PHILADELPHIA -- If nothing else, the Flyers have shown stunning consistency in one area during the season's first month: an offense that can't find the net.
They have scored two goals or fewer in 12 of their first 13 contests, and they are averaging 1.62 goals per game, the 29th-lowest figure in the 30-team NHL.
In other words, until some of their marquee forwards such as Claude Giroux (no goals, minus-9), Scott Hartnell (no goals)) Jake Voracek (one goal) and Wayne Simmonds (one goal, minus-9) get untracked, they will have to win with defense and goaltending.
The tight-checking games may not be exciting to watch, but with a 4-9 record, the Flyers couldn't care less about style points.
They desperately need wins, any type of wins, to climb back into the playoff hunt in the mostly feeble Metropolitan Division.
In Saturday's 1-0 victory in New Jersey, the Flyers did not commit a turnover for the first time since 2009, and they allowed just 14 shots -- one fewer than in the "second period of their embarrassing 7-0 loss to Washington the previous night.
It was the second-fewest shots total they had surrendered in a road game in franchise history.
"It was pretty much as flawless defensively as you can get," goalie Ray Emery said after what was probably the easiest of his 15 career shutouts.
On Tuesday, the Flyers play in Carolina (4-7-3), facing a Hurricanes team that is also off to a listless start. Carolina is 26th in goals scored (1.93 per game) and, weakened by the loss of injured goalie Cam Ward, has just the 23d-ranked defense (3.00).
The Flyers lost in Carolina, 2-1, on Oct. 6 and fell to 0-3. The next day, Peter Laviolette was fired and replaced by Craig Berube
The Flyers are 4-6 under Berube.
"It's a results business," said defenseman Hal Gill, who made his Flyers debut Saturday and is expected to remain in the lineup Tuesday. "We've got to get results. We believe we're better than this. But that doesn't matter unless you show it."
Washington's 7-0 victory over the host Flyers Friday was marred by a brawl that drew the attention of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The brawl included Emery's pummeling of fellow goalie Braden Holtby, even though the latter wanted no part of it. Emery was not punished by the NHL, but Bettman told the Columbus Dispatch the league might look into adding a rule to punish such actions.
"We constantly monitor and look at the game," said Bettman, who was in Columbus for the announcement that the Blue Jackets would host the 2015 All-Star Game. "There was no rule that was violated to elevate things to the level of a suspension. It's something we'll continue to discuss."
Added Bettman: "I don't think anybody liked it, liked what it looked like. Fortunately it's not something that happens very often. But I'm sure it's something we'll focus on, particularly with the general managers."
Recently acquired winger Steve Downie, who suffered a concussion in Friday's loss to Washington, was released from the hospital Sunday. ... Gill, who was paired with Andrej Meszaros, called Saturday's game "the kind of greasy road win we want. We wanted to wear them down."
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