Flyers vs. Sharks: OT loss keeps point streak alive after news of Sean Couturier injury

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  • Philadelphia Flyers
    Philadelphia Flyers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • San Jose Sharks
    San Jose Sharks
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  • Sean Couturier
    Sean Couturier
    Canadian ice hockey player
  • Keith Yandle
    Keith Yandle
    American ice hockey player

Flyers keep point streak alive but fall in OT after news of another injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Playing the second game of a back-to-back road set, the Flyers fell to the Sharks, 3-2, in overtime Thursday night at SAP Center in San Jose, California.

Mike Yeo's club has gone to OT in four straight games. It won, 3-2, Wednesday night in Seattle during overtime.

Against the Sharks, the Flyers (13-12-6) surrendered the OT winner to Tomas Hertl with just over 30 seconds left in the bonus session.

The Flyers were outshot 82-47 in the back-to-back set, which is concerning. They've put too much pressure on their goaltenders this season.

But despite the defeat Thursday, the Flyers were able to sustain their season-best point streak, extending it to seven games (5-0-2). Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee provided the Flyers' goals.

Yeo said the Flyers arrived to their hotel at around 4:30 a.m. PT after traveling from Seattle. They were also playing without a slew of key players, including Sean Couturier. With an upper-body issue, the first-line center was placed on injured reserve prior to the game and is considered week to week.

"We came into this trip with an understanding that we were going to have to battle and we were going to have to scratch and claw in order to get points, in order to get wins," the Flyers' interim head coach said. "You're missing the guys that we have out of the lineup right now, so these are not easy games.

"This game tonight, the circumstances of getting in last night, our players didn't get to their hotel rooms until after 4:30 in the morning. Back-to-back games against a team that was in their own beds at home last night watching us play. Tonight, I'm going to definitely focus on the positives. Definitely saw some tired mistakes out there."

The Flyers finish their two-game regular-season series with the Sharks (17-14-1) in a little over a week when they welcome San Jose to the Wells Fargo Center.

• The Flyers were burned by a shorthanded goal that totally changed the complexion of the game.

Holding a 1-0 lead five minutes into the second period, the Flyers went on a power play. But within a two-minute span, the Sharks put a goal on the Flyers' power play unit and scored at even strength to flip the game in their favor at 2-1.

On San Jose's shorthanded marker, as the Sharks cleared the puck, it took a funky bounce off of the side glass and ricocheted toward the middle of the ice. Logan Couture pounced on it and got past Keith Yandle to knot the score.

"I don't know if it hit the camera or the stanchion, I'm not sure. But it certainly took a bad bounce there," Yeo said. "They come down, it's a 50-50 puck and I think we kind of gambled on it a little bit. Stuff happens in the game, obviously you have to be able to react to it. That's not something we want to give up but you've got to stabilize things after that. We gave up one very quickly right after. ... You always have an opportunity to come back out and get that goal back, get the momentum back. We didn't do that.

"Certainly don't want to celebrate the fact that we lost a game in overtime here tonight, but I think that given the circumstances that we had and seeing the effort that the guys put in tonight, we'll take the point and look to get better for the next one."

Yandle, a 35-year-old veteran who signed with the Flyers for one year, $900,000, has struggled defensively thus far. He is much more of an offensive-minded blueliner but he hasn't been able to hold his own in coverage consistently enough.

Yandle has been on the ice for all five of the shorthanded goals allowed by the Flyers this season and his on-ice even strength goal differential is minus-10.

But Yandle, who is ultra positive and a good teammate, deserves credit for making a huge defensive play in the third period to spring the Flyers on their game-tying goal. He created a turnover to tally an assist on Farabee's equalizer with just over four minutes left in regulation.

The Flyers got a point because of that play by Yandle. He has a quality stick in coverage and those are plays he can make more often.

• Felix Sandstrom was stellar in his NHL debut.

The 24-year-old Swede converted 43 saves and gave the Flyers a fighter's chance to win the game.

"Felix was great," Farabee said. "Given the circumstances with COVID and whatnot, for him to come on this trip and play a game like that, it says a lot about the player he is and the player he's going to be."

San Jose netminder James Reimer made 23 stops for the win.

• The back half of the Flyers' West Coast road trip wraps up against the Kings on New Year's Day Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Ducks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

With the NHL's modified COVID protocol, it's possible Carter Hart, Scott Laughton and Derick Brassard could return Saturday in Los Angeles. It's not a guarantee, though.

More: Looking to shoot, Flyers hit L.A. on New Year's Day, have reinforcements nearing

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