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Flyers Lose Fourth Straight Contest, Fall to Blackhawks 5-1

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers dropped their fourth straight contest and 2nd against the lower-rung of the NHL’s standings with a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks,

It was a disastrous start to the game after Lukas Reichel got the game’s opening goal just 2:01 into the first period. The Hawks then doubled their lead with 3 minutes remaining in the period after Philipp Kurashev wired a shot glove-high past Samuel Ersson.

Tyson Foerster cut the deficit just 17 seconds into the second period but after Travis Konecny hit the bar on the very next shift and two listless power plays, Nick Foligno got the Blackhawks back on the board with a power play tally of his own with less than three minutes remaining.

Joey Anderson made it 4-1 midway through the third period before he set up MacKenzie Entwistle for a tally to make it 5-1. Samuel Ersson allowed 5 goals on 24 shots, while Arvid Söderblom earned his fifth win of the season after stopping 30 of 31 shots.

After taking down the Boston Bruins in an afternoon matinee 7 days ago, the Flyers have since dropped 3 straight games with their most recent 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Montréal Canadiens being the worst of the bunch. On Saturday they faced the second-to-the-bottom Blackhawks in an attempt to right the ship, snap their losing streak, and keep the surging Washington Capitals at bay.

John Tortorella made a few lineup changes as Denis Gurianov returned to the lineup in lieu of Olle Lycksell, Noah Cates returned for Cam Atkinson, and Nick Seeler was activated off the injured reserve and replaced Ronnie Attard. Samuel Ersson earned another start, looking for his 22nd win of the season, and backing him up is Ivan Fedotov who arrived Philadelphia shortly after having his contract terminated by CSKA Moscow.

As for the Blackhawks, they entered Saturday’s tilt with a 21-47-5 record which was good for 8th in the Central Division, 15th in the Western Conference, and 31st in the NHL. Despite the losing record they’re actually 6-5-0 in their 11 games and had their 2-game winning streak snapped on the 28th against the Ottawa Senators.

Chicago was paced by rookie phenom Connor Bedard and his 21 goals, 35 assists, and 56 points in just 59 games. After him, it was Philipp Kurashev with 47 points, Nick Foligno with 35 points, Jason Dickinson with 33 points, and Seth Jones rounding out the top with 29 points. Arvid Söderblom earned his second start against the Flyers this season and he looked to improve on his 4-20-1 record, 4.02 GAA, and .875 SV%.

FIRST PERIOD

Just 2:01 into the game, Lukas Reichel got the Chicago Blackhawks on the board after finishing off his initial wrap-around attempt on the rebound. After winning the draw, Jarred Tinordi fired the puck towards the net and Samuel Ersson kicked it to the side where Reichel picked it up before finishing off his own rebound.

Jaycob Megna earned the first penalty of the game after he hooked Noah Cates in the offensive zone at the 6:51 mark. The Flyers were only awarded one shot on goal which came at the very end from Egor Zamula but Bobby Brink had the best opportunity after he was set up on a streaking one-timer. Shortly after the penalty expired, Travis Konecny jumped on a breakaway but his shot went just high and wide.

The Blackhawks doubled their lead with 3 minutes left on the clock after Philipp Kurashev wired a shot top-shelf after being perfectly set up by Connor Bedard. Alex Vlasic joined the rush and as he passed it off to Bedard, Kurashev snuck behind and was left nearly unmarked in the slot.

Looking to spark his club, Scott Laughton dropped the gloves against Ryan Donato with 60 seconds left in the period. A few punches were thrown but it ended in a near stalemate with the referees jumping in.

Another disappointing period came to a close with Chicago up 2-0 on the scoreboard and 10-7 on the shot clock.

SECOND PERIOD

I’m sure John Tortorella had a lot to say to his club after a disastrous first period, because the Flyers came out for the second period and cut the deficit in half just 17 seconds in. Tyson Foerster wired a shot blocker-side past Arvid Söderblom for his 20th of the season to get the Flyers on the board.

10 seconds later, Konecny wired a shot off the bar – the third post of the game so far.

The Flyers were buzzing to start the period and with that they received their second power play of the night after Bedard was found guilty for a goaltender interference minor at the 5:04 mark – even though it was Brink who pushed Bedard into Ersson. The power play just kept getting worse, with no shots on goal until the very end by Zamula again and they failed to set up in the offensive zone.

At the 11:21 mark of the middle frame, the listless Flyers power play jumped onto the ice for the third time after Tinordi was called for a tripping minor against Sean Couturier in the defensive zone. No dice. No awareness, zero puck movement, no urgency, and very little idea or understanding of where one another are on the ice.

The Blackhawks hemmed the Flyers in their own zone for nearly two minutes and finally earned their first power play of the game after Laughton was caught for a tripping minor at the 16:39 mark. 49 seconds into the man advantage, Nick Foligno finished off the tic-tac-toe play in the slot to reclaim their two-goal lead.

The period came to an end with the Blackhawks leading 3-1 with the Flyers taking the lead in shots at 20-18.

THIRD PERIOD

Joey Anderson hammered the nail in the coffin with 10:51 remaining in regulation after he took advantage of a Zamula turnover in the neutral zone and walked in on Ersson before firing it glove-side. With the Flyers playing aggressively, Zamula was the last man standing in the neutral zone.

Laughton was then nailed with a high-sticking minor with 9:55 remaining. Travis Sanheim was robbed at the onset of the penalty kill before Ryan Donato was nailed for an interference minor with 52 seconds remaining on Laughton’s original penalty. 32 seconds later, Owen Tippett was sent to the box for an interference minor of his own, sending the Blackhawks back onto a 4-on-3 power play.

At the 14:33 mark of the third period, MacKenzie Entwistle made it 5-1 after finishing off a one-time opportunity for his 5th goal of the season. Down 3 goals, the Flyers were snoozing at the wheel but all credit to the Blackhawks for continuing to push and a great set up by Anderson to find Entwistle streaking in for the goal.

Garnet Hathaway received a 10-minute misconduct penalty with 3:25 remaining in the game. That was all she wrote for this one as the Flyers squandered another opportunity to add points in a very heated playoff race.

UP NEXT

The Flyers welcome the New York Islanders in a very important divisional matchup with tons of playoff implications on Monday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP).

Union Forge Vodka proudly serves as the Official Vodka of Flyers Nation. This partnership celebrates the unyielding spirit of Flyers fans and offers a quality spirit that perfectly compliments the team’s essence. Whether celebrating victories or showing resilience, Union Forge Vodka embodies the winning spirit of both the Flyers and their dedicated fans. Stay connected with exciting giveaways by following @unionforge and @flyersnation across all social media and platforms.

Flyers fan born in the heart of Leafs nation

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