Flyers drop eighth consecutive game in blowout loss at Canadiens

Jackie Spiegel, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Hockey

MONTREAL — In a season of must-wins, this was the must-win of must-wins.

The Flyers entered Tuesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens desperate. They had to stop the bleeding. And it wasn’t a small, slow bleed; it was a seven-game losing streak kind of bleed. If they wanted to make the playoffs, they had to find the game that had brought them into the postseason bubble in the first place — and fast as time ticking away.

But, as has been the story for the Flyers of late, Tuesday night was just like the others: another loss. This game was a 9-3 defeat to a team that began the night ranked No. 28 in the NHL.

Things did look better for the Orange and Black at times. Despite once again not getting the start they wanted, as Juraj Slafkovský was credited with the Canadiens’ opening goal 65 seconds into the game, they played with a more up-tempo pace and determination that’s been missing.

Unfortunately, that did not last after the first period as Slafkovský, who was selected first overall in the 2022 draft, added a pair of goals in the second period for his first NHL hat trick. The Slovakian forward made it 2-0 as he stood alone at the right post. The Flyers defense overcommitted before his breakaway goal doubled the score. His teammates knew it was a hatty — as they were fake tossing hats — but it took some time for the fans to realize as his opening goal was originally credited to Matheson.

Slafkovský's second-period goals were one of four the Canadiens scored in a 3-minute, 59-second stretch against Sam Ersson. Brendan Gallagher was alone in front for a tip-in to make it 3-0 and Josh Anderson made it 5-0 with a goal that pretty much sums up the Flyers collapse. Nick Seeler was keeping Anderson to the outside as he drove to the net but the Canadiens forward leaned into Seeler and, as he was going down, the puck went off his body and past Ersson. Seeler would have been called for holding if the puck hadn’t gone in.

That was it for Ersson after he allowed five goals on 17 shots. Ivan Fedotov entered the game but things weren’t much better for the Russian netminder as he allowed four of his own on 13 shots. Fedotov came in and made two fantastic saves right away on Alex Newhook and Justin Barron. But Christian Dvorak scored on the third shot he saw, a wrister from the right faceoff circle.


Dvorak and Gallagher each added another goal with a goal by Ryan Poehling sandwiched in between. Joel Farabee scored a cleanup goal late, in what is probably the brightest spot of the game. The Flyers forward was buzzing for most of the night and had several chances to score; he snapped a 10-game drought.


Erik Johnson scored the Flyers’ final goal with 2:53 left in the game. … Sean Couturier returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. … Ronnie Attard, Adam Ginning, Egor Zamula, Nic Deslauriers, Cam Atkinson, and Denis Gurianov were each a healthy scratch. … Johnson got an assist on each of Poehling’s goal for his first two points in 14 games with the Flyers. … Joel Armia scored the ninth goal for the Canadiens.

Up next

The Flyers head to the Big Apple to take on the New York Rangers on Thursday.

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