Flyers coming up short in second period

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Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery (29) attempts to make a save against Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

DENVER - Another listless second period, another road loss.

For the Flyers, there seems to be a disturbing pattern as they continue to miss chances to make up ground in the playoff race. Take the 4-2 loss to lowly Arizona on Monday, for instance.

After dominating the first period but facing a 1-0 deficit at the intermission, the Flyers had little offensive-zone time in the middle period and fell into a 2-0 hole.

"It seems to be a common theme throughout the whole season," said winger R.J. Umberger, who scored a pair of late goals to get the Flyers within 3-2. "Our second periods have gotten away from us. . . . We don't sustain the pressure and we get off the gas."

In their last 10 regulation losses, the Flyers have been outscored, 13-5, in the second period. The latest defeat came against an Arizona team that had the third-worst point total in the NHL.

The eight-game trip, which started so promisingly with three straight wins, has hit a few potholes since the Flyers returned from their three-day holiday break.

The Flyers (14-16-6) are eight points out of a playoff spot and 3-2 on the trip, which resumes against Colorado (13-15-8) on Wednesday.

"I think we played a good 30 minutes. . . . It's got to be a better 60 minutes," said captain Claude Giroux, who, like linemate Jake Voracek, was minus-3 in the game.

Giroux and Voracek failed to collect a point, marking just the second time they have both been off the score sheet this season in a non-shutout.

The Flyers managed just five shots in the second period and played with no urgency.

"We controlled the whole first period, and the second period we were completely flat and they took it to us," Umberger said after his first two-goal game since Jan. 21. "I'm not sure why. The second period is huge; it sets up your whole game and what you're going to do in the third."

The Flyers have lost two straight since returning from the break, beginning with Saturday's 4-1 loss in Nashville.

"We fought to get to .500, and we needed to get rolling," Umberger said. "These points are a lot easier to get now than they are in March or April."

Steve Mason, who had missed the previous four games because of a back injury, slipped to 6-11-5 with the loss to Arizona.

"I felt really good, actually," he said. "It was a tough game to play; it wasn't exactly the cleanest [because] there were a lot of bounces out there, but I felt really good."

Two of Arizona's goals were on deflections off Flyers (Nick Grossmann and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) and another was on an empty-net tally.

"We came out and had a really strong first period, then fell back a little in the second," Mason said. ". . . When we're firing on all cylinders, we're a dangerous team. We just have to have that consistency, and not a period here and a period there."

Thirty-six games into the season, the Flyers are not consistent from period to period, let alone game to game.

That trait is the main reason they have won just six of 20 road games (6-11-3) and are buried in the standings.

 


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull