For most of the season's first five weeks, a strong power play has camouflaged the Flyers' five-on-five problems.
But when the power play doesn't produce - like in Saturday's 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay - the Flyers struggle to win games.
The Flyers were 0 for 5 on the power play Saturday and are 0 for 10 in their last three games. It's the first time this season they have gone three straight games without a power-play goal.
Jake Voracek isn't concerned.
"Sometimes you get the bounces that you don't get in other games," the right winger said. "Sometimes the power play isn't working your way, but you still get the shots through and some lucky tips. Like I said, it's what happens. We just have to make sure we keep working on it. If I am not mistaken we are still top five in our league."
The Flyers entered Sunday ranked No. 3, clicking at 25 percent. They need that high percentage because they have allowed a league-high 45 goals in five-on-five play. They have been outscored, 45-36, in those situations.
"We can't really just rely on our power play all the time," defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. ". . . There are some things we could clean up and get more pucks to the net [on the power play], but I think five-on-five is more of what we're worried about."
The Flyers slipped to 8-8-3 with their latest defeat, which completed a 2-1-1 homestand. They play their next two games on the road - Tuesday against Florida and Wednesday against Tampa Bay (again).
Goalie Anthony Stolarz is expected to make his NHL debut in one of those games.
"We have to try to get over that hump, that .500 hump," Voracek said. "We are going back and forth all of the time. We have to find a way soon because the points are going to be missing. Like I said, you have to recover, you've got to get into your zone."
"We want to be better than just a .500 team, and right now we win one and we lose one, especially at home," defenseman Mark Streit said. "It's not what we want and it's not acceptable. It's not our mind-set, so we need to get better, even in games like [Saturday's] that we need to find a way to get to the goalie, get one goal, and just get the momentum. That's something we need to work on."
The Flyers are 5-4-2 at home, 3-4-1 on the road. . . . They will practice in Voorhees on Monday at 10:30 a.m. . . . Pierre-Edouard Bellemare leads the Flyers at plus-5, while Claude Giroux (minus-9) is at the bottom of the team's plus-minus ratings. . . . Steve Mason needs four wins to pass Pete Peeters for seventh on the Flyers' all-time list. . . . Coach Dave Hakstol on rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov: "He's been really solid, especially on our side of the red line. I think his game has been very settled. Excellent reads, really good awareness, pretty good moving the puck out of our own zone. He just needs to keep building."