If a second 10-game losing streak wasn't already bad enough, the Flyers' lowliness grew in embarrassment Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers put forth an inexcusable type of performance with a mind-boggling 6-3 loss to the Sabres at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
The defeat is the Flyers' 11th in a row (0-8-3). The club went 0-8-2 from Nov. 18 to Dec. 8.
The longest winless streak in franchise history is 12 games. That came during 1998-99, when the Flyers recorded eight losses and four ties in succession.
The 2021-22 Flyers (13-20-8) looked slow, flat and lethargic on Saturday. It's difficult to decipher why that was for a team that had just set the wrong kind of franchise history with 10 straight losses for a second time in one season.
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The Flyers have been outscored 43-22 in this 11-game spiral. They're 5-10-4 under interim head coach Mike Yeo, who took over Dec. 6 for the fired Alain Vigneault (8-10-4).
The six goals were a season high for Buffalo. The Sabres (13-21-7) had gone 34 straight games without scoring five or more goals in a game. They put up five on the Flyers in the opening 23 minutes of Saturday's game, the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The clubs play twice more April 16-17.
• The Flyers have the NHL's fourth-worst goal differential at minus-39. Only the Coyotes, Canadiens and expansion Kraken have worse marks.
Since starting 6-2-2 in their first 10 games, the Flyers have gone 7-18-6 with a minus-43 goal differential over the following 31 games.
They're currently without Joel Farabee (upper body), Kevin Hayes (abdominal), Sean Couturier (upper body), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Derick Brassard (hip), Nate Thompson (shoulder) and Patrick Brown (MCL sprain).
The NHL trade deadline is March 21.
It feels like there will have to be a miracle for the Flyers to not be selling off some pieces and strongly considering the future when the trading period comes around.
The storyline of Claude Giroux's future in Philadelphia was inevitable if this season didn't go well. He entered the season in a contract year, so the losing streaks have now amplified the Giroux trade chatter.
The 34-year-old captain is an All-Star for the seventh time in his career, leads the Flyers in points with 33 and is second in goals with 14. He has a no-movement clause in his contract. Time will tell how both sides feel about the big picture when the deadline nears.
• Yeo took a gamble in the first period by challenging Buffalo's second goal, claiming the play was offside.
It was a gamble because the game was knotted at 2-2. The Flyers could have taken their chances with the score even and the action back at even strength. But a failed challenge results in a penalty and you run the risk of having to kill that penalty to avoid a deficit.
After a lengthy review, the man advantage goal was upheld and the Sabres scored on their ensuing power play. Buffalo then got one more goal before first intermission.
The Flyers allowed those three goals in fewer than three minutes as their 2-1 lead flipped into a 4-2 deficit.
Yeo has gone 3 for 5 in coaching challenges since taking over. This one was close. But it was also risky.
• Martin Jones was yanked after Buffalo's fourth first-period goal. He finished with four saves on eight shots.
Carter Hart stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced in relief.
Sabres netminder Michael Houser denied 30 of the Flyers' 33 shots.
• Giroux scored two of the Flyers' three goals. Rasmus Ristolainen, in his return to Buffalo, scored the other.
Jeff Skinner (two goals, one assist), Tage Thompson (two goals, one assist), Peyton Krebs (two goals), Rasmus Dahlin (two assists) and Alex Tuch (two assists) all had multi-point games for Buffalo.
• With Farabee's injury, Wade Allison was called up and made his season debut.
The 24-year-old winger did not play in the third period because of a lower-body injury.
• The Flyers have a back-to-back set when they host the Stars on Monday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and visit the Islanders on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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