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Observations from Flyers' latest loss: Why do they struggle at home?

Sam Carchidi, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2018, 11:12 AM

Penguins Evgeni Malkin, (center) and Kris Letang celebrating behind the Flyers' Sean Couturier after an empty-net goal by Malkin on Wednesday.

Five observations from the Flyers’ 5-2 loss to visiting Pittsburgh on Wednesday night:

No place like home … not!

Sixteen NHL teams, including the Flyers, are in playoff spots. Only one of those 16 has more losses than wins at home.

Yep, the Flyers.

Maybe they are pressing to please their demanding, quick-to-boo fans. Maybe it’s just one of those quirky things that can’t be explained. Whatever the reason, it is killing them.

They have 16 wins at home and 17 losses. (Technically, they are 16-11-6 at home.) They would be atop the Metropolitan Division standings if they were a strong team at the Wells Fargo Center.

On the flip side, the Flyers have more road wins than any other Metro team. They are an impressive 18-11-5 on the road entering Thursday’s matchup in Boston.

Filppula-Crosby mismatch

Val Filppula’s line was on the ice for three goals scored by Sidney Crosby’s unit Wednesday. If the teams meet in the playoffs, it would not be surprising if Scott Laughton’s line got a shot at defending Crosby and company.

Laughton has much more speed than Filppula, and it would give the Flyers a better chance to defend Flyer-killer Crosby.

Lyon deserves a chance

It’s time to give rookie Alex Lyon a look. Veteran Petr Mrazek has struggled in his last four starts, allowing 18 goals in that span.

Lyon figures to get the call in Boston on Thursday. Right?

Keep an eye on …

The Flyers have lost four straight since climbing atop the Metro. Don’t look now, but teams are gaining on them. The Flyers are eight points ahead of surging Florida, a team on the outer edge of the playoffs. But the Panthers have three games in hand. In other words, with 15 games left, a playoff spot is far from guaranteed for this Jekyll-and-Hyde team.

The Flyers’ next three games will be against strong opponents: Boston, Winnipeg, and Vegas.

Couturier’s drought

Center Sean Couturier, who did a great job containing Evgeni Malkin on Wednesday, has been stuck on 29 goals for nine games. It’s his longest scoring drought of the season, and the Flyers need him to get back on track.

Quickly.

Sam Carchidi, STAFF WRITER

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