Flyers have little time to reflect on loss to Sharks

Posted: March 03, 2014

IN THE FLYERS' first game back from the Olympic break, coach Craig Berube noticed a difference in his teamm even as it held a one-goal lead over San Jose after one period.

The second period of Thursday's game was one to forget. The Flyers allowed five goals between goaltenders Steve Mason and Ray Emery, ending the period trailing, 6-2. The Sharks and Flyers each added one more goal in the third period, leaving the Flyers with their first loss in five games.

"There's no reason for that to happen last night," Berube said yesterday. "Mentally, we weren't ready last night. I know we came out of the first period with a 2-1 lead, but I didn't like it. It wasn't good enough. We weren't sharp in my opinion, and we didn't battle. We weren't ready to compete, and that's what bothers me the most. It does surprise me. I think our team has competed pretty hard for most nights, and it's just wasn't there last night.

"For me, it's the stride of our team, watching them come out at people, skate at people, and it just looked slow and casual to me at times. They weren't competitive around the net boxing guys out and weren't tough around our net. When we're doing that, I know we're into it and ready to play."

Coming off Thursday's loss, the Flyers have a big weekend ahead, playing two division rivals. They host the New York Rangers this afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 p.m., then travel to Washington to play the Capitals at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Referencing the Flyers 3-10 record against the Rangers dating back to 2011-12, Scott Hartnell said: "We have to win these games coming up no matter who we are playing, and these last few years have to be out of our mind. It's us against the Rangers tomorrow for a playoff spot, and that has to be our mentality."

To have a chance against New York, the Flyers want a better effort all around, starting in goal. After allowing four goals on 13 shots Thursday, Mason was pulled for Emery. Emery did not fare much better, allowing three goals in 20:02 before leaving with an injury that was undisclosed at the time. Emery watched the remainder of the game from the bench.

Late yesterday, the Flyers called up goalie Cal Heeter on an emergency basis and said Emery was day-to-day with a lower back injury.

The Flyers are 3-0-1 coming off losses of four goals or more and will try to improve on the basics against the Rangers.

"This weekend is massive, and now that we are back into it, you start watching the scoreboard, and I don't think we can get too caught up in that," Hartnell said. "We have to worry about ourselves and we can't let things slide. We've got to get up on the hump, we've got to get fast, we've got to get better, we've got to get harder in front of our net and attack that better. Basically, all of the aspects of our game we have to elevate and play 100 percent."

Mason said he will use Thurday's loss as added motivation against a tough New York team sitting three points ahead in the Metropolitan Division.

"I think every bump along the road, you can use it to your advantage to make sure that you learn from things and overcome things along the way," Mason said. "Guys are obviously disappointed with the way that we came out and played, but the great thing about hockey is that you always have another opportunity to go out and prove yourself again, and we have a great opportunity tomorrow afternoon."

"There's 23 games in 46 days, so there's no easy games," Kimo Timonen said. "It's almost like a playoff atmosphere, and it should be almost, because there's still a lot of games and every one matters."

On Twitter: @JohnMurrow12

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