Flyers to try and take full advantage of rare rest down 2021 stretch

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim (6) skates away as New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) celebrates his game winning goal in overtime at Wells Fargo Center.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, a bit of rest for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sunday night’s 1-0 overtime loss against the New York Islanders was just the latest frustration for a team that is hanging on by a thread to stay in playoff contention in the Eastern Division with 11 games remaining.

Not exactly the most deserved result considering the Flyers dominated the first period and a majority of the second, but they could not find a way to get past Islanders star rookie goaltender, Ilya Sorokin.

“We had some quality looks, real good opportunities, some second opportunities,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “[The Islanders] are a team that blocks a lot of shots and they’re good defensively. Their goaltender in the first two periods in my estimation was the difference and they found a way to win this game in overtime.”

That Sunday-night loss was the Flyers’ 32nd game in 59 days — a tightly-packed slate after the team was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols back in February. The Flyers have gone 12-15-5 after starting the season 8-3-2.

“We’re running on fumes right now so we need to reenergize for the first time in a long time,” Vigneault said.

Luckily for them, they have a vital three days off, next taking the ice on Thursday against the New York Rangers where the team can recover off the ice just as much as try to stabilize things on it.

“That’s going to be beneficial for us and then after that, you have to stay in the present,” Vigneault said. “There are still 11 games left to be played. We have to take it one game at a time and focus on that. That’s what we’re going to try to do… and do our jobs.”

As it stands, the Flyers are nine points out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Division, currently owned by the Boston Bruins, with the Rangers five points ahead sitting in between them.

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