Sharks hand Flyers ninth consecutive loss
Score three straight goals after Giroux put Philadelphia ahead 48 seconds inby Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
PHILADELPHIA -- Chris Tierney, Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored to help the San Jose Sharks send the Philadelphia Flyers to their ninth straight loss, 3-1 at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.
Logan Couture had two assists for San Jose (13-8-2), which won its second straight game and extended its point streak to five (3-0-2). Aaron Dell made 22 saves.
The nine-game losing streak (0-4-5) is Philadelphia's longest since it lost 10 in a row (0-8-2) from Feb. 6-23, 2008.
[WATCH: All Sharks vs. Flyers highlights]
The Sharks had a 3-1 lead after the second period, and then limited the Flyers to one shot on goal for the first 17:04 of the third.
"I thought we were a little loose in the first, gave up some 2-on-1s," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "[Dell] was big. Thought [we were better] in the second and especially in the third. Third was a really clean period. To be able to play like that with the lead, we didn't throw any pucks away, we broke out real well, we supported well."
Video: SJS@PHI: Vlasic threads home long wrister
It was the first of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip, and Thornton said he's found that winning the first game in those situations is the key to a successful trip.
"The toughest game is always the first one," he said. "Three hours' time change and you get here late, have dinner late, everything's off. That first game is huge for us. Hopefully, we can pick some momentum up on this road trip."
Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers (8-10-7), and Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves.
"We're frustrated," Giroux said after a players-only meeting. "The position we're in right now, it's really frustrating. It's not the position we thought we'd be in right now. The only way to get out of it is to go back to work."
Video: SJS@PHI: Neuvirth turns aside Thornton, Meier
The Flyers are last in the Metropolitan Division, six points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They blew two-goal and one-goal leads in the third period of a 5-4 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday.
But general manager Ron Hextall said he's seen a lot more positive than negative during the losing streak. The Flyers have had two-goal leads in four of the losses, six have been by one goal, and five have come in overtime or the shootout.
"I still believe we're a playoff team, yes," Hextall said. "We need to be better at some critical moments. We have to continue doing what we're doing because we're doing a lot of good things."
Thornton's 5-on-3 power-play goal broke a 1-1 tie at 18:42 of the first period. Couture set up Thornton in the right face-off circle, and his low shot went between Neuvirth's skates to make it 2-1.
Video: SJS@PHI: Dell flashes the leather on Konecny in 1st
Vlasic put the Sharks ahead 3-1 at 16:04 of the second period when he scored with a low slap shot. Couture got to the rebound of a Justin Braun shot and passed across to Vlasic at the right point.
Giroux gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead 48 seconds into the game. Andrew MacDonald's point shot hit Vlasic in front, but Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek beat him to the rebound in the right circle and passed across to Giroux, whose one-timer from the low slot got past Dell before he could seal the left post.
Tierney tied the game 1-1 at 10:29 of the first after he took a pass from defenseman Brent Burns, entered the Flyers zone on the right side, and cut toward the middle. Using Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim as a screen, his wrist shot beat Neuvirth high to the glove side.
Goal of the game
Thornton's goal at 18:42 of the first period.
Video: SJS@PHI: Thornton scores from tough angle for PPG
Save of the game
Dell's kick save on Voracek at 10:20 of the second period.
Video: SJS@PHI: Dell dazzles with three tough saves
Highlight of the game
Tierney's goal at 10:29 of the first period.
Video: SJS@PHI: Tierney nets equalizer on nice wrister
They said it
"That was the matchup they were looking for. I don't know if anyone wishes to play against Joe Thornton. If you want to, you can have him. I'm not afraid of that. I'm not afraid of putting him out there against anybody." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on playing Thornton's line against the Flyers' top line
"If you look at the way we've played from the start of the year, I'm pretty good with the way our team has played. Pretty good with the way our team has played the last nine games. Tonight, we ran out of a little bit of energy. Results lately are not very good. We deserve better, but we haven't gotten better. We have to find a way." -- Flyers general manager Ron Hextall on their nine-game losing streak
"We've had leads, we've had chances to win in overtime, shootouts, whatever it may be. We haven't done it. It's unacceptable. This isn't right." -- Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds
Need to know
Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi left with 7:02 remaining in the second period because of an injury DeBoer said was to his mid to lower body. … San Jose defenseman Tim Heed missed the game because of an upper-body injury. Joakim Ryan played in his place. … Thornton has five points (two goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. … Burns has four points (one goal, three assists) during a four-game point streak; he had seven assists in his first 19 games. … Giroux has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak.
Sharks: At the Florida Panthers on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)
Flyers: Host the Boston Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSP, NESN, NHL.TV)