Flyers-Blues 10 Observations: In Need of Scoring and Shayne Gostisbehere

Ten observations from the Flyers' 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center in the third game of a season-long five-game homestand (see Instant Replay).

1. This team badly needs scoring. Somehow, someway. If it's calling up a player from Lehigh Valley or opening up the system, something has to happen. That's now back-to-back shutouts. The Flyers haven't scored since last Thursday night. They've gone 122 minutes and 49 seconds since their last goal, and have gone 139 minutes and 55 seconds since their last 5-on-5 goal.

2. The Flyers' power play dearly missed Shayne Gostisbehere Monday night. It was largely ineffective and painful to watch, with no synergy and no ebb and flow. Its first opportunity saw five clears, one of which was self-inflicted, and no shots. Its second had two shots, and a little flow to it but no results. It lacked a certain element that Gostisbehere brings to the table - a creative mind with a weapon to strike at will. We can debate the point behind benching him all day, but three straight games is enough. It's time to let the kid play.

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3. St. Louis mustered just one shot during the first period, a testament to the Flyers' philosophical shift toward tight checking, preventing shots and trusting the goalie. It's a boring brand of hockey, but it's what coach Dave Hakstol believes is best with his current group of talent. The Blues' one shot is the fewest the Flyers have allowed in a period this season. The last time the Flyers held an opponent to one shot in the first period was March 8, 2011, against the Edmonton Oilers. The last time they held a team to one shot in a period was Jan. 3, 2015, against the Devils, a 5-2 loss at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

4. Some tough luck for Andrew MacDonald, who played an excellent first 30 minutes before taking a double-minor high-sticking penalty at 11:06 of the second period. The Flyers killed off the penalty, but seconds after it expired, the Blues scored the game's first goal. Even in games the much-maligned MacDonald plays well in - and make no mistake, he had one of his strongest efforts of the season Monday - there always appears to be one blemish. Sad.

5. Speaking of the Blues' first goal. Hakstol was right to challenge the play for offsides, because it sure did look like - on replay - that the puck left the zone despite Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarson's best efforts to keep it in. It was close, no doubt. But the replays shown on TV and the big screen at the Wells Fargo Center showed the play offsides. The goal stood and the official ruling was "inconclusive." A bad break for the Flyers.

6. Travis Konecny returned to the lineup after being a victim of a Hakstol benching for the previous two games, and was largely unnoticeable before injuring what appeared to be his left shoulder after being hit into the boards in the second period. He was not on the Flyers' bench during the third period, and his last shift came at 11:17 of the second period. According to a source, Konecny has a left knee and ankle sprain and his left shoulder is OK (see story).

7. Another game and another egregious turnover from Jakub Voracek, whose forced pass in the offensive zone led to a Kenny Agostino breakaway goal that put the game out of reach. That's two straight games now in which a Voracek mistake led to a goal. Brutal turnover.

8. Making his third straight start, Michal Neuvirth didn't see much action. It's hard for a goalie to get into a rhythm when they do not face a ton of shots, and through the first two periods, he had faced just 12. He yielded two goals - a deflection and a breakaway - on 16 shots faced overall.

9. Blues goalie Carter Hutton is a cool story. In 2010, the Flyers signed him to an amateur tryout contract to back up Brian Boucher out of necessity because of injuries, and here we are seven years later and Hutton is an NHL backup. He's not having a great season in St. Louis, but on Monday night, he was solid. Made several big saves in the first two periods - his most notable being a pad stop on Nick Cousins in the second. He finished with 26 saves.

10. Full disclosure: The Mites on Ice action during the first and second intermissions created more excitement from a pure entertainment value than the game itself.

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