Flyers
The Sabres turned the Flyers into the biggest joke in the NHL right now with a stunning comeback victory in Philadelphia. (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just end the bleeping season already The Philadelphia Flyers were up 3-2 with four minutes to go, but lose, 5-3, to the actually Buffalo freaking Sabres man. Just go home.

Since I couldn’t watch the start of this game, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Flyers came on fire. You could argue the first period today was their best frame of the season. A 15-8 edge in shots led to a 2-0 lead on somewhat fluky goals by Oskar Lindblom and Joel Farabee. Yeah, they weren’t the prettiest goals, but their the goals the Flyers haven’t gotten all season. You make your own luck, as the saying goes, and the Flyers did just that by getting pucks and people to the net. And for the first time since their ninth game of the year, the Flyers took a multi-goal lead into the first intermission.

And then they threw all of that positivity away in a 46-second fart early in the second, which started literally the second I sat down to watch. The fifth straight Sabres shot to start the period was a set-play that saw Jeff Skinner set up Sam Reinhart all alone in front. And then less than a minute later, Buffalo cashed in on a 3-on-2, with Dylan Cozens feeding Arrtu Ruotsalainen. That sounds like a guy who doesn’t have an NHL goal — oh, sorry — who didn’t have an NHL goal before this play. Tie game.

Buffalo tried to hand the lead back to the Flyers so badly. Nicolas Aube-Kubel missed the entire four by six on a wide-open centering pass from Claude Giroux. Scott Laughton was denied all alone off a Sabres turnover, and then Kevin Hayes couldn’t maneuver the rebound onto his forehand to put it past a sprawling Linus Ullmark. Sean Couturier also couldn’t bury an A+ chance. Ultimately, the Flyers couldn’t get one past Ullmark before the buzzer, heading into second intermission even. I guess that’s progress from last time.

The Flyers desperately needed to quell Buffalo’s momentum and regain their lead, and thankfully, they did. And it came from a couple of guys who needed to produce. James van Riemsdyk, who has quietly gone fourteen straight without a goal, forced the turnover in the neutral zone. Farabee, who was recently demoted to the bottom six, became the playmaker back on the top line. And for the third time since being waived, Shayne Gostisbehere lit the lamp for his eighth of the year and third against Sabres, restoring Philadelphia’s one-goal edge!

After an icing by Claude Giroux, the Flyers captain lost the draw to.. natural winger Jeff Skinner? Buffalo worked the puck into the middle, and Carter Hart couldn’t quite swallow up a slot shot. Skinner went banging away at the loose puck and nudged it over the goal-line for a gut-wrenching equalizer. It was awfully close to a kick, but Giroux kind of kicked Skinner’s skate into the puck itself, which I guess is which why it stood. The call on the ice was a goal, and that was good enough for Buffalo.

And just who cares how many seconds (25, to be exact) later, a Couturier turnover led to a point shot and a rebound that Rasmus Asplund tucked in. Six-on-five pressure, meet Casey Mittelstadt empty-netter. And the Flyers actually lose. This season is so bleeping over. It’s been one step forward, one step back for over two months, and now they’re out of race track to catch up. Good riddance, 2021 NHL season.

Lindies

Not only did Tanner Laczynski rejoin the Flyers lineup today (Michael Raffl sat), but prospect Wade Allison was also promoted to the taxi squad. Drafted in the 2nd round in 2016, Allison turned pro this year after a solid but injury-plagued collegiate career at Western Michigan. Allison has nine points (four goals, five assists) and outstanding underlying numbers (61.16% Corsi, 71.43% Scoring Chances For at 5-on-5) in eight AHL games. Expect him to get a look with the big club in the coming days.

Lacynzski returning wasn’t the only lineup change Alain Vigneault made; Phil Myers also replaced Samuel Morin alongside Ghost on the third pair. He got better as the game went along, showing off some aggressiveness in making plays that suggest he’s getting his confidence back, which Jim Jackson noted on the broadcast. He also picked up an assist on the Gostisbehere goal.

Carter Hart played in his 100th NHL game today. Reaching that milestone at just 22 years old is insanely rare for a goaltender. And he’s only the eighth to ever do so for the Flyers, period.

The Sabres, one of the worst teams in recent NHL history, outscored the Flyers 24-20 this year. That’s all you need to know about Philly’s season right there.

Gostisbehere’s goal in his 59th in the NHL, tying Behn Wilson for the fourth-most ever by a Flyers defenseman.

Potential good-bye to Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl and others who may be moved at tomorrow’s trade deadline. A sincere thanks for everything you’ve done for this team. I’m so sorry if this joke goes down as your last game in Orange and Black.

3 Stars

3rd: Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – Goal (8), Assist (7)

2nd: Jeff Skinner (BUF) – Goal (5), Assist (3)

1st: Rasmus Asplund (BUF) – Goal (5)

Next

BUF – 4/13, 7 PM @ BOS (21-11-6, L1)

PHI – Trade literally everyone at the deadline, who cares

Follow Us on Twitter! And check out the Vendetta Shop!

Advanced Stats via Natural Stat Trick and Phancy Stats