The rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers are far from a finished product.
Following a promising four-game winning streak, their best since a 3-0-0 start, the Flyers were thumped 6-2 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
There won’t be much time to dwell on the loss as Philadelphia will travel to Western New York to face the host Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
Travis Konecny scored his team-leading 21st goal and Nicolas Deslauriers also scored against Toronto. Konecny has registered points in eight consecutive games and has scored at least one goal in a career-high six straight games.
But there wasn’t much positive news otherwise. Too many costly turnovers proved to be the difference in the frustrating loss.
“We self-destructed the (expletive) out of ourselves,” Flyers head coach John Tortorella said. “Just can’t overcome all the things we gave them for free.”
After four giveaways early in the game, defenseman Tony DeAngelo didn’t return to the ice after one shift in the second period.
Earlier this season, Tortorella benched Konecny and center Kevin Hayes, the Flyers’ lone All-Star.
“I’m not gonna discuss it here,” Tortorella said of DeAngelo.
“I didn’t think I did one thing good in the first period,” DeAngelo said. “It’s unacceptable.”
As a whole, the Flyers trailed 3-2 before being thoroughly outplayed the rest of the way against a surging team.
The challenge will be just as difficult against the red-hot Sabres.
“We weren’t sharp,” Tortorella said. “We haven’t gotten spanked like that in a while — and we deserved it.”
The Sabres will look for their third consecutive win when they battle the Flyers.
After a 5-4 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals, the Sabres followed with a stirring 6-5 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
Rasmus Dahlin (two goals, three assists) scored the tying goal at 17:36 of the third period and recorded an assist on Victor Olofsson’s game-winner in overtime to complete a five-point night.
“I get chills every time I hear that stuff,” Dahlin said, referring to the reaction from the sellout crowd. “When they are loud, we just want to win more. We love our crowd. We love our fans.”
Tage Thompson scored his 31st goal of the season, which brought an “MVP!” chant from the fans.
Overall, the Sabres have been logging better performances on a consistent basis as the season progresses. The fans have noticed.
“That’s engagement between the fans and our players, and they feel that,” head coach Don Granato said. “There’s nothing that makes them more proud to know that their work and what they’ve worked for and care about working for is seen and felt.”
The Sabres have won eight of nine as they welcome Philadelphia to town.
Even when they fall behind, there’s no frustration or pointing fingers. In their last three overtime games, they have gone down a goal in regulation only to come up with a victory.
“We never panic,” Olofsson said. “We’re very confident as a group and we just keep going. We knew we’ve got enough skill to create chances.”
–Field Level Media