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Hextall eager to see how Flyers respond to streak-ending loss

For the first time in a little over three weeks, the Flyers will try to rebound from a loss as they face Nashville on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center.

For the first time in a little over three weeks, the Flyers will try to rebound from a loss as they face Nashville on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers' workmanlike, 10-game winning streak - their longest since 1985 - ended with a 3-1 defeat Saturday in Dallas.

"We're going to get right back on our feet and get back at it Monday," rookie left winger Taylor Leier said.

"We'll have to start a new streak," added goalie Steve Mason, who had a 2.33 goals-against average and .926 save percentage during the 10-game run.

Because of the winning streak, general manager Ron Hextall said the Flyers have "reset the bar a little bit for ourselves in terms of expectations that we can beat anybody."

But he cautioned that they still have a lot of work to do.

Hextall said he was "really interested" to see how the Flyers play Monday "because typically when you come off one of these, you really want to respond the right way. . . . I think it's an important game, not necessarily [whether it's a] win or loss, but in terms of how we play and the effort and focus that is there.

"I think human nature is we're disappointed right now and you come back and maybe there's a little bit of a letdown," he said. "I'm interested to see which way that goes."

The Flyers (19-11-3) play 25 of their last 49 games against Metropolitan Division rivals.

Hextall likes the remaining schedule "because of the competitive nature of our franchise" and the closeness of the travel. "Our division is very strong and it gives us a good measuring stick on where we're at, but it also gives us the opportunity to put us in a good position. They're four-point games."

During the winning streak, four of the victories were on the road, including a 4-2 victory in Nashville on Dec. 4, a game in which Wayne Simmonds scored a pair of power-play goals.

On Monday, the Predators (13-12-5) may be without star defenseman P.K. Subban, who missed their 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers on Saturday because of an unspecified injury and is listed as day to day.

In the Flyers' streak-ending loss Saturday, fourth-line left winger Leier scored their lone goal, the first of his career. Leier had his first career assist in the previous game.

"He's a smart player who goes out and plays with confidence," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. ". . . He's worked hard and played pretty good hockey for us."

Saturday's game marked the first time the Flyers didn't get a point from a defenseman in their last 11 games. Their defensemen have a league-best 86 points, and they accumulated 26 points (20 goals, six assists) during the 10-game winning streak.

Hakstol said the streak was "just a continuation by our group of showing up and working hard together. . . . It's been about the two points every night."

"I thought everybody was a part of it," said Hextall, who had special praise for the penalty-killing work done by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde. "When you're winning 10 games in a row at this level in this day and age, you need contributions from everywhere - and I think we got them."

Hextall said the Flyers "need to keep pushing - individually and collectively. . . . It's got to be an expectation and not, 'This is a 10-game winning streak, this is great. Now we can back off.' No. You have to keep pushing."


Sean Couturier, Matt Read, and Mark Streit have a chance to return from injuries when the Flyers start a road trip Dec. 28 in St. Louis, Hextall said, adding that he didn't expect Michal Neuvirth to be ready at that time. . . . The Flyers have failed to score a power-play goal in three straight games. . . . During their streak, the Flyers averaged 3.50 goals per game while allowing just 2.20.