Some quick observations from the Flyers’ seventh straight loss, a 5-4 overtime defeat to the visiting New York Islanders on Friday:
Youthful mistake. Andrew Ladd got position on rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim and scored from the doorstep with 7:49 left, knotting the game at 4-4. About eight minutes earlier, Jordan Eberle got the Isles to within 4-3 on a power-play goal that was scored after Nick Leddy got away with hooking the Flyers Travis Konecny on a breakaway.
The way things have been going for the Flyers lately, when adversity strikes, such as the missed call on Leddy, you get the feeling their confidence wanes and they expect something negative to happen.
Leddy scored the game-winner in overtime as he was left alone in an apparent defensive mixup between Ivan Provorov and Jake Voracek.
In the Flyers’ previous game, a defensive breakdown by Shayne Gostisbehere led to the Isles’ game-winner in OT.
Bottom line: The Flyers’ young D misses Andrew MacDonald (leg injury), who may return Monday in Pittsburgh. The Flyers have won just three of 15 games (3-6-6) without MacDonald.
Martel’s motor. Danick Martel’s motor is always running, and the diminutive Flyers left winger crashes the net with hell-bent tenacity. Or as analyst Bill Clement mentioned after the 5-foot-8 Martel delivered a first-period hit on 6-foot- 204-pound defenseman Leddy and created a scoring chance: “He’s 162 pounds of rotating razor blades.”
Martel, 22, has been one of the Flyers’ most noticeable forwards in his first two NHL games.
Nearly a disaster. The Islanders celebrated briefly when Johnny Boychuk beat Brian Elliott on a shot from eight feet outside the blue line, giving the visitors a 3-2 second-period lead. But the bizarre goal, which obviously would have deflated the Flyers, was quickly negated by a delayed offside call.
Shortly thereafter, Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier scored 19 seconds apart to put the Flyers ahead, 4-2. Gostisbehere ended a 13-game goal-less streak.
But the four-goal second-period eruption meant little as the Flyers collapsed in the third period and the OT.
After the loss, coach Dave Hakstol tried to put a positive spin on things, saying the Flyers have points in seven of their last 10 games.
What he didn’t say: The Flyers have lost seven of their last eight home games.
Finally. Wayne Simmonds has shown more speed lately, and you could sense he was starting to look closer to his old self after playing through several injuries. He finally connected Friday, putting in a rebound of Gostisbehere’s shot off the post and ending a 14-game goal-less drought, the second-longest of his Flyers career.
The Flyers are 4-0-1 when Simmonds scores a goal.
Giroux shines. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist for the 599th and 600th points of his career, putting him 10th in franchise history. Rod Brind’Amour is ninth with 601 points.
Giroux now has 19 even-strength points after collecting just 24 in the entire 2016-17 season.
Yes, moving to left wing and playing on Couturier’s line has been most agreeable to the Flyers’ captain.
Tale of two rookies. The Flyers received a questionable penalty shot with 2:59 left in the first period, and rookie Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, made a nice move and appeared to have goalie Thomas Greiss beaten, but he put his backhander wide of the net.
Martel’s long pass had sent Patrick, 19, away on the breakaway.
With 17 seconds remaining in the first, the Isles took a 1-0 lead when 20-year-old rookie Mathew Barzal knocked in a rebound.
Barzal, selected 16th overall in the 2015 draft, has two goals in two games against the Flyers, and he also was a dominating performer against them in the preseason.