CHICAGO _ The Flyers concluded a disappointing 2-3-1 road trip with an embarrassing 7-2 loss in Chicago on Wednesday.
The Flyers, losers of three straight, showed little consistency on the trip and were fortunate to win two of the six games. They were badly outplayed in the first game of the trip, but stole a 3-2 shootout victory because goalie Steve Mason was outstanding.
In their other win, they outlasted Detroit, 6-3, but only because they finally woke up in the third period.
Center Vinny Lecavalier scored the game-winning shootout goal in the win over Nashville, but it turned out he had a non-displaced fracture in his lower back when he deposited the shot. He missed the next five games, and could miss about three more weeks.
Without him, the Flyers are a different team. They miss his size, his ability to control the puck, and his work in the faceoff circle.
It's no coincidence that the Flyers are 2-6-1 in games Lecavalier has missed.
After the first period, they rarely had the puck in Wednesday's disaster. The Flyers outhit the Blackhawks, 35-8, but that stat is hollow because Chicago was the team buzzing around with the puck all night.
Here's a stat that may cause coach Craig Berube to do some lineup juggling. The "top" line _ Claude Giroux centering Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek _ was a combined minus-9.
During the six-game trip, Giroux's line was a combined minus-20.
The problem is this: With Lecavalier sidelined, there aren't a lot of viable options for Berube. Maybe he puts Matt Read or Wayne Simmonds on the top unit just to shake things up.
It can't hurt.
Emery's spin.Goalie Ray Emery said the Flyers' penalty-filled third period was because of frustration...and not such a bad thing.
"You're going to be frustrated," he said. "The old saying, 'You show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.' I want to play with sore losers. I don't want guys who are content with a game like that."