Flyers leaking oil in Edmonton

Posted: February 24, 2012

EDMONTON - With sweat and a sense of desperation dripping off the Flyers' concerned faces, three players nearly simultaneously slammed their sticks into the boards in frustration as they left the ice last night.

This time, there were no late-game heroics.

You can go to that well only so many times. And the Flyers already did that in Winnipeg on Tuesday night, when they salvaged an overtime win after Wayne Simmonds' tally tied the game with 9.7 seconds left in the third period.

Last night, the Flyers tried to work some of that magic, by pounding 15 shots toward the Edmonton net, while the other end of the ice in front of Ilya Bryzgalov was barely touched.

For the Flyers, it wasn't the third period that decided the game.

Take a look at their shot count by period and then take a guess which one did them in:

First period: 14

Second period: 6

Third period: 15

For the second visit in a row, the Flyers left the Great White North without scoring - as Devan Dubnyk and the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers dealt them a 2-0 loss at Rexall Place.

"At the end of the night, there were probably 15 quality chances," coach Peter Laviolette said. "You'd like to think this serves as a wakeup call, because we're in a playoff race. The second period was horse[bleep]."

Simon Gagne was the last Flyer to score a goal in Edmonton, way back on Oct. 6, 2007. As a whole, the Flyers have not won in Edmonton since March 19, 2001.

More important, the Flyers have not been able to string together two consecutive wins since Jan. 10-12 - a span of 18 games, or 22 percent of the entire 82-game schedule.

This one, though, wasn't on Bryzgalov's chin - even though the Jordan Eberle snuck a weak, dribbling shot through the five-hole in the second period. In fact, Bryzgalov stopped Shawn Horcoff's penalty shot with under 3 minutes to play to give the Flyers a fighting chance.

As the Flyers have learned, being shutout for the fourth time this season, you've got to score to win. Last night, the Flyers blasted 35 shots in all toward Dubnyk, but didn't garner enough quality scoring chances.

"I don't think we put as much traffic as we wanted to," Danny Briere said. "A lot of shots, but there wasn't a lot that were very dangerous. He could see most of them. Our second period was flat. It took us too long to respond."

With the loss, the Flyers - the NHL's third best road team - fell to 1-1 on their seasonlong 10-day road trip.

Even so, it didn't hurt them in the standings, as both Pittsburgh and Ottawa - the two teams behind them in sixth and seventh place in the Eastern Conference - were idle last night. They'll remain that way tonight, too, guaranteeing the Flyers stay in fifth place before tomorrow night's matchup 180 miles to the south in Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"We don't have a chance to play them a lot," Giroux said. "[Dubnyk] made some key saves for them. We had a lot of chances. He was the best player on the ice. But at the same time, we've got to do a better job getting in front of him to make sure he doesn't see the pucks."

Slap shots

Edmonton forward Magnus Paajarvi did not return after a dangerous knee-to-knee hit by Scott Hartnell that could receive attention today for supplementary discipline . . . Injured forward Sean Couturier sat due to a lower-body injury. He was replace by Eric Wellwood . . . Jody Shelley skated in Zac Rinaldo's place. Shelley had a spirited first-period scrap with Darcy Hordichuk, his fifth fight of the season . . . Oilers coach Tom Renney (concussion) hasn't been on the bench since taking a puck to the head in practice on Feb. 6. He is reportedly still having concussion symptoms, with memory loss and lightheadedness. Associate coach Ralph Krueger ran the bench last night for Edmonton . . . Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds each skated in the 300th game of their young careers last night.


Read Frank Seravalli's blog at

www.philly.com/FrequentFlyers. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.

 

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