This is not an April Fool’s Day joke: The Flyers have forgotten how to win at the Wells Fargo Center.
They dropped a 1-0 decision to goalie Chris Mason and the lowly Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday, their seventh loss in their last eight home games.
The Flyers’ Eastern Conference lead over Washington was trimmed to one point. The Flyers have five games left _ one more than the Caps, who edged Columbus in overtime on Thursday, 4-3.
In the Atlantic Division, the Flyers maintained their four-point lead over the Penguins, who lost in Tampa Bay, 2-1.
The Flyers took 43 shots _ their most in a shutout loss since 1980.
Because of Pittsburgh’s loss, the Flyers’ magic number to win the Atlantic dropped to four points. If they win in New Jersey on Friday night, and Pittsburgh loses in regulation to Florida on Saturday, the Flyers would clinch the Atlantic.
Wrapping up the East won’t be as easy, especially since Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that star defenseman Chris Pronger is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.
Here are the remaining schedules for the Flyers and Capitals:
Flyers (five games): at New Jersey on Friday; vs. Rangers on Sunday; at Ottawa on Tuesday; at Buffalo next Friday; vs. Islanders on April 9.
Capitals (four games): vs. Buffalo on Saturday; at Toronto on Tuesday; vs. Florida on Wednesday; at Florida on April 9.
* * *
The Flyers were blanked for the seventh time this season. They are the only NHL team that has yet to notch a shutout.
* * *
Vancouver clinched the President’s Trophy with a 3-1 win over Los Angeles, assuring it will finish with the NHL’s highest points total. That means Vancouver will have the home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
Only three of the last nine President’s Cup winners have captured the Stanley Cup.
* * *
For constant Flyers updates, follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.
Get exclusive videos and analysis in our new app for iPhone and Android. Download it here.