The Philadelphia Flyers earned a gutsy victory over the Calgary Flames Monday evening, but it came at a cost. Travis Konecny, arguably the Flyers’ best player, exited the game early after taking a big hit from Calgary defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. And to make matters worse, Konecny was reportedly seen after the game wearing a sling.
As expected, the Flyers were without their leading point producer Tuesday night against the high-octane Edmonton Oilers as they finished off their back-to-back set, and they certainly could’ve used his offensive prowess in the tilt. Predictably, the Flyers were unable to outscore the Oilers’ dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, falling by a score of 4-2 at Rogers Place.
McDavid logged the 800th point of his career with a secondary assist on Leon Draisaitl’s game-tying power-play goal in the third period. He then scored a goal of his own just a few minutes later, which ended up being the game-winning tally. And for good measure, he scored the empty-net marker in the game’s dying minutes. The two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner finished with three points on the night.
Impressively, the Flyers actually did an admirable job shutting down the Oilers’ two superstars for much of the game. They held Edmonton to just 10 shots in the game’s first 40 minutes, but things began to unravel in the final frame when a double minor assessed to Olle Lycksell eventually led to Draisaitl’s momentum-shifting goal.
Noah Cates opened the scoring in the first period with a pretty wraparound goal for his ninth marker of the season. But just as it appeared the Flyers were headed into the intermission with the lead, Joel Farabee took a careless a high-sticking penalty with six seconds remaining in the frame, and Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie scored immediately off the ensuing faceoff to tie the game up.
Part of what made the Flyers successful against the Oilers in their last meeting was their discipline — they didn’t award Edmonton a single opportunity on the power play in that contest. However, Tuesday night was a completely different story. The Oilers earned four chances on the man advantage, and they converted on two of them.
The Flyers just couldn’t stay out of the box, and it cost them.
Carter Hart wasn’t particularly busy for most of the game, stopping nine of the Oilers’ 10 shots in the first two periods. But he was tested heavily in the finale frame, and there wasn’t much he could do as the Oilers swarmed in the offensive zone. Overall, Hart finished with 23 saves on 26 shots against.
The Flyers have now lost nine of their last 12 games, and without Konecny in the lineup, it won’t be remotely shocking if their February slide continues. They are currently eight points out of a playoff spot with 23 games to play. At this stage, it will require a Herculean effort for this squad to qualify for the postseason.
The Flyers will have the next two days off before taking on their second back-to-back set of the week. They return home on Friday to face off against the Montreal Canadiens, and then they’ll make a quick trip up to Newark on Saturday for a tilt against the New Jersey Devils.