PHILADELPHIA – It’s getting to be a weekly habit.
Last week, the Flyers allowed the Bruins to score a tie-breaking goal with only 22 seconds to play and it cost them at least a point in the standings.
Monday night, it was the Big Giveaway, Act II.
For some reason, two Flyers were not involved in a scrum along the half-wall when the Vegas Golden Knights scored with 2:40 to play for a 3-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
Ryan Carpenter took advantage of the Flyers lax defensive play and so at least one potential point went down the drain for the Flyers, who are now 1-5-1 in their last seven games.
Flyers goaltender Petr Mrazek did not have one of his finer efforts, allowing one goal to bounce in off his stick on an intended pass and the game-winner when he clear look at the puck.
Clearly, this result more than a little frustrating, even when they found out later that Florida, which is ninth in the Eastern Conference, had lost at home to Ottawa.
The players took a good 10 minutes before coming out to meet the media, further evidence this outcome was particularly disappointing.
“It’s tough,’’ Shayne Gostisbehere said. “I thought we played a pretty good game. They get a couple bounces. It sucks right now.
“We’re pretty pissed. We’re letting these games get away from us right now. It’s March, we can’t be doing this. We need every point we can get.’’
Sean Couturier, who has now gone 12 games without a goal, pointed out that the Flyers’ penalty kill needs to be better. The first two Vegas goals were scored with the man advantage.
Couturier also acknowledged there’s a fine line between going after a winning goal late in a game and protecting a tie to play for overtime and at least one point.
“You want to establish possession with the puck,’’ he said. “And when you don’t have it, you want to be tight and be aware. Just a little break. . .they’re opportunists. It things that happen.’’
A power-play goal by Wayne Simmonds at 7:06 of the third period brought the Flyers even at 2-2.
Standing at the lower edge of the left circle, Simmonds took a pass from Jake Voracek and ripped a wrist shot top shelf short side past Marc-Andre Fleury.
Philadelphia entered the game 16-1-1 when Simmonds scored but even that stat went by the boards.
“We should have gotten a point, obviously,’’ Simmonds said. “We can’t be doing that to ourselves. We fought back, tied it up and lose that way sucks.’’
Mrazek has had his ups and downs. This was not one of his top efforts. He’s as frustrated as any of the players.
“After a game, when you have a chance to get a point and you’re playing well (and then lose), it’s really frustrating,’’ he said. “But it’s over, there’s nothing we can do about it.
The Flyers’ penalty kill is ranked 29th in the NHL for good reason.
The second power-play goal came at the six-minute mark of the third period. With Travis Sanheim in the penalty box, William Karlsson cleaned up the rebound of a deflected shot which handcuffed goalie Petr Mrazek.
It took a Vegas turnover to let the Flyers get even at 1-1 in the second period.
Shea Theodore handed the puck over and Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier helped set up Claude Giroux in the left circle for a shot past Fleury at 1:17.
Vegas took a 1-0 lead while on a power play in the first period. Erik Haula was trying to pass across the crease to Colin Miller but the puck clicked off Mrazek’s stick and into the net at 6:17.
“I tried to cut the pass and it hit my stick,’’ Mrazek said. “I think that was a bad bounce. It just hit the edge of the stick. Any night you don’t get a point, it’s frustrating for everyone.’’
Coach Dave Hakstol can’t fault the overall effort.
“It’s frustrating to come out with no points tonight but you have to flush it out and move forward,’’ he said. “That’s what time of year it is.’’
On the last Vegas goal, the explanation was simple.
“We didn’t get a puck out,’’ Hakstol said. “We got caught on the outside of coverage.’’
Weal scratched again
Flyers wing Jordan Weal was scratched for a third straight game. . .The Flyers entered the game with a 53.6 faceoff win percentage, tops in the NHL. . .Philadelphia will be off from practice on Tuesday, then practice at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday because it is team photograph day. . .Giroux’s goal extended his point streak to seven games (2-5-8). . .Giroux now needs three points to pass Eric Lindros for fifth place on the Flyers’ alltime point list.