Matt Niskanen, James van Riemsdyk, and Shayne Gostisbehere provided the goals for the Flyers, who have lost four of five after a five-game winning streak. Brian Elliott was the tough luck loser, allowing six goals on 17 shots as the Flyers put their goaltender in a bad situation that led to a barrage of goals in the middle frame. Carter Hart relieved Elliott, but couldn’t stop the bleeding as he allowed a goal as well.
More on the game with five things from the proceedings from the MTS Centre in beautiful Winnipeg.
Power play drought ends
Matt Niskanen ended a lengthy drought for the Flyers power play, scoring their first goal a man up in six games with a second period tally to cut the Jets’ lead in half. Though the marker wouldn’t do much as the Jets rallied off four-straight goals afterwards to seize control of things, it could give the power play a much needed confidence boost going into their next few games.
The Flyers have scored a power play goal!— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 15, 2019
It wasn’t pretty, but it still counts all the same. Despite the goal coming on kind of a broken play, the Flyers did control zone time on the power play leading to the goal though they had just the one opportunity on the night. Niskanen got the reward, but was also one of the best Flyers on the ice in a game where there weren’t many standouts.
Farabee major changes the game
Farabee gets 5 and a game for this hit. Way too late. pic.twitter.com/RUv4IH3mSP— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 15, 2019
When Joel Farabee picked up a major for interfering with Mathieu Perreault with 10:57 left in the second period the Flyers were down just 2-1. After the major they found themselves down 4-1 thanks to a pair of markers from Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. But the momentum was seized by the Jets, and they followed with goals from Logan Shaw and Patrik Laine to take full control with a 6-1 lead with four goals coming in the span of about four minutes.
The 19-year-old hasn’t been scoring much recently, with just two points in his last five games and was clearly frustrated in the lead up to his late and hard hit on Perrault, who left the ice very gingerly. Though he received a game misconduct for the hit, Farabee doesn’t have a rap sheet just yet in the league and shouldn’t be suspended for the hit.
Punishment came in the form of a crushing change in the game for his team, who was already icing a hodgepodge lineup amid a slew of injuries hitting at the same time. The youngster simply cannot put his team in bad situations like that and they paid the price.
Get those guys going
Given the lineup issues and the general mood of the team following the awful news about Oskar Lindblom, the Flyers were going to be facing an almost impossible challenge to gets points out of this one against the red-hot Jets. But while not much came out of the 7-3 blowout, a pair of Flyers scored goals that could jumpstart their games going forward.
Both James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere found the back of the net in Winnipeg, and the Flyers badly need both to start filling up the box score. With the lack of depth on full display with names like Carsen Twarynski, Mikhail Vorobyev, and Chris Stewart in the lineup, the Flyers need all the scoring they can get from their established veterans. While others are included in that like Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek, those guys have produced more this season than Ghost and JVR.
JVR, in particular, has been plagued by a lack of finish, and hasn’t been able to hold down a spot in the top-six all year. Perhaps goals in back-to-back games here will get him filling up the net with frequency as the Flyers await the returns of Travis Konecny and others.
Get NAK that puck!
It hasn’t been a storybook beginning for the NHL career of Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but in his 10th career game he has his first point. And it wasn’t a cheap one, either, as NAK made a slick pass over to Ghost just before the defense go there to lead to the goal. That’s just good offensive awareness to identify the defender jumping up in the play. Not only that, but he took the hit to make the pass, and reaped the reward for paying the price.
Aube-Kubel records his first NHL point on this Gostisbehere goal. pic.twitter.com/5x4W7KiRK9— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 16, 2019
He played just 10 minutes, which has been his standard operating time whenever up with the Flyers, but was even possession-wise and had a couple strong shifts in a lost game overall. Given that Lindblom will almost certainly miss the rest of the season, there’s an open forward job that could go to really anyone of the Phantoms call ups as Stewart just can’t play NHL games at this point. NAK needs to do the little things right in order to hold down an NHL job, but this was a start.
Put this road trip in the rearview
The Flyers had virtually no shot on this road trip given the sheer amount of injuries and heartbreaking news about Lindblom. But they do have to regroup here and make some hay going forward as the schedule doesn’t get any easier in terms of trips and games though the competition does take a bit of a nose dive with dates against the Ducks, Senators, and Sabres coming up.
Good news for the Flyers: after tonight, they don't play a team that currently has more wins than losses until January 4th.— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) December 16, 2019
As good as their November was, the Flyers could very easily erase that good month with a clunker of a December. With the injuries piled up, the Flyers will have to get their veterans going and forget that three-game swing ever happened.