PHILADELPHIA -- — The lead singer of a Pearl Jam tribute band — the Flyers held a promotional night in honor of the grunge band — that packed an arena bar before the game dedicated “Given to Fly” to the home team.
“How are the Flyers not going to win tonight?” he said.
Some Flyers fans yelled “No!” One fan caught the attention of the Ledbetters lead singer when he exclaimed, “I hope not.”
“Oh, you want that draft pick,” singer Jamie Stem cracked.
Flyers fans do want that No. 1 pick and a sudden late-season winning streak has them fading from the top spot.
Frost gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the second period with a goal just as the power play expired and he clinched their fourth straight win off a 2-on-1 effort for his 16th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead. Owen Tippett added an empty-netter.
The four-game winning streak matches the longest of the season and the Flyers now have just a 6.5% chance of winning the draft lottery, per tracker Tankathon.
“We’ve had our ups and downs all year, but to put a stretch of games like this together towards the end, it’s always nice,” Tippett said.
Depends who in Philly you ask.
The Flyers wrapped a seven-game homestand at 5-1-1 and play three more home games before the season ends.
Coach John Tortorella, who won his 700th career game this season, has been tasked with turning the Flyers into winners. Despite the late push at home, his first season has been a disaster in just about every capacity. The Flyers were ravaged by injuries to key players and the front office paid the price as in the midst of a makeover.
Tortorella said he was warmly greeted by fans over the weekend at the Flyers charity carnival.
But Flyers fans want better results -- soon.
“They’re just dying for it to go the right way and get back to where we all want it to get to,” Tortorella said before the game. “I did spend a lot of my day saying that I have to be patient. A lot of people didn’t like hearing that. But there has to some patience and process to it.”
The Flyers believe they're making the overdue and hard steps necessary to make them winners again. They fired general manager Chuck Fletcher earlier this month and replaced him on an interim basis with Danny Briere. Dave Scott, the longtime chairman of the Flyers' parent company Comcast Spectacor, announced Monday he will retire. Dan Hilferty will succeed Scott as chairman of the company on April 17 and as the team’s governor on July 1. The Flyers are in the market for a hockey president.
“The thing that’s different with this for me is there’s a lot of other stuff,” Tortorella said. "Not just the on-ice product, but there’s a lot of the other stuff that needs to get straightened out. Just a little bit too gray for me, there’s a lot of gray areas that I think need to get ironed out within the whole organization. I think that is a huge part of our process.”
Cayden Primeau stopped 24 shots for Montreal in his first start of the season. The 23-year-old goalie is the son of former Flyers star Keith Primeau.
Forward Sean Farrell made his NHL debut for Montreal after two strong seasons at Harvard. Farrell played for Team USA in the Olympics in the 2022 Beijing Games.
“Offensive talent, dynamic player,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “He’s done it at every level. This is the level where he’s going to have to show he an still do it.”
“Congrats on making the NHL!! Here’s to a lot more games!” Hayes wrote on the stick.
OH CAPTAIN! NO CAPTAIN!
Just like this year, Tortorella said the Flyers will not have a captain next season. Before this season, the Flyers named a captain in every season in franchise history except 1992-93.
“It’s just the way we’re gonna go about it here," Tortorella said.
Canadiens: Host Florida on Thursday.
Flyers: Play Thursday at Ottawa.
- Gord Dwyer
- Conor O'Donnell
- Derek Nansen
- CJ Murray