Five observations from the Flyers’ 5-1 loss to visiting Tampa Bay on Thursday:
Right winger Travis Konecny scored the Flyers’ lone goal, and he has tallied once in each of the last four games.
Moving him to the top line has worked wonders. Since joining Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier on the top unit, Konecny has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 14 games. Yes, that bodes well for the Flyers in the season’s final two-plus months.
The Flyers are 9-4-1 since Konecny was moved to the top line. In Thursday’s game, he had five shots.
The all-star break comes at a good time for the Flyers. They have played an exhausting stretch that included five games in the last eight nights.
The schedule is condensed down the stretch, starting with back-to-back road games Wednesday (Washington) and New Jersey (Thursday).
In Thursday’s loss, defensive breakdowns contributed to three Tampa goals in the second period. The Flyers had similar defensive shortcomings in the third period of Tuesday’s win in Detroit.
At the all-star break, the Flyers (24-17-8) are in the second wild-card spot with 56 points with 33 games left. They had 54 points (24-19-6) at a corresponding time last season.
Two points separate six teams in the Metropolitan Division that are battling for second place.
In other words, a winning streak can put you in second, while a losing skid can knock you out of a playoff spot.
Brian Elliott’s injury is apparently minor and he is expected to play in one of the next two games. Elliott practiced with the team Thursday morning, but later in the day the
Flyers said he was day to day with a lower-body injury and they recalled Alex Lyon to back up Michal Neuvirth.
Elliott’s numbers (19-11-7 record, 2.77 GAA, .908 save percentage) don’t jump out at you, but he has had a knack for making game-turning saves.
Second-year defenseman Ivan Provorov is getting more offensive-minded with each game and it’s not a stretch to see him as a 20-goal scorer down the road. He has nine goals this season after scoring six as a rookie.
Provorov had 10 shots, including five on net, in Thursday’s loss.