Here are five observations from the Flyers’ 1-0 loss Thursday to visiting Nashville, which was played exactly 50 years after the Flyers’ first-ever home game, a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh at the venerable Spectrum:
In a fast-paced first period that had few whistles, rookies Taylor Leier, Travis Sanheim, and Nolan Patrick each had good chances turned aside by Pekka Rinne in the opening six minutes. If one of them had connected, it may have been a different result because the Flyers have had a knack for holding onto early leads. They are 4-0 when the score first, 0-3 when they don’t.
Playing like a No. 1
Michal Neuvirth has a losing record (1-2), but it has nothing to do with his play and everything to do with his goal support. Neuvirth has a 1.36 GAA and a .957 save percentage. The Flyers have been shut out in both of his losses.
Manning or Sanheim?
After being benched in the previous two games, Sanheim had perhaps his best performance of the young season. Sanheim, 21, needs to play to continue to grow his game. That said, coach Dave Hakstol figures to be tempted to use Brandon Manning on Saturday because he has had a way of distracting Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid.
The Flyers list injured winger Jordan Weal as day to day with an unspecified injury. The sooner he returns the better because his creativity and speed help make the second line and the second power-play unit click.
A positive from the loss: The Flyers didn’t allow many Grade A chances. “I felt like there were some orange sweaters around us whenever we got the puck,” said Colton Sissons, who capitalized on one of Nashville’s few odd-man rushes and scored early in the third period for the game’s lone goal.