In a crucial week, the Philadelphia Flyers came up short, earning no points against Eastern Conference Stanley Cup contenders, losing to the Boston Bruins 3-0. It was the Flyers' third straight loss.
A game with a largely defensive identity took seven minutes to get the first shot on goal. Danny Briere let a weak shot fly to open the shooting stat. That opened the floodgates of scoring—for the other side.
Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?
Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?
The Flyers need to rebound after a bad loss against the Rangers on Tuesday. The task won't be easy as they host the first place Penguins. It's going to be another bitter, nasty rivalry game and it's gonna be in the city of Brotherly Love
The Flyers and Senators made some noise outside of the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
The big hits and the fights got the crowd vocally active in the Flyers 2-1 win over the Senators, and it will get the NHL's head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan vocally involved sometime in the next couple days.
The highlight of the extracurricular activities came midway through the first period. Flyers winger Harry Zolnierczyk came flying across the ice to deliver a massive hit on Ottawa's Mike Lundin.
Zolnierczyk left his feet to deliver the hit, driving his shoulder into the head of Lundin. Lundin was knocked out of the game due to the hit, and Zolnierczyk got a five-minute major for charging and a 10-minute game misconduct.
(Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk lays out Mike Lundin as Zac Rinaldo looks on. AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Everyone's focus has been on the level of play brought to the ice by Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux.
Both are the top two point-getters for the Flyers, and both have garnered a lot of attention for their speed, goal scoring and prolific passing. Their 25 and and 22 points respectively along with Scott Hartnell's play have made them one of the most dangerous top lines in the NHL.
Not lost in the mix of scoring has been second line winger Wayne Simmonds, who shares time with Voracek and Giroux on the top power play unit.
Simmonds has nine goals on the season, tied with Voracek for the team lead. He is fourth in points with 17.
(Pictured: Wayne Simmonds scores on a breakaway in the second period. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
All it takes is one ill-fated blast from the point to ruin a season.
At the time, that unfortunate situation struck Scott Hartnell down on January 24—a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. A rocket propelled puck off the stick of Kimmo Timonen broke the first metatarsil in his left foot, keeping him out of action for a while.
Hartnell has since returned, and in his return, he has scored a goal and added two assists since then. The team also won two of its last three games in its homestand at the Wells Fargo Center since the #19 orange sweater stepped back onto the ice.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell celebrates after scoring his first goal on Monday. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)