BUFFALO - Luke Schenn was probably just looking for a spark. And who could blame him? His team was lifeless and trailing by two midway through the second period. So the burly defenseman dropped his gloves and went to battle with Buffalo's Marcus Foligno.
Not even Schenn's fight could stir any fight from the rest of his teammates in the Flyers' 3-1 loss Friday at First Niagara Center.
The Flyers took three penalties after his fight and went shotless during a 10-minute, 51-second stretch before getting two late attempts on Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark, who was making his second career NHL start.
The Flyers took eight minor penalties on the night, spending nearly a third of the game in the box.
"We spent all of our energy killing those penalties off tonight," coach Dave Hakstol said.
The Flyers showed little battle for the second night in a row, dropping their third straight game and second this week to the Sabres, who beat the Flyers in overtime on Tuesday.
"Nothing's easy right now," Hakstol said.
Now a four-game stretch through western Canada begins Monday in Vancouver.
Buffalo (4-7) outshot the Flyers 36-28, though it was 31-14 after two periods. If not for the play of Michal Neuvirth, making his first start since being injured Oct. 21 in Boston, the score could've been much worse.
"That's my job," Neuvirth said. "We've got to stay out of the penalty box. We spent way too much time killing penalties."
The Flyers (4-4-2) didn't provide him with a ton of help down the other end, barely challenging the 22-year-old Ullmark.
Rookie phenom Jack Eichel got the scoring started with just over 30 seconds to play in the first period. The 2015 second overall pick danced by Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev and worked his way into the slot, where he fired a wrist shot past Neuvirth's stick side.
Ryan O'Reilly took advantage of a Vincent Lecavalier interference penalty and beat Neuvirth with a slap shot just over four minutes into the second period, with Zemgus Girgensons screening Neuvirth in front.
O'Reilly's goal marked the fifth straight game the Flyers surrendered a goal on the penalty kill.
The Flyers got an early power play in the third period, but made nothing of it, and Nicolas Deslauriers made them pay with a goal 10 seconds after getting out of the box to put the game away for good.
"We wanted to respond from last night," said defenseman Mark Streit, who scored the Flyers' only goal in the final four minutes of the game. "Obviously, we didn't do that."
Streit scored the Flyers' only goal with three minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the game.
It hardly mattered.
In an effort to generate more offense and switch things up a bit, coach Dave Hakstol made wholesale changes to the line combinations and defensive pairings, most notably splitting up the top-line duo of Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux . . . Center Sean Couturier (concussion) did not make the trip with the Flyers, who fly Saturday morning to Vancouver, and missed his fourth straight game. General manager Ron Hextall said Couturier - who remains day-to-day - will skate Saturday in Voorhees, N.J. . . . Though Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, the Flyers did not make a corresponding roster move from their minor league affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms . . . The Flyers have about $673,000 in salary-cap space, so a call-up from Lehigh Valley is still possible at some point on this trip.