Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more nerve-wracking, the Philadelphia Flyers were thumped on home ice by the Dallas Stars, 5-1.
A familiar first
Dallas wasted no time in the opening frame. Tyler Seguin notched an early assist on the first NHL goal for Matej Blumel. Blumel found open space in close with Felix Sandstrom out of position, far from the post. Just before the scoring play, the Flyers missed on a puck skimming through the neutral zone. Defensively, Philadelphia had an early breakdown.
A few minutes later, Seguin seemed to tack on a goal. Seguin was offside, bringing a bit of fortune to the Flyers.
Travis Konecny served in the penalty box, giving Dallas their first powerplay of the game. A hooking penalty was killed by the Flyers, the only successful kill by Philadelphia. Sandstrom made two big saves, flashing a pad twice in rapid succession.
Overall, Dallas had the better start. Esa Lindell had an assist on the opening goal, then potted one from downtown. Sandstrom couldn’t do too much on the play; the puck squeezed between Sandstrom and the post after deflecting off of Justin Braun. The Stars grew their lead to 2-0.
Deja-vu in Philadelphia
After the opening period, in a week like this, John Tortorella might’ve had a few select words for his locker room.
Whatever Tortorella said registered with his roster. In 74 seconds, Owen Tippett and Kevin Hayes combined their efforts to create space for Konecny. A tic-tac-Konecny if you will. The top line continues to buzz.
Kieffer Bellows took a slashing penalty, and the Flyers attempted to draw another from Dallas in a scrum after the whistle. The Stars went on their second powerplay. Miro Heiskanen set up Joe Pavelski, who returned to the game after blocking a shot earlier, for a 3-1 lead. Dallas completely outskated, and out-manned, the Flyers in critical moments of the second stanza.
Away from special teams, the Flyers did provide more support to Sandstrom in the second period. Philadelphia allowed nine shots on goal, falling behind while shorthanded.
The final straw
The third period was reminiscent of the 2021-2022 Flyers. In less than a minute, Ryan Suter gifted Philadelphia with another powerplay. Did they cash in? No, they did not.
Luke Glendening added a shorthanded goal, breaking free from Tony DeAngelo off another faceoff win, to extend the lead 4-1.
Seguin committed a penalty, going to the box. The Flyers had another powerplay but did not convert again. They were 0/6 on the PP and 1/3 on the PK. A lack of possession hurt Philadelphia. To put a cap on the loss, Jason Robertson scored the second powerplay goal for the Stars, making the final score 5-1.
After the game, Tortorella said that despite the special teams and the score, the Flyers can improve:
“I do think its fixable. I think we have some good players there on the powerplay. It’s been a very important part of us at the beginning of this year, in some of our wins to score a goal in a game to keep us in it. You got to remember, we were winning games and we were giving up 26, 27 scoring chances. We gave up thirteen in Columbus. We gave up nine the other night. It was 15-15 going into the third period here. I think we’re beginning to improve as far as with puck possession and making plays. The powerplay is something I believe we can get going.”John Tortorella, 11/13/2022
Gina’s Gem of the Game
The Diamond of the Tilt from this game is Owen Tippett. He was the main acquisition for the Flyers in a trade that sent Claude Giroux out of Philadelphia. Under the tutelage of Tortorella, he’s only improved. On the top line with Konecny and Hayes, they’re developing chemistry, accounting for the only goal scored for his team. Tippett continues to be a driving force Tortorella is crafting his lineup around, whether on the powerplay or even-strength scenarios.
Next up, the Philadelphia Flyers begin a three-game road trip, starting in Columbus against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, November 15th at 7:30pm.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)