:
Almost immediately, Claude Giroux slipped the puck past Sorokin on the sharpest of angles. The shot surprised Sorokin and the Islanders fans, giving Philadelphia an early lead with 19:03 remaining.
The Islanders generated a few scoring chances throughout the middle of the first period, but Jones remained steady.
Justin Braun didn’t hesitate to rip a shot from the blue line. Cam Atkinson threw a pass of the boards from behind Sorokin to the top of the point. Braun released a shot on goal, ultimately deflected by James van Riemsdyk with 7:12 remaining.
Soon after, the Islanders began whipping the puck around the perimeter in the offensive zone. Noah Dobson, highlighted in the preview of tonight’s game, scored from the blue line. Oliver Wahlstrom screened Jones, tying up with Yandle at the crease. With 6:23 remaining, the score was 2-1.
In the defensive zone, the Islanders won board battles. A particular one started Mathew Barzal in transition. He had a step on Zack MacEwen, who tried to outmuscle. With a two-on-one advantage, Barzal slipped the puck across to Anders Lee. Jones couldn’t make the diving save with 1:45 remaining, tying the game 2-2.
“Too many times, we duplicate. We have one player that’s carrying the puck, and two people going to him. We have to sort that out better.”Mike Yeo; 1/25/2022
Early in the second, Zdeno Chara hit the post. He still has a cannon of a shot.
On the powerplay, Barzal had his fingerprints on another scoring play. Zach Parise was active, taking a shot on the powerplay before notching the assist. Instead of stuffing the puck past Jones, he swung a pass to Barzal, who buried the powerplay goal. The Islanders took the lead, 3-2, with 14:18 left in the second.
Throughout the rest of the period, Jones kept the Flyers in the game. He deserves credit for shutting down other powerplay chances in the period. Notably, he made a save on Wahlstrom late in the period, kicking away a wrist shot.
Scott Laughton launched into this period with a purpose. Gerry Mayhew, another highlighted player in the preview for tonight’s game, scored on a second effort. His impactful play as of late rewarded him with a goal. Mayhew is a player who provides a jolt because of his relentless hustle. His goal happened in a four-on-four scenario with 18:30 remaining in the third.
“[In] the last two in particular, he looks very determined to be a guy that could be here when players come back. That’s what we’re asking for from all of our young players. Show you’re somebody that we would want on this team.”Mike Yeo; 1/25/2022
Travis Sanheim ripped a shot that seemed to fluster Sorokin. Sorokin wasn’t as dominant as he usually is versus Philadelphia. He did make a critical save on Laughton. Immediately, the Flyers paid for not converting these scoring opportunities.
Brock Nelson entered the zone with the puck immediately after Sorokin turned away Laughton. He dropped the puck off to Anthony Beauvillier, who set a one-timer up for Parise. Parise buried the game-winner with 8:09 remaining.
Parise had another big cannon shot from the slot before the regulation time expired. Philadelphia loses thirteen straight; this one, 4-3.
Next for the Philadelphia Flyers are the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, January 29th, 2022, at the Wells Fargo Center. Faceoff takes place at 1pm.
(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)