Flyers’ losing streak hits four with 3-0 defeat

Sam Ersson

      If the Flyers were counting on some of their recent road game magic to end their losing streak, it didn’t work on Thursday night.

      In a rather mundane effort at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena, the Flyers made a number of mistakes and they proved costly in a 3-0 defeat, Philadelphia’s fourth straight setback. It’s the first time they’ve lost four straight in regulation time since last season.

      Former Flyers goaltender Alex Lyon posted the shutout for the Red Wings. It’s only the second time the Flyers have been blanked this season.

      Detroit took a 1-0 lead at 1:37 of the second period. Ersson made an initial save on Lucas Raymond but couldn’t get over in time to stop Dylan Larkin from the far side on the rebound.

      At 7:15, the lead increased to 2-0. Defenseman Moritz Seider’s long shot deflected off Morgan Frost’s stick and completely handcuffed Ersson.

      Things went completely off the tracks during a Flyers’ power play. Egor Zamula lost the puck behind the Philadelphia net, then compounded the problem by skating in front of Ersson and allowing the shot from Andrew Cupp to bounce off his leg into the net at 10:08.

      If there’s one issue Flyers coach John Tortorella had with his team’s performance was the number of penalties it took. Seven times the Flyers took minor penalties and although Detroit was 0-for-4 on the power play, the effort it took to kill those infractions may have taken its toll on the Flyers.

      “It’s certainly a disciplined (play) issue,” the coach said. “We take a tripping penalty in the offensive zone. They did generate some off their power play. But it just knocks us back. We can’t get into any type of flow. If there’s a concern, it’s that, too many penalties, especially in the wrong zones. Hopefully we can try to get that straightened out and get some flow in our game.”

      Ersson has had more than his fair share of bad luck of late but he’s not making any excuses.

      “It’s a long season and it’s going to have it’s ups and downs,” said Ersson, who will be getting an increased workload due to the indefinite leave of absence for regular starter Carter Hart. “Sometimes you get the bounces with you and sometimes you don’t. I feel right now, as a team, we’re not getting the bounces with us, that’s the way things go sometimes. We have to find a way to fight our way through it.”

      Cam Atkinson, who saw a six-game point streak go by the boards, finished with a minus-3. He said the Flyers have to apply more pressure in the close-range areas.

      “I think everyone has to take a look in the mirror,” Atkinson said. “Everyone has to give a little bit more. I didn’t think we did a good enough job getting pucks through and getting to the dirty areas. I think it comes down to getting dirty, playing with some arrogance.”

      >Drysdale fitting in

      It’s been a hectic couple weeks for defenseman Jamie Drysdale, who was acquired in a trade from Los Angeles for former first-round draft pick Cutter Gauthier.

      Drysdale appeared more comfortable with his play in Tuesday night’s loss to Tampa Bay.

      “Yeah, I felt pretty good,” Drysdale said before the game. “Hopefully it’s a steppingstone. It would have been nice if we had won. Hopefully we can get a good start tonight and go from there.

      “There are definitely differences (in style) and it’s taken a while to get used to. I’m just kind of picking up things as I go. Everyone here has been great helping me. . .coaches, players, it’s just the little things.

      Drysdale moves along the blue line quite well and he doesn’t have an answer from where that talent really comes from.

      “It’s just something I’ve done since I was real young,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always been encouraged to do and I enjoy it. It’s just something that’s stuck with me and I find it creates more opportunities in the O-zone.”

      >Short shots

      Owen Tippett missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury. . .This weekend will see the induction of Mark Recchi into the Flyers Hall of Fame. That will take place prior to Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins. On Friday night, the 2024 Alumni Game will feature ex-Flyers against ex-Bruins. Craig Berube, who has had a home in Bucks County for many years, has been added to the Flyers Alumni coaching staff. Berube won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in his first year with the team several years ago. . .The Flyers called off Friday’s practice but the Flyers Alumni will skate at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, N.J. starting at 11 a.m. The session is free and open to the public. . .After the Boston game, the Flyers get a week off and don’t return to action until Feb. 6.

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About Wayne Fish 2452 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.