Flyers can’t beat Marc-Andre Fleury, lose to Golden Knights
Flyers played better in front of the home crowd, but lost again
The anger that was in Claude Giroux's voice on Tuesday was replaced by frustration on Saturday. Who could blame the guy?
Marc-Andre Fleury should do prison time for the way he robbed the Flyers with a handful of spectacular saves. His final one, on Giroux, sealed the game and a 1-0 win for Vegas over the Flyers. Fleury stopped 26 shots in all, as Flyers top forwards James van Riemsdyk and Nolan Patrick sat with injuries.
"This is one of those nights where I tip my hat to Fleury," said Flyers coach Dave Hakstol. "They made a play late in the hockey game, and it hurts like hell to walk out of here with nothing."
The last time the Flyers sulked out of the Wells Fargo Center was with their collective tails between their kneepads after San Jose embarrassed them, 8-2, in Tuesday's home opener. Giroux, the captain for the last seven seasons, was furious with himself and his team that night.
The Flyers gave the home crowd a much better effort on Saturday, but not a victory.
>>PHOTO GALLERY: Golden Knights 1, Flyers 0
"We did a lot of good things," Giroux said. "Defensively, we played well. We had our chances. It's tough to lose at the end of the game like that."
The deciding play came after Sean Couturier lost the puck and Cody Eakin buried a wrister past Flyers goalie Brian Elliott with just 85 seconds left. Elliott wasn't tested as much as Fleury, but he still stopped 20 of 21 shots.
"I just got handcuffed," Couturier said. "The puck was kind of in my feet. I don't know. I couldn't get a good grip of it."
The previous 58 minutes was a scoreless slugfest that featured Fleury denying Scott Laughton on a shorthanded breakaway and Giroux, also in alone, with a sprawling glove save.
Laughton crashed violently into the wall after his chance in the second period, and missed about a half period. He returned midway through the third.
"That was a high-speed play," said Hakstol, who admittedly was concerned. "A lot of things go through your mind when you see a player at that speed go into the end wall."
Oskar Lindblom left the game midway through the third period when he was slammed to the boards by Brayden McNabb. Hakstol said he'd have to review it further before disputing the fact that no penalty was called. Bruiser Deryk Engelland, one of Vegas' top defenseman, departed with five minutes left in the second with an apparent right arm injury.
A big problem for the Flyers (2-3) is that they've yet to score the game's first goal this season. It's early, but they're on the wrong end of .500 in large part because of that.
The Flyers peppered Fleury on Oct. 4, chasing him with five goals as the Flyers opened the season with a win. They have dropped four of five since.
"We played a helluva game today," Hakstol said. "It stinks walking away with nothing to show for it. You don't get moral points for a loss. But we played a helluva hockey game today. There's not much there I want to change."
This and that
The Flyers have the day off Sunday … Travis Konecny, who was forced to leave Friday's practice after being hit in the foot by an Ivan Provorov shot, played 11 minutes, 50 seconds. … Robert Hagg and Jake Voracek tied for the team high with four shots. … Vegas had lost three in a row and was at the end of a five-game road trip in eight days.
Flyers’ next three
The Flyers next host Florida on Tuesday, go to Columbus Thursday and play the Devils back at the WFC next Saturday, Oct. 20, in another 1 p.m. start. Tuesday is Jake Voracek Chia Pet night, which is pretty self-explanatory.