In an attempt to change their sagging fortunes, the Flyers rolled out an old good luck charm, but they still couldn’t stop a losing streak from entering double digits.
As Lauren Hart sang “God Bless America” before the game, she was joined in video clips by the late Kate Smith.
The Boston Bruins didn’t appear too worried, nor should they have been.
The Flyers lost to the Bruins, 3-0, Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center for their 10th loss in a row (0-5-5). It was the sixth time they have been shut out this season and third time during the losing streak. The surging Bruins (12-8-4) have won six of their last seven.
“It’s not a good time right now, we need to figure it out and figure it out soon,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.
What has to be discouraging is that the last two games have been the worst. They lost, 3-1, to visiting San Jose on Tuesday.
The Flyers (8-11-7) showed more life against Boston, but they seem like a team whose confidence is greatly shaken.
“I thought the other night was a tired hockey game for us,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “Tonight we had opportunities in the second [period] to change the complexion of this game, and they scored on a couple of their good opportunities. To that point it’s a very close hockey game.’
The Flyers left too many Bruins open around the goal and even had a score of their own taken off the board.
With 58.6 seconds left in the second period, the Flyers thought they had cut the Bruins’ lead to 3-1 on Giroux’s power-play goal through a screen with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the goal, citing goaltender interference. The officials agreed with the Boston coach, saying Wayne Simmonds’ left elbow hit goaltender Tuukka Rask in the mask.
“He said I clipped him in his head. I honestly didn’t feel it if I did,” Simmonds said. “I’m not going to complain about the reffing. It’s not what decided the game, so it is what it is.”
Near the midway point of the third period, a Bruins goal by Noel Acciari was overturned after it was determined he deflected a shot in with a high stick.
By then, that bit of good fortune was way too late for the Flyers.
With 11 minutes, 31 seconds left in the first period, Simmonds and Boston’s Kevan Miller got into a prolonged fight. Simmonds landed some solid blows.
It was the type of fight that was standard procedure during the Flyers’ Broad Street Bullies glory days. This time, it failed to inspire the team.
Near the midway point of the first period, Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made an outstanding save that also looked as if it could spur his team. Lying on his side, Elliott somehow deflected a shot in front by David Backes off the post and out of harm’s way.
Elliott and the Flyers wouldn’t be as fortunate later in the period.
Boston took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Spooner’s breakaway goal with 4:30 left.
Flyers center Nolan Patrick had a back-pass intercepted by Acciari, whose feed found Spooner near center ice, just past the outstretched stick of Ivan Provorov. Spooner skated in and beat Elliott through his legs.
The Bruins made it 2-0 when Patrice Bergeron sent a faceoff from the left circle off Patrick’s skate to Brad Marchand. The Bruins left winger sent the puck across the goal to David Pastrnak, who scored from in front for his 13th goal, with 13:22 left in the second period.
With 6:04 left in the period, the Flyers’ Travis Konecny was stopped on a breakaway, continuing the Flyers’ frustration.
Marchand made it 3-0 with 9:16 left in the second period, scoring from in front after deking Elliott.
Now the Flyers head to Western Canada for three games in four days, beginning Monday in Calgary. Its a tough trek, but then again, nothing is easy for the Flyers at this point and won’t be until they regain their confidence and scoring touch.