Flyers on life-support after loss to Senators

The Flyers couldn't squeeze much past the Sens Thursday night. (Getty Images)
The Flyers couldn’t squeeze much past the Sens Thursday night. (Getty Images)

What a difference a week makes — even during a shortened season.

This time a week ago the Flyers were in the midst of a four-game winning streak and had pulled within two points of a playoff spot. Today they’re on virtual life support, a distant seven points from qualifying for the postseason with just eight games to play and four teams to climb over in the standings following a 3-1 loss Thursday night to the Ottawa Senators.

And while no one in orange and black is quite ready to wave the white flag, they know their task is too daunting to even think beyond the next game.

“All losses are tough,’’ said coach, Peter Laviolette, whose club has dropped three straight since winning in Toronto, scoring just one goal in each game. “We’re in the business of winning hockey games.

“Not getting that done is frustrating.’’

Especially considering the opportunities they’ve squandered.

Winnipeg had lost five straight before a four-goal, late second period explosion keyed the Jets’ 4-1 win. The Islanders hadn’t beaten the Flyers on home ice since 2010, before rallying for a 4-1 win Tuesday.

And Thursday, the Sens came in dragging their own five-game losing streak, putting their playoff hopes in peril with so many teams charging at them.

But rather than going after these clubs and feeding off their insecurities, the Flyers have been like chicken soup instead. Now the only ones sick are their fans, knowing it will take a total miracle to make up all that ground.

“I think everyone is still going to put in obviously a good effort right to the end,’’ said defenseman Luke Schenn, with road games coming up against the Sabres and Canadiens, before the Rangers and Devils come to town next week. “But obviously everyone’s a little bit frustrated.

“Guys are probably squeezing the stick a little tight. It’s been a real up and down year, for sure. It was a pretty competitive game for the most part tonight. But when it comes down to it, you’re not going to win very many games by scoring one goal.

The Flyers lone goal came when Claude Giroux redirected Simon Gagne’s shot shorthanded to tie the score at 11:44 of the first, after the Sens had dominated the first 10 minutes and taken a 1-0 lead on Zack Smith’s early breakaway. From there it became a tight defensive battle, with Ilya Bryzgalov back in goal after being given an unexpected night off on the Island.

A late third period high sticking call on Giroux that drew blood led to the game-winner on the power play, as Colin Greening inexplicably got behind the defense for another breakaway with just 5:36 left in regulation.

The Flyers pressed desperately for the equalizer but couldn’t connect, before Daniel Alfredsson’s empty net goal sealed it. And likely sealed their fate in the process.

“To get to playoffs you have to win games and right now we’re not winning games,’’ said Giroux. “We had some chances. We had some good chances. But sometimes it’s going to go in. Sometimes it won’t.’’

In large part because of all that’s transpired within the past week, eight games from now that will undoubtedly be their epitaph.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…