Flyers hear 6 more goal horns as alarming March continues to grow in concern

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Jordan Hall
·5 min read
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Flyers hear 6 more goal horns as alarming March continues to grow in concern originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The alarms continued to sound for the Flyers this month as the team was blown out by the Islanders, 6-1, on Saturday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Flyers have heard far too many goal horns in March and you can bet general manager Chuck Fletcher hears them loud and clearly. As for how and when the team addresses it are questions looming larger by each goal horn.

Saturday night started badly for the Flyers (15-11-3) before the puck was even dropped. Sean Couturier was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury. What felt like before you could look up from reading the announcement, the Flyers had dug themselves a deep hole and were chasing the game.

In their four-game New York road trip, the Flyers went 2-2-0 and yielded 22 goals.

Emphatically, the Islanders (20-8-4) picked up their first win over the Flyers this season in four tries.

• Just how troubling has March been for the Flyers?

They're 4-7-0 this month and have allowed 51 goals. They gave up 52 goals over their first 18 games (11-4-3).

They've allowed three or more goals in every game this month.

Meanwhile, the Flyers surrendered six or more goals five times in 69 games last season. They've allowed six or more goals five times already through 29 games this season.

Goaltending has not been there, like it was last season, but the Flyers need some kind of help by the April 12 trade deadline.

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• The Islanders ripped off four goals in the first period.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau's 1-0 goal was on the power play and it came off a bad bounce. Oskar Lindblom's blocked shot ricocheted right to Pageau, who was near the slot and had a wide-open net.

New York extended its lead to 2-0 when a loose puck bounced around in front and Jordan Eberle flushed it home as the Flyers were scrambling in an attempt to clear it.

Casey Cizikas then flipped the game upside down on the Flyers with back-to-back goals to make it 4-0.

Playing in his second straight game, veteran defenseman Nate Prosser committed a bad turnover on Cizikas' first marker. The Islanders' center took it in unimpeded on Carter Hart and beat him with a wrist shot.

On his second goal, Cizikas outworked the Flyers to win a puck battle, a sequence that started with Prosser under pressure and making a pass along the boards. Cizikas was rewarded for his hard work as he scored off a cross-ice feed from Thomas Hickey. Hart was expecting Hickey to put it on net and couldn't recover.

New York was coming off its first regulation home loss, so the Flyers had to know the Islanders were going to come out with an abundance of energy. No Couturier and then the Flyers failed to withstand New York's push. Essentially, that was game over.

"Unfortunately on the penalty-killing, Oskar blocked a shot and it went to Pageau, who had an open net, so sort of a break on their part," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said postgame. "Then, the other goals, we just basically gave it to them, whether it be with turnovers or bad decisions. It didn't seem like right at the beginning we had a lot of energy. We're just going to have to reenergize tomorrow and get ready for our next game against these guys on Monday."

• Prosser had another giveaway on the Islanders' fifth goal, which came from Anthony Beauvillier in the third period.

Prosser had a rough night; his three turnovers led to half of New York's output.

Expect Shayne Gostisbehere to return to the lineup Monday after his three straight healthy scratches.

Vigneault was asked if he could put a finger on why the Flyers had so many self-inflicted wounds.

"If I could, I would have fixed it already," he said. "It's my job obviously to find solutions. I really thought prior to the game that we were focused, we talked about making sure that we follow up that performance that we had with another solid one, making the right plays. But right off the bat, initially we were turning pucks over in the neutral zone, and you give opportunities like we did to any team, they'll find a way to put them in the net and that's what they did."

• Hart made 22 saves on 28 shots. The sixth goal allowed was all on him as he had an ugly turnover outside of his crease that gave Josh Bailey an easy tally.

The 22-year-old definitely isn't anywhere close to his game right now as he keeps searching for answers. The Flyers have done very little to help him find those answers. As former Flyer and current analyst Scott Hartnell said on NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Flyers too often have let Hart and Brian Elliott hang out to dry.

• After his two-goal game Thursday, Lindblom tried to spark the Flyers in the first period when he dropped the gloves with Oliver Wahlstrom.

Good stuff by Lindblom.

Joel Farabee scored the Flyers' lone goal two-plus minutes after Lindblom's fight. It was the Flyers' only response.

"He's a team guy," Travis Konecny said. "That was definitely the right time to give us a spark; it's just too bad we didn't respond the way we should have after Osky stepped up."

Oskar Lindblom drops the gloves with Oliver Wahlstrom

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• Saturday night started a stretch of three games in four days for the Flyers. They'll host the Islanders on Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Devils on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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