Scott Hartnell: Flyers' loss to Rangers 'demoralizing'

Philadelphia Flyers' Andrej Meszaros, of Slovakia, in action during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Friday, March 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Flyers' Andrej Meszaros, of Slovakia, in action during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Friday, March 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Posted: March 29, 2013

The Flyers came up with the usual words to characterize a loss to the New York Rangers that further buried them in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. But Scott Hartnell may have found the most accurate and fitting one.

"Demoralizing," Hartnell said Wednesday after a short but intense practice at The Skate Zone in Voorhees.

It had to be. The Flyers never led Tuesday night in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Rangers. After drawing to within 3-2 in the third period, the Flyers watched New York control the rest of the game and wound up falling seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with 16 games remaining.

"Urgency, that's one thing that's been lacking from the first shift of the game right to the last shift of the game," Hartnell said. "There's no urgency. You talk about a big game, and [Tuesday] night was probably the most important in many of our careers, and we let that go by the wayside.

"So it's frustrating. It's demoralizing. It's everything, and things have to change."

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette didn't seem to want to go as far as Hartnell did, but he was clearly dissatisfied.

"That's why we went out on the ice today, just to get out there and break a sweat and move forward from it," Laviolette said. "It's tough. All losses are tough. Losing is never a good thing. It's never an easy thing."

Some players said after the game that the Flyers weren't ready to play. Matt Read said it's each player's duty to prepare himself properly for every game.

"You're in the NHL," the right winger said. "If you don't know how to get ready for a game, you know they have an AHL and an East Coast league for that. . . .

"It's to each individual's own, and there's no excuses for coming out slow or coming out unprepared."

Meszaros is out

The Flyers play the second of five consecutive home games Thursday night against the New York Islanders, another team in the mix for the final playoff spot. They will be without defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who reinjured his left shoulder late in the game against the Rangers and, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, will be out indefinitely.

Defenseman Nick Grossmann, who has missed two games with an unspecified upper-body injury suffered in practice Friday, continues to be listed as day-to-day. The Flyers recalled defenseman Eric Gustafsson from the Phantoms of the AHL on Thursday. Center Danny Briere also is out indefinitely with a concussion.


Contact Joe Juliano at jjuliano@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @joejulesinq.

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