Flyers’ ‘dumb’ penalties costly in 4-1 loss to Senators

Scott Laughton

PHILADELPHIA – Two bad teams, two bad losses.

A couple days after dropping a game to the bottom-feeding Blue Jackets on Thursday in Columbus, the Flyers followed that up with a moribund 4-1 defeat by the last-place Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon.

The Flyers’ penalty kill, a somewhat steady part of the team’s game this season, unraveled twice at inopportune times in the defeat at the Wells Fargo Center.

As a result, the Senators’ Alex DeBrincat was able to score twice with the man advantage.

Not being able to kill penalties is one thing but just the fact the Flyers took some “dumb’’ was even more egregious.

Coach John Tortorella made that point clear during his post-game ravings.

“We did so many good things and then we self-imploded with the penalties,’’ Tortorella said. “Unnecesssary penalties. Can’t do it. They’re penalties, they’re dumb penalties. I think we put ourselves in a jam with the penalties.’’

The Senators entered the game 0-4-1 on the road but they played with a certain determination to end that streak.

DeBrincat’s first goal with 48.2 seconds left in the second period broke a 1-1 tie. With Nic Deslauriers in the penalty box, Debrincat had an open net to target after a cross-crease pass and he made no mistake.

Early in the third, Scott Laughton went to the box and DeBrincat connected again at 6:52, off assists from ex-Flyers Claude Giroux and Derick Brassard, to make it a two-goal margin.

When pressed on the validity of the penalties, Tortorella would have none of it.

“You look at the penalties, they called three on us and none on them,’’ the coach said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to even out one way or the other. They’re just needless penalties. We had the puck on three of them. That changed the whole complexion of the game.

Philadelphia’s record fell to 7-5-2.

The Flyers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Kevin Hayes. Travis Konecny made the initial push to the net and got off a backhand shot. After a brief scrum, Hayes tapped the puck under goaltender Cam Talbot’s pad.

Ottawa responded with a breakaway goal from defenseman Thomas Chabot, who found his way clear and sent a shot past Carter Hart at 14:28.

At least the Flyers felt OK about their play in the first period.

“I thought we started well,’’ said Konecny at the first intermission. “We came out skating hard, good with the physicality there (fights including the Flyers’ Nic Deslauriers and Tony DeAngelo). I’m not sure how the goal happened but we have to put it behind us.’’

Giroux, who received a standing ovation and a video tribute in pre-game ceremonies, finished the game with a pair of assists.

Tim Stutzle added an empty-net goal at 16:06 in the third period for Ottawa’s fourth goal.

After the game, Konecny confirmed what his coach had discussed.

“Obviously the guys aren’t meaning to take the penalties,’’ he said. “We’ve all been there, I’ve definitely been there. But I thought our kill did pretty good. It’s just unfortunate they got the power-play goals.’’

Added Owen Tippett: “It was an even game until the special teams hurt us there (the Flyers’ power play went 0 for 3. That’s part of the game, it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. Some of the calls you agree or disagree with. You have to deal with the adversity.’’

>Allison injured

Wade Allison suffered an undisclosed injury during a collision with Jacob Bernard-Docker at 15:20 of the second period. Allison needed help getting off the ice and down the tunnel into the locker room. He did not return to action. After the game, Tortorella said he had no update on Allison’s condition.

Short shots

Hart entered the game No. 1 in the NHL in save percentage at .941 and fifth in goals-against average at 2.09. . .Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was looking to record career win No. 500 (his overall record is 499-372-112, which includes a lengthy tenure in Minnesota. When Fletcher hits 500, he will become just the 33rd GM in history (fifth active) to achieve that milestone. . .The Flyers return to action on Sunday afternoon to host the Dallas Stars. It’s military appreciation day. . .Flyers set a franchise record with 59 hits. Laughton led the way with nine.







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About Wayne Fish 2451 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.