clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Flyers vs. Oilers recap: Maybe the ugliest loss of the season

Facing an Edmonton Oilers team closer to earning the first overall pick than a playoff spot, the Flyers laid a goose egg, falling 4-0 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Only three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and facing the worst team in the Western Conference, it looked like a perfect time for the Philadelphia Flyers to make up some ground in the race for the postseason. Instead, the Flyers delivered one of their most disappointing performances of the year.

The Flyers fell behind early and were never able to recover, losing by a score of 4-0 to the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth game of a six-game homestand. Oilers goalie Cam Talbot made 35 saves to earn the shutout, while Michal Neuvirth stopped 27 in defeat.

2015 first overall pick Connor McDavid quickly announced his presence in the first period, showcasing his instincts and world-class skating ability. His speed certainly took Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev by surprise, as McDavid blasted around the Russian blueliner near the midpoint of the period to help create Edmonton's first goal. Neuvirth stopped the league's newest phenom, but Nail Yakupov was there to clean up the garbage, giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers were lucky to be down only one goal after twenty minutes of play, as Edmonton dominated at even strength. The Oilers outshot Philadelphia 14-6 in a manner reminiscent of their utter dominance of the Flyers in the first period of the teams' matchup back in November. Only a number of tough saves from Neuvirth prevented the game from getting out of hand, but the Flyers entered the locker room knowing that a win would be impossible unless their execution took a gigantic leap forward.

Philadelphia took that leap forward in the second period, but they would find that their territorial dominance would not be rewarded. The Flyers outshot Edmonton 16-9 and were helped by three power play opportunities. Yet despite almost constant pressure in the offensive zone, they could not beat Talbot.

On the other hand, the Oilers were the epitome of opportunistic, scoring on two of their 12 shot attempts in the period. Taylor Hall struck first, taking advantage of a Shayne Gostisbehere turnover to create a breakaway, and then beating Neuvirth to the left post. Two minutes later, it was former Phantom Patrick Maroon, who gave the Oilers a three goal lead with a tally of his own. Philadelphia would have a difficult task ahead if they planned on cutting into Edmonton's edge in the third period, despite their overall play trending in the right direction.

But the Flyers' game regressed in the third period. They won the shots on goal battle, but spent far too much time on the outside rather than testing Talbot with high-quality chances. And when they were handed a golden opportunity to get back in the game courtesy of a Zack Kassian double-minor for high sticking, their power play was completely toothless. In fact, the Oilers would extend their lead to four goals during the Flyers' man advantage, as they jumped on a Gostisbehere turnover to quickly deposited the puck behind Neuvirth to take a 4-0 lead, which they would hold until the final horn.

Questions to Answer:

  1. How does Connor McDavid (worse than Ghostbear, obvs) get his Revenge for the Flyers injuring him four months ago? He burned Evgeny Medvedev to set up Edmonton's first goal of the night, and looked dangerous throughout. The kid is the real deal, and Flyers fans should be happy that he plies his trade in the Western Conference.
  2. Does the Schenn/Giroux/Simmonds line follow up its Monday fireworks with an encore tonight? They had a few great shifts in the second period, but fireworks were completely absent from the entirety of the orange and black tonight.
  3. Sam Gagner up against his old team (the other one). What's he got in store for them? To my eyes, Gagner was one of the Flyers' most effective forwards all game long. He obviously was not rewarded with a goal, but he looked dangerous.
  4. The last time these two teams played, Edmonton outshot the Flyers 19-2 in the first period. It was bad. The Flyers have mostly gotten out to good starts lately -- can they keep that up tonight? Edmonton didn't replicate their first period dominance exactly, but they came pretty darn close. The Oilers outshot the Flyers 14-6, and it only looked that close due to a late power play opportunity for the home team.
  5. Five games in a row for Neuvirth. Does it go well? Tough to fault Neuvirth much on the goals he allowed, but he wasn't able to come up with the type of game-stealing saves that he's produced so often in recent weeks.

Comment of the Night:

It’s nights like these where my inferiority complex and depression are justified

-- armmyman16

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Broad Street Hockey Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A weekly roundup of Philadelphia Flyers news from Broad Street Hockey