NEW YORK - The Flyers' offensive problems are growing. So is the team's frustration level. You can hear it in the players' voices.
"We're just inconsistent. It's the same story every game," captain Claude Giroux said in a somber tone after the Flyers fell to the New York Islanders, 3-1, at the Barclays Center on Wednesday night.
The Flyers have not scored an even-strength goal in 257 minutes, 58 seconds, more than four games ago. They are averaging a league-worst 1.73 goals per game.
"I thought we competed hard; there was no lack of compete," rookie coach Dave Hakstol said after the team's fourth loss in the last five games. "But we didn't generate enough scoring opportunities. We have to find a way to do more in the area of five-on-five."
Asked whether he needed to make some changes to his system, Hakstol said: "We have to look at everything."
The Flyers have scored one goal, total, in goalie Steve Mason's last three starts.
"It's been a struggle, obviously, the last few games to get the puck in the net, and for the goaltenders there's no room for error right now," said Mason, who allowed two goals (another was an empty-netter) and made 33 saves Wednesday. "It just puts that much more emphasis on trying to be as perfect as possible. Just go out and focus on stopping the puck, and you just hope that the goals will come."
After taking an early 1-0 lead Wednesday on Giroux's power-play goal and playing a mostly strong opening period, the Flyers (7-10-5) went into a defensive shell for a majority of the last two periods, getting outshot, 27-10, in the final 40 minutes, including 15-4 in the final period.
They allowed a shorthanded goal with 58 seconds left in the first period to tie the game and never recovered.
"Like in Ottawa [on Saturday], we give up a goal late in the period, and it seems like we sag a little bit," said defenseman Nick Schultz, whose team was outshot, 36-18. "We try to stick with it in the room and say the right things, but we just have to go out and do it. You can't let something like that faze us."
Even a rare Giroux fight didn't ignite the Flyers. Giroux fought Nick Leddy early in the second period. "We were flat, and any time you have a chance to change the momentum," Giroux said, "you do it."
The Flyers, who missed a chance to register their second straight win for the first time since Oct. 24, play another offensively challenged team Friday afternoon in Nashville at the Wells Fargo Center. Peter Laviolette's Predators (12-6-3) were shut out in three straight games before they ended a franchise-record scoreless streak Wednesday at 227:39 during a 3-2 win in Buffalo.
"I don't think our guys were in a panic to score goals," Laviolette, the former Flyers coach, told reporters after the game. ". . . But the games that we played, we did the right things and it didn't go in for us, so we move on. Our guys are confident we're going to score goals. We weren't going to get shut out the rest of the year; that would be impossible."