The Flyers knew exactly what they needed to do if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes at a manageable level.
They didn't execute though, and it was seen clearly in their 5-2 loss to New Jersey. They were docked with seven giveaways in the loss, leading to some quick first period goals that put them in an early, insurmountable hole.
An Andrej Meszaros give away behind the net gave the Devils their first goal of the game.
Meszaros coughed up the puck to the slot and Adam Henrique put a shot on net. Patrik Elias intercepted the shot in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and beat the netminder backhanded to put New Jersey up, 1-0.
(Pictured: Devils goalie Johan Hedberg makes a save. Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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
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)