The Philadelphia Flyers are heading into the holidays on a losing note.
After turning in a disappointing effort against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday evening, the Flyers followed up with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.
Ivan Provorov scored the lone goal in regulation and Brian Elliott made 35 saves in his 11th straight start.
There were some new line combinations entering the game, as Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny were finally moved into the top-six. There were also some changes on defense, as Ivan Provorov was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere instead of Andrew MacDonald.
Giroux – Couturier – Konecny
Raffl – Patrick – Voracek
Weise – Filppula – Simmonds
Lehtera – Laughton – Leier#Flyers
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) December 24, 2017
The Flyers actually outshot the Blue Jackets in the first period (10-9), but walked away trailing 1-0.
Columbus has the worst power play in the NHL, but that didn’t stop blueliner Seth Jones from beating Brian Elliott from the point late in the opening frame. The shot actually deflected in off blueliner Ivan Provorov and was the only one (excluding shootout) that got past him all night.
— JacketsTradeCentral (@CBJtradecentral) December 24, 2017
Ivan Provorov unleashed his cannon in the middle frame to even the score. The play was made possible by a great zone entry from Sean Couturier. Claude Giroux then dropped the puck back to the Russian blueliner at the point.
A closer look at the shot shows just how much torque Provorov really got on the blast.
Taylor Leier had a goal waved off due to a high stick in the period, while the Flyers also failed to capitalize on a few power-play opportunities.
Sean Couturier had a great chance to give the Flyers the lead in the final frame, but his shot rang iron.
Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier were all denied on their shootout attempts, while Blue Jackets’ rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois converted on a nice move to net the lone goal of the skills competition.
- The Flyers continue to be awful at the shootout. They are 0-3 in the tiebreaker this season and 40-78 since 2005. Something has to give. Jakub Voracek seems to use the same move every time and it never works, while Giroux’s slick dangles are now a distant memory. The Flyers’ 33.9 winning percentage in the skills competition is easily the lowest in the entire NHL- no one else is below 40 percent.
- Brian Elliott turned in another excellent showing in his 11th consecutive start. He’s taken on a very heavy workload and showed no signs of fatigue after getting the nod the previous night in Buffalo. The Flyers need consistent goaltending if they hope to make the playoffs and Elliott is providing that right now. He’ll get a much-needed rest during the holiday break.
- Travis Konecny looked great on a newly formed top line, while Nolan Patrick’s two penalties in the third period overshadow his promotion to the second line.
The Flyers are off for four days before they return to action Dec. 28 against the Florida Panthers. The puck drops at 7:30 PM.