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Hart yanked, Tippett exits and Flyers fall back to earth with loss to Avs

Hart yanked, Tippett exits and Flyers fall back to earth with loss to Avs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Carter Hart was pulled after two periods Saturday afternoon as the Flyers were cooled off by the Avalanche in a 7-4 loss at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers also lost Owen Tippett in the third period. The 24-year-old winger was injured in the corner and limped up the tunnel for evaluation. He did not return to the game because of a lower-body injury.

It wasn't the Flyers' day.

John Tortorella's club had its five-game winning streak snapped. It had allowed only 1.60 goals per game in that run before Colorado came to town and did damage.

Tyson Foerster and Cam Atkinson drew the Flyers (25-15-6) within one during the third period.

But the Avalanche restored order with a power play goal from Mikko Rantanen.

Nathan MacKinnon was as advertised. Colorado's superstar center put up two goals and three assists.

Logan O'Connor scored an empty-netter to cap off a hat trick.

The Flyers split their two-game regular-season series with the Avalanche (30-14-3). Last month, the Flyers won in Denver for the first time since March 2018, holding Colorado to just two goals.

• Hart is going to take some heat for this one considering the five goals he allowed came on 15 shots.

He wasn't sharp and the Flyers needed him to come up with more saves.

But four of the five goals weren't exactly softies.

The seven-time All-Star MacKinnon put the Avalanche in the driver's seat 43 seconds into the middle stanza. The 28-year-old got behind the Flyers' defense and beat Hart on a mini breakaway to make it 3-0.

After Morgan Frost found Joel Farabee to draw the Flyers within two, Colorado forced a turnover and scored in transition. O'Connor finished the sequence with his second goal of the game.

MacKinnon's second goal is one Hart should want back. It was a shot from distance after the Flyers had made it 4-2 on a Travis Konecny marker.

In a 5-2 game, Samuel Ersson took over at the start of the third period. He finished with seven saves on eight shots in relief.

• The Avalanche put the Flyers in a 2-0 hole at first intermission.

They struck first on a double deflection about midway through the opening frame.

Sam Malinski's shot went off of Ross Colton's stick and then O'Connor's skate. The goal was upheld by video review, which confirmed there was no distinct kicking motion.

Six seconds after their power play expired, Colorado extended its lead when MacKinnon found Rantanen alone in the circle.

The Flyers outshot the Avalanche 12-5 during the period, but Colorado showed off its smarts and skill in the offensive zone.

Avalanche netminder Alexandar Georgiev stopped 34 of the Flyers' 38 shots.

Atkinson had a three-point game (one goal, two assists) and Frost had another two-assist performance.

• Missing Tippett for any period of time would be a considerable loss. He has been a force of late for the Flyers.

• Given how well the Flyers played in their 5-1 win Thursday over the Stars, Tortorella went with the same lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Bobby Brink, Nicolas Deslauriers and Marc Staal were extras.

For Brink, it was the 22-year-old rookie's third healthy scratch in the last five games. Something to monitor.

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they host Claude Giroux and the Senators (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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