Flustered Flyers aim to end 10-game skid vs. Flames
CALGARY, Alberta — The Philadelphia Flyers were shut out in their latest contest to see their winless skid extend to 10 games (0-5-5) heading into a Monday tilt against the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
While the Flyers (8-11-7) were blanked 3-0 by the Boston Bruins on home ice on Saturday afternoon, the Flames (14-11-1) fell 7-5 to the visiting Edmonton Oilers later that evening.
The Flyers have lost 10 straight games for the first time since a similar stretch of futility in February 2008.
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“We’re just squeezing our sticks,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said Saturday after Philadelphia’s sixth shutout loss of the season. “We just need that first win so we can have a breather. It’s not a good time right now. We need to figure it out and figure it out soon.”
After facing off against the Flames, the Flyers will head north to play the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday before taking on the Canucks in Vancouver the next night.
“We need this right now,” Calgary right winger Wayne Simmonds said. “We need to get it so it’s just us together. We can finally converse about what we want to do … how we’re going to play. There’s no outside distractions. Obviously (when) guys are at home, there’s families and stuff like that. On the road, we’re each other’s family.”
Meanwhile, the Flames have lost two of their past three games and three of their last five.
“I think we’re in our own head a little bit sometimes trying to play too safe and not make any plays at times,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano, who is slated to suit up for his 700th NHL game against the Flyers.
“Mistakes are going to happen. We’ve got to live with them. When someone makes a mistake, we’ve all got to help out and play together.”
The Flames dug themselves a big hole against the Oilers on Saturday and were trailing 6-1 before reeling off four goals in a span of 7:12 in the third period to pull back within one of their Alberta rivals.
“I don’t think of it as a positive,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said of Calgary’s late rally. “I think it’s positive for the fan base that we worked our way back in, but for me, there were other issues early on. In this league, you can’t be down 5-1 at the end of the second period.”
Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie then inadvertently tipped the puck into his own net past goalie David Rittich with 61 seconds left in regulation to seal the victory for the Oilers.
“What we really have to evaluate with our group is what emotional level are we at when we play big games,” Gulutzan said. “When they’re wound tight, and I can tell they’re wound tight and they’re digging in, I worry about them sometimes at those stages.
“They play better when there’s less pressure on them at times, and that’s something we have to deal with better here as a group. They almost wait for something good to happen.”