Philadelphia Flyers: Everybody’s gotta lose sometime

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers saw their 9-game winning streak halted by the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, as they missed an opportunity to move into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Philadelphia Flyers were on cloud nine, but the Boston Bruins made sure that they wouldn’t make it a perfect ten.

That was extremely lame. Hey, it’s just my way of dealing with disappointment.

Tuesday had a playoff kind of feel and it was a crisply-played and fast-moving game that could have gone either way. It just didn’t work out for the Flyers.

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We all knew that the end of this streak was coming eventually, but that doesn’t ease the pain, as the Flyers were bested in this showdown game by a Bruins club who just became the first to hit 100 points on the season. The big difference in this one was the rock solid performance from B’s goalie Tuukka Rask, who celebrated his birthday in style by turning aside all 36 Flyers shots.

It was even spacing across the board for the Flyers, who had exactly 12 shots in all three periods, although they couldn’t find much skating room for much of the third. Finally, the death knell came when Patrice Bergeron scored with 5:20 to play to make it a 2-0 game. There haven’t been many times lately where you’ve been able to say “Carter Hart should have stopped that”, but this was one of them. I guess he is mortal at home after all, though he’s still 19-3-2 at the Wells Fargo Center this year.

The true difference came on the power play, as the Flyers had two chances in the first period but came up empty. They’d go 0 for 3 for the game. Boston, meanwhile, got one on the man advantage very late in the second period, which turned the tide for good. A bounce here, a close call there…this is all it takes to make the difference between two good teams on any given night.

And make no mistake, the Flyers are still a very good team. One loss doesn’t change that. They’ll just have to make sure that things don’t go any further when they take the ice next on Thursday as they visit the stacked Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s another chance for the Flyers to make a positive statement this week, an opportunity that they need to take advantage of.

It’s hard to express glowing reviews for anyone when you get shut out, but Shayne Gostisbehere did not look out of place in his first game in a month. He even made a huge skate save when it was 1-0 in the third, keeping the Flyers within striking distance, at least temporarily. Back in the lineup in place of the ailing Philippe Myers, Ghost was eased in with 16:13 of ice time. But they’ll need him to get up to speed in a hurry, as the loss of Myers is a big one. No matter your feelings about him, the Flyers need Gostisbehere right now.

One game, even a loss as tough to swallow as this, isn’t enough to undo the weeks and weeks of good that the Flyers have done. But let it serve as a warning that, no matter how well things seem to be going, they can always end abruptly.

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The Flyers have 13 games left in this regular season to rev the engine back up. There’s no time like the present to start a new streak, because you don’t want to be the team that stumbles into the playoffs. This doesn’t look like the beginning of any major troubles, but the Flyers must erase any possibilities that it is.