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Blackhawks 4, Flyers 1: The negative vibes drag on

The Flyers desperately needed a win as a pick-me-up after Tuesday night’s fiasco, but they fell short.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers have made national headlines in recent days, and not because of their stellar 8-2-0 record over their last 10 games. But Thursday night, the Orange & Black returned to action with hopes of not only earning another victory, but also attempting to move forward from the ongoing Ivan Provorov discourse.

Unfortunately, the Flyers will need to wait a couple more days before they can get that sour taste out of their mouth. Against a spectacularly inept Chicago Blackhawks squad, the Flyers were unable to pick up a valuable pair of points as they fell to one of the NHL’s cellar dwellers by a score of 4-1.

Former Flyers goaltender Petr Mrazek got the start for the Blackhawks, turning aside 38 (!) Flyers shots to pick up the victory. The veteran goalie played well, but he also benefited greatly from some extremely lucky bounces.

In the second period, Travis Konecny nearly scored his 25th goal of the season off a pretty feed from Tony DeAngelo, but his shot hit Mrazek’s blocker and ricocheted off the post before Mrazek’s skate softly (and unintentionally) swept the puck out of the crease.

Later on in the middle frame, Konecny and Joel Farabee teamed up for another quality scoring chance that drew Mrazek completely out of his crease, but the Flyers attackers were somehow unable to take advantage of the open net.

The goal the Flyers did score was a nice one, though. Morgan Frost, who potted a dazzling between-the-legs goal against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, found twine once again Thursday night to give him 10 markers on the season. Frost beat Mrazek clean with a bar-down wrister from the high slot after shaking ‘Hawks defenseman Seth Jones with some nice moves on the rush.

“Not gonna lie, I was looking pass the whole time and then last second it kind of just opened up and I shot it,” Frost said during the first intermission. “I’m kind of always trying to find (James van Riemsdyk) and (Owen Tippett) there, but I’ve been told to shoot the puck a little more, so that’s what I did there.”

Flyers goalie Carter Hart, after a rough outing against the Boston Bruins on Monday, put together his second unremarkable performance in as many starts. After a perfect first period, the 24-year-old ended up allowing three goals on 28 shots, though one of them was a redirection goal from Jonathan Toews while another was mainly a result of poor defensive play by his teammates.

Still, the Blackhawks entered the game as one of the least-productive clubs in the NHL in regard to offensive production — they ranked second-to-last in both goals and shots per game while allowing the fifth-most goals against per game in the league. Without question, this was a game even the Flyers should have won handily. But they didn’t. And now they’ll have to deal with the overwhelmingly negative vibes shrouding the locker room for another 48 hours before their next chance at a pick-me-up.

“I thought across the board we we were — we developed some at the end, but I just thought we looked flat and disjointed. I don’t think we played with enough energy. It was just, you could tell right from the start of the game, it was just one of those games,” said head coach John Tortorella.

“We pushed in the third period, tough two, 2-1, still think you have an opportunity going into the third and you get scored on your first shift. It’s one of those games. I didn’t like much about it at all.”

The Flyers will return to action Saturday night when they make a quick trip to Motown for a tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. They’ll then come right back home for a Sunday showdown against the Winnipeg Jets to close out the back-to-back set.