Flyers look to start new roll against struggling Ducks
The eight-game winning streak is over for the Philadelphia Flyers, but the good news is the lesson in defeat came with a bonus point.
The Flyers still have plenty of work to do to get in the thick of the playoff race with 28 games remaining but have a fighting chance thanks to their recent 8-0-1 run.
And as they head into Saturday's home matinee with the floundering Anaheim Ducks, the Flyers received a solid reminder during their 3-2 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
"To be honest, I think it was our worst game of the last nine and we were lucky to get a point," Jakub Voracek said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's a point, but we have to be way better."
Voracek's statement can't be argued. The Kings remain last in the Western Conference, and it required a 37-save performance from Anthony Stolarz, along with Voracek's final-minute tally to force extra time and earn the single point.
The feeling throughout the Flyers' locker room was the same.
"We didn't play our best game," center Sean Couturier said. "Stolie was there and shut the door and gave us a chance to win, but we have to be better in front of him."
Added Couturier: "In the first half of the game, we gave up a lot of odd-man rushes, breakaways. We weren't sharp on details, but Stolie gave us a chance and made us believe and we battled back to get a big point. Down the road, it may be huge."
While the Flyers likely need another winning spree to close the gap on a wild-card spot, the Ducks are just a handful of points behind the Western Conference pace, but are sinking fast.
Anaheim arrives in Philadelphia after a 4-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, who are worst in the NHL with 45 points. The Ducks have lost six straight outings, all in regulation time. In fact, the Ducks have only two wins in their last 20 outings (2-14-4), which is essentially one-quarter of the season.
"There are some dark clouds over this team right now," forward Corey Perry told the Orange County Register. "We've got to find a way to get the sunshine back out and play with confidence and have fun again. Hockey is a fun sport to play, but you've got to find a way to dig yourself out of it."
In the Ottawa loss, the Ducks fired a season-high 45 shots on goal, but were blanked for the second time during their losing streak. Anaheim has been held to one goal or fewer 20 times in 55 games this season.
"Yeah, we had 40 shots or whatever it was, but did we have second opportunities, where we were inside their 'D' and looking for those second or third rebounds and hemming them in for periods of time?" Perry said. "That's where I think we've been a little lackadaisical.
"You don't have to score on every single shift. That's not going to happen in this league. You have to go out and create momentum. It's all about rolling lines over and keeping them hemmed in for periods at a time. It just seems you're going one way and the puck's going the other way."
To make matters worse, Anaheim's star goalie John Gibson left the game after the second period after he collided with teammate Jaycob Megna. His removal was considered precautionary and he will be re-evaluated.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 8, 2019