Flyers dusted by the Stars on the road, 4-1

Flyers' Kevin Hayes
Philadelphia Flyers’ Kevin Hayes (13), Owen Tippett (74) and Noah Cates (49) celebrate after Hayes scored in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

It wasn’t long ago when the Philadelphia Flyers were on their best stretch of the 2022-2023 regular season. A seven-game points streak is long in the rear-view following another brutal defeat to the Dallas Stars, 4-1. The Stars swept the Flyers in the season series, outscoring them 9-2.

The coaching staff wants the players to finish the season strong by playing the right way, pulling something of worth from the end of the season into the offseason.

“That’s the absolute must as we play through the week. I just want us to keep playing hard, and our guys did. We tetered in the last game in St. Louis on embarassing ourselves those first two periods. They grabbed a hold of themselves in-between the second and third.”

John Tortorella; 4/6/2023

On the road trip, Philadelphia is winless. Here’s how it all went down at the American Airlines Center:

Philadelphia Flyers at Dallas Stars

At the start of the first period, the Philadelphia Flyers jumped on the powerplay. Miro Heiskanen served in the penalty box first, then Ryan Suter did after him. Jake Oettinger denied chances by James van Riemsdyk, Travis Konecny, and Owen Tippett while on the penalty kill, holding the Flyers off the scoreboard. Philadelphia never received another powerplay opportunity, finishing 0/2.

Both teams competed closely. Carter Hart took on some pressure but held his ground. Rasmus Ristolainen and Travis Sanheim used their bodies to push the puck out of the defensive zone, alleviating some stress off Hart. Then, Ristolainen served a minor penalty for tripping.

Jason Robertson, on the powerplay, scored with :01 remaining in the first period. He beat Hart and the clock. His original shot, blocked by Nick Seeler, offered a chance to refocus his aim on goal by regrouping the puck before Hart could reset. At the end of the first, the Dallas Stars led 1-0.

Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson (21) celebrates after scoring a goal during a power play as Philadelphia Flyers’ Nick Seeler (24) skates away in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Everything fell apart in the second period for the Flyers. A bench penalty by Philadelphia put them shorthanded one more time against the seventh-ranked powerplay in the NHL. Hart made the initial save, but the puck bounced back to Heiskanen following a rebound. Joe Pavelski deflected the shot attempt by Heiskanen to extend the lead, 2-0, and finish the game 2/2 on the powerplay.

Adding salt to the wound, Colin Miller sniped Hart from the point; 3-0. Then, Robertson secured his second goal of the tilt. Ivan Provorov mishandled the puck from Hart and turned it over at center ice to Robertson, who pumped the Flyers for a 4-0 lead.

Kevin Hayes did ruin the shutout bid for Oettinger. Tippett won the race to the puck at the endboards, dished a pass to Hayes for a one-timer past Oettinger, 4-1. Noah Cates was close to adding another goal before the second finished, but time ran out on a nightmare period by Philadelphia.

At the top of the third period, Provorov moved down the lineup to pair with Ristolainen. Sanheim jumped up to pair with Cam York. Without much to play for, van Riemsdyk stood up for Scott Laughton after he took a hit from Luke Glendening. It wasn’t much of a fight, where both players received roughing penalties. Overall, a sloppy game by the Flyers, and Provorov stood out from the pack in a 4-1 defeat.

Self-Destruction (-)

It didn’t seem like a game where the Philadelphia Flyers competed mightily for most of the game, but they did. Robertson pulled a rabbit out of the hat with :01 remaining in the first period. Then, the third period was a stalemate.

But the second period…woof.

“Too many men on the ice; right away in our net. Another one of their goals, Provy wants Hartsy to leave it. He doesn’t hear it, he moves it, turnover; in our net. That little surge there, where we fueled it; that little bit of self-destruction. That’s the game. We kept playing; that is the number one priority no matter what the score is. I want our team to keep playing, and they did.”

John Tortorella; 4/6/2023

Those mentioned goals by Tortorella began with avoidable mistakes committed by the Flyers. It isn’t to say that Philadelphia would’ve won by any stretch, but it would’ve changed the complexion.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)