Flyers Now Winless In the Last Four, Playoffs Slipping?

Connor Bedard had an assist to increase his rookie-leading points total, Philipp Kurashev, Joey Anderson, and Lukas Reichel each added a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Flyers 5-1 on Saturday night. Nick Foligno and Mackenzie also scored for rebuilding Chicago, which entered with the second-fewest points in the NHL. The Blackhawks improved to 22-47-5 overall and 7-29-1 on the road. Arvid Soderblom made 29 saves.

Tyson Foerster scored for the Flyers, and Sam Ersson made 19 saves. This season was expected to be another rebuilding campaign in the second year under coach John Tortorella, but the Flyers are a surprising playoff contender. They last made the postseason in 2020.

The Action

The Flyers started Saturday holding the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division but just a point ahead of fourth-place Washington. Philadelphia has seven games remaining. Tortorella was shaking his head early and often behind the bench, as the Flyers came out slow against the lowly Blackhawks, who had already been eliminated from the playoff race.

Reichel’s wraparound just 2:01 into the contest put the Blackhawks up 1-0, and Kurashev finished a 3-on-2 with a wrister past Ersson’s glove side after a pretty cross-ice pass from Bedard. Bedard improved his team-leading points total to 57 with his 36th assist, which also is leading Chicago. The Blackhawks selected the 18-year-old star No. 1 in last spring’s draft.

After Flyers assistant captain Scott Laughton dropped the gloves with Ryan Donato at the end of the first period in an apparent attempt to spark his team, the Flyers pulled within 2-1 just 17 seconds into the second period on Foerster’s 20th of the season.

But Philadelphia couldn’t find the equalizer, and the Blackhawks took a two-goal lead with 2:32 remaining in the second on Foligno’s power-play tally on a one-timer from the slot. Anderson and Entwistle padded the Blackhawks’ advantage with goals in the third. The Flyers were hurt by their own performance on the man advantage, going 0 for 3. Philadelphia entered converting at an NHL-worst 13.2% on the power play.

Ivan Fedotov served as Philadelphia’s backup goalie after joining the Flyers on Friday. The club drafted the 6-foot-6, 27-year-old in the seventh round in 2015, but the has yet to suit up for the Flyers due to issues leaving Russia and playing in the KHL. Fedotov, wearing an unpainted, white goalie mask, was cheered loudly during warmups.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.