Flyers vs Sabres: Embarrassing matchup marks 11th straight loss, growing question mark
If a second 10-game losing streak wasn’t bad enough, the Flyers’ modesty grew in embarrassment Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers put on an inexcusable type of performance with a stunning 6-3 loss to the Sabers at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
The loss is the Flyers’ 11th consecutive loss (0-8-3). The club went 0-8-2 from November 18 to December 8.
The longest winless streak in franchise history is 12 games. That happened in 1998-99, when the Flyers recorded eight straight losses and four draws.
The 2021-22 Flyers (13-20-8) looked sluggish, flat and lethargic on Saturday. It’s hard to decipher why that was for a team that had just created the wrong kind of franchise history with 10 straight losses for the second time in a season.
The Flyers were outscored 43-22 in that 11-game spiral. They are 5-10-4 under interim head coach Mike Yeo, who took over on Dec. 6 for the fired Alain Vigneault (8-10-4).
The six goals were a season high for Buffalo. The Sabers (13-21-7) had gone 34 straight games without scoring five or more goals in a game. They had five against the Flyers in the first 23 minutes of Saturday’s game, the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The clubs play twice more on April 16 and 17.
• The Flyers have the fourth-worst goal differential in the NHL at minus-39. Only the Coyotes, Canadiens and the Kraken expansion have lower ratings.
Since starting 6-2-2 in their first 10 games, the Flyers went 7-18-6 with a minus 43 goal differential over the next 31 games.
They are currently without Joel Farabee (upper body), Kevin Hayes (abdominal), Sean Couturier (upper body), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Derick Brassard (hip), Nate Thompson (shoulder) and Patrick Brown (sprain). MCL).
The NHL trade deadline is March 21.
Looks like there will have to be a miracle for the Flyers not to sell some plays and look strongly to the future when trade time rolls around.
The story of Claude Giroux’s future in Philadelphia was inevitable if this season didn’t go well. He entered the season in a contract year, so the losing streaks have now amplified Giroux’s trade chatter.
The 34-year-old captain is an All-Star for the seventh time in his career, leads the Flyers in points with 33 and is second in goals with 14. He has a no-move clause in his contract. Time will tell how both sides feel about the bigger picture as the deadline approaches.
More: What makes Giroux different in the eyes of his peers
• Yeo took a bet in the first period by contesting Buffalo’s second goal, claiming the play was offside.
It was a bet because the match ended at 2-2. The Flyers could have taken a chance with the even score and even-strength return action. But a failed challenge results in a penalty, and you run the risk of having to kill that penalty to avoid a deficit.
After a lengthy review, the power play goal stood and the Sabers scored on their ensuing power play. Buffalo then scored another goal before the first intermission.
The Flyers allowed those three goals in less than three minutes as their 2-1 lead turned into a 4-2 deficit.
Yeo has scored 3 out of 5 in training challenges since taking office. This one was close. But it was also risky.
• Martin Jones was ripped off after Buffalo’s fourth goal in the first period. He finished with four saves on eight shots.
Carter Hart stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced in relief.
Sabers goaltender Michael Houser denied 30 of the Flyers’ 33 shots.
• Giroux scored two of the Flyers’ three goals. Rasmus Ristolainen, on his return to Buffalo, scored the other.
Jeff Skinner (two goals, one assist), Tage Thompson (two goals, one assist), Peyton Krebs (two goals), Rasmus Dahlin (two assists) and Alex Tuch (two assists) all had multi-point games for Buffalo .
• Following Farabee’s injury, Wade Allison was called up and made his season debut.
The 24-year-old winger did not play in the third period due to a lower body injury.
• The Flyers have a back-to-back game when they host the Stars on Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and visit the Islanders on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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