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Islanders 5, Flyers 2: Flyers’ winless streak reaches 10 games

I’d say “losing streak,” but the NHL won’t call it that.

Zach Parise scores a goal right in front of goaltender Felix Sandstrom, with defender Rasmus Ristolainen trying to reach out with his stick to stop the puck while nearly lying down on the ice in the bottom left of the frame Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There wasn’t a lot of time for the Flyers to dwell on an uninspired Black Friday loss against the Penguins, because they were right back at it on a trip up to Long Island. It was the first of a home-and-home against the New York Islanders, and the Flyers should’ve gone into this game with some desperation to avoid digging their losing streak into a bigger hole.

Emphasis on should have.

Instead, the Flyers put up another uninspired match and extended their losing streak to 10.

Game Summary

It wasn’t even a full 5 minutes into the game when Adam Pelech scored Felix Sandström — who was coming off of taking over when Carter Hart was pulled only a night ago, for what it’s worth. As Jim Jackson pointed out during the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast, the Islanders are 9-1 when scoring the first goal in a game, so it didn’t bode well for the Flyers from the start.

After that goal, there weren’t too many whistles being blown to stop play, and honestly, that might have been a blessing. At this point, no one deserves to spend too much time watching the Flyers play.

Yet, all hope was not lost. Lukáš Sedlák scored for the Flyers with 4 minutes left in the period off of a pass from Kevin Hayes. Sedlák wasn’t exactly suffocating the goaltender with his positioning, but he was still up close enough to get the shot right where he wanted it. The secondary assist was from Ivan Provorov, which notched him his 200th career point.

After those two goals, the game fell into a bit of an uneventful lull. No team had double-digit shots on goal until over halfway through the second period when the Flyers earned 11 shots. That was the level of uneventful.

It wouldn’t stay ho-hum forever, though, and it was the Flyers who broke the tie. Hayes shot the goal at the net, but Semyon Varlamov wasn’t able to stop the puck, and the rebound was cleanly shot in by Joel Farabee. The Farabee—Sedlák—Hayes line was officially listed as the third line for this game, and yet they had notched a total of 5 points after this goal. Maybe it had something to do with how, in Farabee’s words during the second intermission interview, “Sedsy absolutely works his balls off.” Just a (very unfiltered) thought.

About 5 minutes later, Provorov was called for a cross-checking penalty against Zach Parise. With only 5 seconds left on their power play, Parise himself earned the goal and tied the game back up. It was one of those goals where if I were writing a fiction piece, it might feel a little too heavy-handed, but to watch it play out in reality, it just feels expected.

Brock Nelson regained the lead for the Islanders early in the third period with a goal that, frankly, could’ve been more easily stopped than it was. It felt like he just sleepwalked his way to the front of the net.

Only 23 seconds later, Anthony Beauvillier joined the goal-scoring party for the Islanders. Us Flyers fans really aren’t allowed to have nice things right now. At least the brief lead was good while it lasted.

The Flyers and Islanders ended up exchanging power play chances later in the period, and to no one’s real surprise, the Flyers did not convert while the Islanders did. It was Parise with only seconds left on the power play. Again. Once more, if this were fiction, someone would strike this down for being too unrealistic, but in real life, this is just what happens.

In case you were thinking, “Wow, the Flyers haven’t had a fight tonight,” they made sure to sneak one in in the final minutes of the game. Deslauriers placed a big hit, and everyone jumped into the scrum. It was Tony DeAngelo and Oliver Wahlström who got into actual fisticuffs. At this point, there’s almost nothing else to look forward to but the obligatory fight in these games. Too bad it doesn’t do much of anything else but provide brief, mindless entertainment. It certainly doesn’t help them win.

After that, the minutes ticked down until the game ended, and the winless streak officially reached the double digits.

Final Thoughts

I honestly don’t have too much to say other than the Flyers are fully looking like team they were expected to be from the start. It certainly doesn’t help them that they have an entire laundry list of injures, and they are especially down forwards that could easily be a top-6 lineup for this team. However, other teams have managed to survive through these kinds of setbacks with far more success. Plus, the goaltending magic this team got at the start of the season is proving to no longer be sustainable.

This is just what this iteration of the Flyers are. It’s a mess, and it’s hard to say what could even begin to turn things around at this point. Not even landing Connor Bedard would solve the Flyers’ problems, but that might be the easiest thing fans can hope for right now.