The Philadelphia Flyers became the answer to an inglorious trivia question last time they hit the ice.
Now the struggling Flyers will try to regroup against the surprising Anaheim Ducks on Friday when they continue a road trip through the Golden State.
The Flyers are coming off a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the first team this season to lose to the last-place squad from Northern California. The Sharks dropped their first 11 games.
“It’s not like they were going to go 0-82,” Philadelphia center Sean Couturier said. “It (stinks) that we couldn’t get two points, but five-on-five we played well. Special teams are really killing us right now.”
The Flyers have lost five of six games, a skid that began with a 7-4 home-ice defeat at the hands of the Ducks on Oct. 28. Philadelphia’s power play has managed only one goal in 22 opportunities over the past six outings, including an 0-for-4 performance in San Jose.
“We couldn’t find a way to finish,” said coach John Tortorella, whose squad has managed only one goal over its past two games. “I thought we had a lot of ‘almost chances’ and just didn’t finish at the net, some of them. Territorially, I thought we controlled it, but just didn’t get enough quality chances.”
The Flyers should receive a boost with No. 1 goalie Carter Hart expected to return after missing the past three games due to a back issue.
Morgan Frost, the 2017 first-round pick who scored 19 goals and 46 points last season, will also likely rejoin the lineup after being a healthy scratch last game.
The Ducks saw their six-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third game of a five-game homestand.
The defeat was a mixed bag. On one hand, it was 1-0 until Sidney Crosby’s empty-net goal with 20 seconds remaining. Anaheim also outshot the Penguins 7-1 over the final 10 minutes only to fall short because an equalizing tally couldn’t be found.
On the other hand, en route to their first shutout loss of the season which saw Mason McTavish’s point streak snapped at seven games, the Ducks remained in the fight because of a fantastic 34-save performance from goaltender John Gibson on a night they trailed in the third for the sixth time in seven games. (The only outlier in that stretch was Anaheim’s win over Philadelphia.)
“We weren’t dictating a lot,” coach Greg Cronin said. “When we’re on our game, we’re hunting pucks and we’re getting some offensive-zone time. Give Pittsburgh credit, they played a good defensive game. They took a lot of our shooting lanes away to the net. They were tight on our points and closed gaps quickly.”
In five of the six wins in the aforementioned streak, the Ducks were able to drum up a comeback. As proud as they are about those comebacks, they know it will not be a long-term blueprint for success.
“It shows that we’re always in the fight,” defenseman Cam Fowler told the Orange County Register. “But at some point, we need to start flipping that script so that we’re the ones protecting the lead.”
–Field Level Media