NHL 20 Simulation: Flyers drop fourth straight game

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 20: Calle Jarnkrok and Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 20: Calle Jarnkrok and Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Flyers will need to figure things out quickly as Nashville handed them their fourth straight loss.

With Carter Hart in net for the Flyers last night against the Stars, Brian Elliott handled goaltending duties in this one. His night wouldn’t last long, though.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel kicked things off first with a power-play goal. Jarnkrok failed to clear the zone thanks to some pressure from Kevin Hayes. Hayes knocked him off the puck and threw a shot towards the net. Pekka Rinne made the save but gave up a big rebound to Aube-Kubel who put it through the five-hole for the goal.

Nashville scored the equalizer less than three minutes later. Despite making a big save, Elliott’s rebound went behind the net to Kyle Turris. From there, Yakov Trenin and Turris played catch behind the net. After taking the pass back in front, Turris elevated it over the pad of Elliott.

The Predators controlled play after that goal. They held a 15-5 shot edge almost midway through.

Filip Forsberg gave the Preds their first lead of the night. Matt Duchene made the pass from the blue-line to Forsberg who had sprung ahead of the defense. He went to the backhand and found the back of the net before Elliott could get over.

The Flyers had a chance to tie the game on the power play. But Rinne stopped the few chances they had as the unit didn’t generate much.

Nick Bonino grabbed the Predators’ third goal of the period. Kevin Hayes turned the puck over in the offensive zone and they made him pay for it. Korbinian Holzer fired it from the point and Bonino put in the rebound on the backhand. The wheels continued to fall off for the Flyers after this.

Elliott continued to have trouble controlling his rebounds as Calle Jarnkrok had a wide-open net to shoot at. Colton Sissons fired the original shot, and the rebound went right to Jarnkrok. With less than two minutes left, Elliott remained in the net.

Carter Hart was in net to begin the second, however. This was definitely a wake-up call to the team. Despite Elliott giving up four goals, the team in front of him was getting badly outplayed. Though Elliott wasn’t sharp either.

Tyler Pitlick had one of the Flyers’ best chances of the net on a breakaway opportunity. He couldn’t get Rinne to bite, though, running out of room and firing off a shot that was easily saved.

The Flyers climbed back in with a goal midway through the second. Derek Grant was gifted a rebound by Rinne and he made no mistake with it. There was still a long way to go, but the Flyers looked a lot better than they did in the first.

The team clearly got the message after the goaltending switch. Even the defensemen were jumping into the play. Justin Braun scored the Flyers’ third goal to cut the lead to just 4-3 late in the second.

Aube-Kubel scored the Flyers third of the period and second of his night moments later. Claude Giroux sent the pass in front as Aube-Kubel blasted the one-timer in tight. Ivan Provorov then made it 5-4 less than a minute later. That was three goals in less than two minutes.

But Nashville finally got the puck past Hart to tie the game at 5-5. Turris managed to get the puck over Shayne Gostisbehere’s stick to Ryan Ellis for the one-timer. Hart had stopped eight shots before that.

Forsberg scored his second of the night to give Nashville their lead back. He fired the initial shot on Hart and grabbed the rebound as well. And it was still the late stages of the second period. It was going to be a wild third period after all of these goals.

Despite the chaotic second period, the third was relatively quiet. Nashville continued to hold their one-goal lead throughout. The Flyers couldn’t get the equalizer on their two power-play chances. Hart was solid in the period to keep the deficit at one goal.

With 1: 08 left, the Flyers decided to pull Hart for the extra attacker. It wouldn’t end up working as they could barely get into the zone and ended up going offsides with less than 10 seconds left. The Predators would hold on as the Flyers would drop their fourth straight.

There will be a few days for the team to regroup and figure out what’s going on. They’ll return home to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday.