EDMONTON, Alberta - With the Flyers virtually out of the playoff race, coach Craig Berube said it's up to the leadership group to keep the team focused as it plays its final eight games.
"The other night is an example of it in the locker room after the game," Berube said, referring to the players-only meeting held after Thursday's 4-1 loss in Calgary. "They're obviously upset and want to play well and want to win hockey games. It's leadership."
The Flyers were 0-2-1 on the road trip before it concluded in Edmonton late Saturday night.
"I think we started games on this road trip very well," Berube said before the Flyers faced the downtrodden Oilers. "We've been in all of them, and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot in two of the games. We lost the shootout against Ottawa, and in Vancouver we were in control of the game and I thought we were playing real well, and a couple of mistakes and the puck goes in. And in Calgary, too."
The Flyers set a franchise record with 11 victories in games they trailed in the third period last season. Entering Saturday, they were 3-22-4 this season in games they have trailed entering the third period.
When they have faced third-period deficits this season, Berube said, the Flyers have opened up their game too much and failed to stay patient.
"You have to wait for your opportunities and play smart," he said. "I don't think we've played smart enough. I don't think it's a talent thing."
When the Flyers trailed by a goal or two in the third period last year, "guys seemed to feel more loose, and I think it's been the reverse this year," Berube said. "It comes down to pressing."
Berube, whose team will miss the playoffs for just the third time in the last 20 seasons, said the Flyers have "played better hockey [than last year] a lot of times, but we haven't put the puck in the net."
The Flyers are averaging 2.53 goals per game, 24th in the NHL. Their all-time low was in 1968-69 (2.29 goals per game).
Breakaways. Winger Matt Read returned to the lineup Saturday after missing two games because of the birth of his daughter, and defenseman Luke Schenn was scratched with an unspecified injury. . . . Kimmo Timonen and the Chicago Blackhawks will visit the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.