Injury-riddled Flyers out to stop slide against Ducks

NHL Hockey

The depleted Philadelphia Flyers look to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday when they host the Anaheim Ducks.

The Flyers were throttled 7-3 by the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday to conclude a road trip in which they were outscored by a 14-5 margin.

“Everybody in here feels we can all play better,” Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re disappointed in the results of this trip and how we played. We look forward to going back home and playing better at home.”

The Flyers enter Tuesday’s game without forwards Nolan Patrick (migraines), Travis Konecny (concussion), Michael Raffl (finger), Scott Laughton (groin) and Tyler Pitlick (concussion). In addition, the organization is reeling with the devastating news that Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with a form of bone cancer and will likely be sidelined for the season.

Goaltender Brian Elliott struggled mightily against the Jets and was pulled in favor of second-year standout Carter Hart.

“We definitely miss the guys that are out and you want them back as soon as you can,” Elliott said. “(But) you don’t want to use that as an excuse. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up, myself included, and we didn’t get it done (Sunday).”

The Flyers’ top line of captain Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek managed just one of the five goals on the three-game road trip.

With the litany of players out, Philadelphia will need some of its younger players to provide a spark.

“It’s a part of hockey,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said of the injuries. “These situations throughout an 82-game schedule are going to happen. What you need is your top players to lead and to play the right way.”

The Ducks are coming off a hard-fought 4-3 shootout victory against the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Anaheim trailed 2-0 early in the first period before rallying for the win.

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm tied the game at 3 with 1:46 left in the third period on the power play.

“You don’t want to start 2-0 down,” Lindholm told reporters. “It would be nice to have a 2-0 lead to start a game, too, but we’ve playing some good hockey. Over 60 minutes, if you just stick with it, you’re going to get some chances.”

Rickard Rakell tied a career high with three assists for the Ducks. Goaltender John Gibson made 29 saves through regulation and overtime and added three more in the shootout to preserve the win.

The Ducks came together to earn two points before flying cross country to face the Flyers.

“We were able to have a good chat as a team during the first timeout, but, like, not one little bit of frustration or panic or anything,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “And I think that’s a great, great sign for our team.”

Anaheim scored two power-play goals against the Rangers. It has recorded at least tally with the man advantage in three straight.

“We’re not going to have a parade yet on it,” Eakins said. “I still think we got lots of work to do there, but kudos to those young men. They’ve really taken a real interest in it. They’re working together for their own solutions on top of ours, and that’s important.”

–Field Level Media

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