Stars 4, Flyers 1: Losing streak extends to five after uninspired night in Big D
The Flyers are looking a lot like a team with nothing to play for these days.
No one on the Flyers' roster will admit to packing it in on this abysmal 2022-23 campaign, but with just several games remaining before the season finally comes to a close, this certainly doesn't look like a club going all out to end things on a high note.
The Flyers fell to the Dallas Stars in Big D Thursday night by a score of 4-1, extending their losing streak to five games. They have now allowed four-plus goals in each of their last five outings.
While the Flyers were struggling to generate even a somewhat decent scoring chance against Dallas, they got a pretty good look at one of hockey's top rising stars doing what he does best in the offensive zone.
Jason Robertson, the Stars' dazzling top-line winger, netted a pair of goals in the contest, bringing his total up to 45 markers on the season.
Robertson netted a power-play goal to open the scoring with less than two seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Rasmus Ristolainen took a penalty late in the period that awarded the Stars their power play opportunity. After Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny teamed up for a shorthanded look, Robertson raced down the ice on the counterrush with time dying down in the frame. Nick Seeler blocked his initial shot, but Robertson gathered the rebound and fired a follow-up shot on net, and Carter Hart was unable to react in time.
That's the kind of high-end talent the Flyers lack on their roster. What a player Robertson has become. And he's still just 23 years old.
It didn't take the Stars long to extend their lead after the intermission. Just over a minute into the middle frame, Joe Pavelski pulled off one of his vintage redirections to double the Dallas lead. Soon after, Colin Miller potted his sixth goal of the season to make it a 3-0 game. And just two minutes after Miller's marker, Robertson scored his second of the night off a brutal turnover by Ivan Provorov behind the Flyers net.
Kevin Hayes responded a few minutes later to end his 23-game goal drought, though. So that's something. Unfortunately, his marker ended up being the Flyers' only goal of the night. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger played was nearly perfect when he was tested, but he also wasn't really tested much.
Carter Hart, who missed the last several games due to a lower-body injury, allowed four goals on 30 shots against.
A loss against the Stars shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The Flyers are one of the NHL's worst clubs, and the Stars have a legitimate shot at making a deep playoff run. Aside from a couple short stretches, the Flyers never really looked like they belonged on the same sheet of ice as this up-and-coming Stars team. On the bench, the presence of John Tortorella, who spent the last few nights taking in games from the press box, didn't seem to make much of a difference. This Stars club is just on a completely different level in comparison to the Flyers.
The Flyers will get there one day. But that certainly won't happen in the immediate future.
The May 8 draft lottery is quickly approaching, but don't expect the Flyers' odds at winning the Connor Bedard sweepstakes to improve much by the end of the season. The Flyers currently rank 26th in the league standings, and with so few games left to play, their chances of usurping the Vancouver Canucks or being leapfrogged by the Montreal Canadiens are minimal. Of course, much stranger things have happened.
Assuming the Flyers stay put in the standings, they'll have a 6.5% chance at earning the No. 1 overall pick in the lottery.
The Flyers have four more games remaining in their campaign. They'll finish their road trip Saturday at UBS Arena against the New York Islanders before heading home to host the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets at Wells Fargo Center. Finally, they'll wrap up their season Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.