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
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.