HomeSportsA few rookies on the bench, Flyers have another missed opportunity

A few rookies on the bench, Flyers have another missed opportunity

A pair of rookies on the bench, Flyers have another missed opportunity originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

John Tortorella benched two rookies for the third period on Friday night as the Flyers wiped out a positive start with an ugly ending in a 5-2 loss to the Capitals.

Bobby Brink and Olle Lycksell spent the final 20 minutes glued to the visiting pine tree at Capital One Arena.

The Flyers’ head coach was clearly unhappy with the young forwards as Washington scored the go-ahead score of 3-2 in the final two and a half minutes of the second period (more on that below).

The Capitals erased a 2-0 Flyers lead with three goals in the middle stanza.

With ten forwards in the third period, the Flyers (31-23-7) never really posed a threat to come back.

Anthony Mantha softened Washington’s lead with a power-play marker and Dylan Strome finished off the Flyers nine and a half minutes later.

The Tortorella club is 1-3-0 without Travis Konecny. The Flyers’ leading scorer has missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

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The Flyers are 1-1-0 against the Capitals (28-22-9). They meet again on April 16 at the Wells Fargo Center in the regular season finale for each team.

• Tortorella was seen fuming behind the bench on the NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast after Washington took the lead on John Carlson’s goal with 2:15 minutes left in the second period.

Brink and Lycksell worked long shifts and were slow to cover the defensive zones.

With Alex Ovechkin handling the puck on the perimeter, Brink was hesitant to take away time and space. He then had a chance to cut off Carlson’s wraparound attempt, but was one step behind.

Lycksell may have had a chance to win a puck race and prevent the Capitals’ continued possession.

A steaming Tortorella overtook both players before they sat for the rest of the match.

The decision was an eye-opener, as it significantly shortened the Flyers’ bench on the night the team plays the next day. Brink also gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead for a second straight game.

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Tortorella went with the traditional twelve forwards and six defensemen against Washington. Ronnie Attard, called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley on Thursday, was a healthy scratch along with Cam Atkinson.

We’ll see if Tortorella goes to eleven attackers and seven defenders on Saturday by adding Atkinson and Attard.

• The Flyers have lost their last six games in the Metropolitan Division.

Four of those losses have occurred in the last two weeks. Three of the games were significant missed opportunities against the Devils, Penguins and Capitals, with teams all staring at the Flyers in the standings.

Washington moved within four points of the third-place Flyers with two games remaining.

Not losing sight of their forward-looking plan, the Flyers are one week away from the NHL trade deadline. They have three games remaining before next Friday’s cutoff at 3:00 PM ET.

• Samuel Ersson wasn’t the Flyers’ problem.

The 24-year-old made a number of timely saves to keep his team ahead and then stay within striking distance. The Flyers simply lost their game in the second period. They weren’t as hungry for pucks and had to defend a lot more.

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Ersson finished with 16 saves on 21 shots.

Ovechkin scored right after a tied game in the second period, cutting the Flyers’ lead in half with two goals.

After Ersson denied a breakaway from Max Pacioretty, the Capitals kept the puck in the offensive zone before Sonny Milano eventually tied the game at 2-2.

Washington netminder Charlie Lindgren stopped 21 of the Flyers’ 23 shots.

• An Owen Tippett power-play goal gave the Flyers their 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

In his last 82 games, dating back to February 20 last season, Tippett has scored 34 goals. He just turned 25 last month.

• The Flyers are at it again on Saturday when they host Claude Giroux and the Senators (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

They are 0-2-0 against Ottawa, a last-place team in the Atlantic Division.

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