SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Flyers were much smarter with the puck, but they continued to struggle in other areas as their season-starting losing streak reached five games Saturday night.
The Cliffs Notes version: Too many penalties. Too many shots allowed. Not enough face-off wins. Not enough life on the power play.
As a result, the Flyers dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the San Jose Sharks and ended an 0-1-2 road trip. They sandwiched overtime losses to Pittsburgh and San Jose around a listless 5-2 defeat to Colorado.
Team Enigma is now 0-3-2; the Flyers and Tampa Bay are the NHL's only winless teams.
So much for the belief that the Flyers would carry momentum from last year's strong finish - they reached the conference finals - into this season.
"I honestly don't think we're that far away from turning it around," said center Danny Briere, who scored two goals against San Jose.
The Flyers had just five giveaways (compared with 18 for San Jose), but they committed 12 penalties and were outshot by 45-17. In their last two games, the Flyers have been outshot by 79-35.
That hasn't made things easy for goalies Marty Biron (5.75 goals-against average) or Antero Niittymaki (2.84).
Saturday's loss was against a resilient San Jose team (5-1) that should have been tired because it played in Anaheim the previous night.
The Flyers blew leads of 2-0 and 3-1.
"I like the way we competed, but when you get a lead like that, you should be able to hold it," coach John Stevens said. "We gave them too many power-play opportunities [seven], and it taxes you.
"But we have to find a way to win these games."
The Flyers continued to struggle on face-offs, winning just 26 of 62 (42 percent). They were 0 for 2 on the power play and are 3 for 28 (10.7 percent) for the season.
On the positive side, the return to last year's top three lines seemed to invigorate the offense. Briere was back at center and reunited with Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble (two assists) on the top line.
In addition, Jeff Carter, centering the third line, had a shorthanded goal and an assist in his best game of the season.
The lines seemed to be in sync but still managed a season-low 17 shots, including just 10 after the first period.
The Flyers lost when defenseman Dan Boyle knocked a short shot past Niittymaki after 1 minute, 25 seconds of overtime.
"The intensity we played with was much better," said Briere after the 25th multi-goal game of his career. "Sometimes you don't get the results right away, but if we keep playing with the same intensity, we'll get out of it."
Despite some late mistakes, Niittymaki played a strong game.
"He definitely got us the point," center Mike Richards said.
The Flyers ended a disturbing trend: They did not score first in any of their first four games, and were outscored by 6-0 in the first period of those contests.
But Briere scored on a backhander after he rebounded Kimmo Timonen's shot off the back boards, putting the Flyers ahead, 1-0, with 5:09 left in the opening period.
Scoring first seemed to energize the Flyers, but the Sharks took over midway through the game.
"We did some good things," Richards said. "We were more physical. We just need to find a way to win."
Strange but true: The Phillies might have a World Series victory before the Flyers - who host Jeremy Roenick and San Jose on Wednesday - register their first win of the season.