Flyers’ mistakes costly in 4-3 loss to Seattle

Tony DeAngelo

      PHILADELPHIA – One day after playing low-mistake hockey against the Nashville Predators, the Flyers didn’t look quite so super on Sunday against the Seattle Kraken.

      Miscues proved costly on the first three of the Seattle Kraken’s four goals and that paved the way for the Flyers’ 4-3 loss at the Wells Fargo Center.

      Seattle’s win broke its three-game losing streak. The Flyers fell to 22-23-10 for the season.

      Typifying Philadelphia’s loose play was a goal it allowed with just 1:01 remaining in the second period to break a 2-2 tie.

      Jaden Schwartz, who posted two goals for the game, was left open just above the hash marks and he drilled a shot past goaltender Felix Sandstrom, whose season record fell to 1-8-1.

      After three straight games in which the Flyers held an opponent to two goals or less, this effort involved much more loose play.

      The Flyers struck first in this game, getting a goal from Owen Tippett on a shot from the left circle through goalie Philipp Grubauer just 2:11 into the match.

      Seattle countered with goals from Jordan Eberle and Eeli Tolvanen.

      A Tony DeAngelo turnover led to Eberle’s goal at 12:53. Jared McCann stole the puck in the Flyers’ attack zone and started a two-on-none rush. Sandstrom had no chance on Eberle’s powerful shot from close range.

      “The one where I turned it over and they scored, I double-clutched it trying to get it down to the goal,’’ DeAngelo explained. “Those are the kinds of plays you try to avoid because they can capitalize on them with their skill and speed. Couple unlucky plays but it happens and it’s in the back of the net.”

      On the Kraken’s second goal, Oliver Bjorkstrand picked James van Riemsdyk’s pocket along the boards. One quick pass to Tolvanen resulted in a successful venture to the net at 17:01.

      Van Riemsdyk made up for that blunder at 3:33 of the second period. He was stationed in front of the net when Tippett unloaded a shot from the right circle. JVR tipped the shot into the air, then backhanded the puck into the net.

      “They capitalized on a couple miscues by us,’’ van Riemsdyk said. “I don’t have a good reason for it but that’s kind of how the game went. They’re a quick team that forces you into mistakes. Certain situational stuff we could have been better with.

      “It’s kind of tough to win when you make some of those self-inflicted plays. On the second goal, I’ve got to get the puck out. It gives them kind of a freebie there. There were definitely some things we could have executed on there better.”

      Just 1:03 into the third period, Schwartz scored again, this time on a shot from the right circle for a two-goal lead.

      Patrick Brown scored a shorthanded goal with 3:20 to play to get the Flyers to within one.

      But Seattle did a good job keeping the Flyers at bay in the closing minutes, so the four-game homestand (1-2-1) ended in disappointing fashion.

      “We weren’t very good tonight,’’ Scott Laughton said. “We just didn’t have it. We just couldn’t get it out (of the defensive zone) and they made us pay.”

      Coach John Tortorella gave credit to the Kraken, led by coach Dave Hakstol, the former Flyers bench boss.

      “I thought they (the Kraken) were quicker – quicker thinking,’’ Tortorella said. “After the first few minutes of the first period, I thought we were a step behind the whole night until the second half of the third period.

      “I don’t know if it was the schedule; three games in three-and-a-half games, whether that got to us. I just don’t think we were on. TK (Travis Konecny), no shots; Kevin (Hayes) no shots. I just don’t think we were good enough. They’re a skilled team, they have 30 wins for a reason.”

      >Short shots

      The Flyers are off until they begin a four-game road trip in Seattle on Thursday. The trip continues with stops at Vancouver on Saturday, Calgary on Monday, Feb. 20 and Edmonton on Tuesday, Feb. 21. . .Justin Braun was a healthy scratch for the Flyers. . .Van Riemsdyk’s goal was his 297th in the NHL. . .Olle Lycksell, just recalled from the Phantoms on Saturday, joined the lineup and initially skated on a line with Laughton and Hayes.

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About Wayne Fish 2426 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.