Nashville scores late to end Flyers’ point streak at 9

Morgan Frost

      PHILADELPHIA – The streak was just a few minutes away from staying alive but it wasn’t to be.

      The Nashville Predators put an end to the Flyers’ nine-game (8-0-1) point streak on Thursday night with a 4-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center.

      Philip Tomasino scored the second of his two goals off a Flyers’ giveaway with 4:01 to play to break a 2-2 tie. Flyers defenseman Sean Walker turned the puck over in the Nashville defensive zone to trigger the sequence leading to the winning goal

      Samuel Ersson once again played in goal for the Flyers. Carter Hart dressed and served as backup.

      Despite having seen his team put together the nine-game streak, coach John Tortorella was in no mood to hand out praise at his post-game press briefing.

      “It comes down to the end as far as situational play,” Tortorella said. “We’re going to have to learn – and this is the part of our game we have to get better at – to forecheck sometime. And there’s no reason to turn over the puck with less than five minutes left.”

      This marks the second straight narrow loss to the Predators, coming just nine days after a 4-3 overtime defeat in Nashville.

      “They were more patient than we were,” Tortorella said of the latest defeat. “That’s what cost us the game.”

      In recent successes, the Flyers pressed the attack. This game was different. It was more read and react.

      “Nashville gave us a clinic on checking,” Tortorella said. “We were talking about it all-game long, we have to get it in deep. We’re not getting through clean. We just can’t keep it simple, we have to try to beat people. It’s basically a one-on-four.

      “This team is going to have to forecheck. When this league gets going after Christmas, that’s when the grind starts coming. If we think we’re going to be this high-flying transition team, stretching and not forechecking, we’re in for a rude awakening. We found that out tonight.”

      Morgan Frost’s fourth goal of the season provided the Flyers with a 1-0 lead in the first period.

      Standing behind the Nashville net, Frost attempted to pass out front. The puck, however, struck the skate of goaltender Juuse Saros and bounced in at 1:31.

      The Predators tied the score just 1:05 into the second period. It came on a shorthanded goal by Cole Smith during a Flyers power play. Smith circled down the right and beat Ersson to the far side.

      Philadelphia picked up a power-play goal at 4:45 to end an 0-for-16 drought in that department. Sean Couturier won a right-circle faceoff, drew back to Frost and then buried a return pass for his eighth goal of the season.

      The lead didn’t last long. The Predators scored just 39 seconds later with Tomasino doing the honors.

      Later in the period, Frost was hammered into the boards and needed a couple minutes to gather his wits. The offending player, Nashville defenseman Yakov Trenin, received a five-minute major for boarding plus a game misconduct penalty. The Flyers only had about three and a half minutes of man advantage because they took a penalty of their own to cut the power play short.

      After the game, Frost said he hadn’t seen any video of the hit and didn’t want to comment on it.

      “I didn’t see him coming,” Frost said.

      Frost agreed with his coach that his team didn’t put enough checking pressure in the attack zone.

      “We just lost a little focus,” he said. “Turnovers at inopportune times. We really didn’t have any forecheck going. Just didn’t check well enough. We didn’t play with enough energy.”

      Ersson saw his personal streak of at least a point in games he’s played end at eight (7-0-1). He really couldn’t be faulted on any of the goals he allowed.

      “We have to deal with it (the loss),” he said. “We have one more game (at Detroit on Friday night) before the break. . .recharge and get back at it.”

      >Short shots

      The Flyers survived 30 seconds of five-on-three Nashville power play in the second period. . .The Flyers dropped to 15-2 when scoring the first goal of the game.

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About Wayne Fish 2338 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.