NEWARK, NJ – The last time the Flyers visited the Prudential Center, Carter Hart delivered a heroic, 48-run save.
On Saturday night, there was no one to save the pilots from this.
John Tortorella’s team was completely squashed, 7-0, by the Devils tied for the playoffs.
The ugly result was a fitting end to a crucial month for the club.
The Flyers (23-28-10) fell hard in February, going 2-7-1. They only have one game left before next Friday’s NHL trade deadline. They will sell the pieces. Their entire season’s focus shifted to the next season and beyond, which was expected in the end.
“The effort is there. I don’t think we use our brains to understand how we should play,” Tortorella said. “I think it falls on me to make sure they understand that.
“I’m disappointed for them. They’re a good team. We’re nowhere near that. So you have to adjust your game to give yourself a chance to win. That’s what frustrates me for them.”
The club is 2-10-0 in the second match of the two straight sets. He had a lopsided loss Friday at home against the Canadiens.
The Flyers missed Travis Konicney, who was out for the third straight game with an upper-body injury. He was placed on injured reserve Saturday to open up a roster spot for Elliot Desnoyers, who is making his NHL debut (more on that below).
The Flyers faced a lively crowd at the Prudential Center. New Jersey honored its team with the 2003 Stanley Cup title in a pre-game ceremony.
The Flyers went 2-2-0 against the Devils (39-15-5) to split the four-game regular season series.
“We’re not there with that team,” Tortorella said. “I don’t know how to say it any other way.” “It’s not a criticism of our team, but we’re nowhere near right now. That might have been criticism of them a few years ago, Jersey, when they were going through their procedure.
“I have to continue to understand that. I just want our guys to have some sanity in the last quarter here by being smart when we play these games now because we have a limited lineup.”
• James van Riemsdyk, the pilot most likely to be flown in by the deadline, was not in the squad.
Tortorella said Van Riemsdyk was “a little shy”. Maybe some asset management by Flyers as well.
We’ll see if the 33-year-old winger gets another game in a Flyers uniform.
Without Konecnie and Van Riemsdyk, the Flyers had a youthful look up front. Eight of their 12 attackers were 25 years old or younger.
“You overthink things and always think wrong and get negative, what does that do to the group?” Scott Lawton said. “You learn from it, and you try to become a better person and a better player throughout this.
“It’s hard, it stinks. It’s no fun going through this. But, you know, you try to look at the other side of it where we can get out of this as a group and get these guys, you guys who want to be fliers, really want to be here and try Get something here.”
• Samuel Erson suffered his first loss as the NHL’s leading scorer, falling to 6-1-0. He faced 36 rounds.
“I let seven goals in, I couldn’t be happier,” said Ersson.
The 23-year-old made some quality saves to keep the Flyers somewhat afloat over the first 40 minutes.
He didn’t get much help during the second period as New Jersey turned the game on its head for the Flyers.
Jonas Siegenthaler, Jack Hughes, and Dawson Mercer all scored for the Devils, who completely dominated the Flyers.
Hughes’ mark came on an impressive breakaway move to reduce New Jersey’s lead to 2-0. Mercer’s goal was 3-0 as a result of a no-man’s-land spin by Morgan Frost.
Siegenthaler broke the ice with a shot through the traffic.
The Devils poured four more times during the third period to make it a touchdown and an extra point.
“It’s annoying that he has to eat all seven,” Tortorella said of Ersson. “It’s part of an operation for the No. 2 goalkeeper because Carter wasn’t there.”
Fourteen different New Jersey players scored points on the night.
“It happens, it’s not fun,” Erson said. “But we have to be able to deal with this adversity and fight here for the next two games.
“You never want to lose a game like this, but you have to be able to handle it when it happens.”
Devils goaltender Akira Schmid stopped all 23 Flyers shots.
• Desnoyers, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick, has been rewarded for his growth in his first year of professional hockey in the AHL’s Lehigh Valley.
The organization is very high on the 21-year-old striker. He plays a game that coaches tend to love.
“I played well there,” Tortorella said before the game. “He’s chasing things and playing the right way, he’s been one of the best all-rounders around. I’ve been interested for a while to see him.”
Flyers head coach placed Desnoyers at center, with Laughton and Olle Lycksell on his wings.
Desnoyers played 14:53 minutes and it was only minus 1.
“He deserves a chance,” Tortorella said. “Just walking with him on the bus, I know he’s really excited. His parents came here.
“I’m not going to make judgments, good or bad, after the game. It’s not fair. I’m always eager to see the kids play, especially the situation we’re in in Philly to see where we’re at for a little bit.”
Desnoyers’ parents, Martine Laliberte and David Desnoyers, took the 13-and-a-half-hour flight from Prince Edward Island to Newark, a journey that began at 2 a.m. ET.
“They were very happy,” Desnoyers said before the game. “My mum is always emotional. I score a goal and she gets emotional. It was fun announcing that to them and I hoped they would get here.”
After the game, Tortorella said that the Flyers were sending Erson and Desnoyers to the Phantoms.
• Allison Wade was fumbled late in the third period.
• Nick Seller and Michael McLeod dropped the gloves in the second half. good fight.
Siler is a cost-effective first defenseman that opposing teams can mark at the deadline.
• Cam York was a healthy scratch at the back end.
“Nothing bad, I just wanted to give it a day,” Tortorella said. “It’s been a bit of a struggle for him lately, he’s been playing a lot of hockey.”
• In their final game before the trade deadline, the Flyers host the Rangers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. EST/TNT).
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