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Mar 13, 2023 4:47 pm

Slumping Flyers take on surging Knights

The Chuck Fletcher era in Philadelphia is over, and the Flyers’ second game without him at the helm will be Tuesday night at home against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Flyers on Friday fired Fletcher after a four-year stint as their general manager and replaced him on an interim basis with Danny Briere.

In their first game with Fletcher gone, Philadelphia still lost 5-1 to the host Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The Flyers have lost three games in a row and seven of their last eight, but Briere is looking ahead.

“I see myself staying here and being part of the future,” he said. “I hope they believe in me, as well. It feels that way. I honestly don’t have a problem with the (interim) tag. We’ll see what happens next. I’m honored to be here and to be in this position. I want to do everything possible to help but this franchise on the right track at this point.”

It’s been a lost season for the Flyers, who have struggled to score. Without key injured players such as Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis, the task has been even harder.

Kieffer Bellows scored the lone goal against the Penguins.

“I don’t have a lot to complain about,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said. “I know we lost another one. I thought we played hard. I thought everybody contributed. … We have to keep banging away here and keep on trying to play the right way.”

The young Flyers, who have only three goals during their losing streak, seemed out of sync most of the game.

“When you’re trying to do too much, it can sometimes be worse,” Owen Tippett said. “You have to stick with it and grind through and hope for the results.”

Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo will be eligible to return to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Corey Perry last Tuesday.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, have won three straight games and six of their past seven. Vegas has been impressive during its winning streak, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues.

In the Golden Knights’ 5-3 road win over the Blues on Sunday, goaltender Jiri Patera made 30 saves in his NHL debut and Pavel Dorofeyev scored his first career goal.

“I’m glad we got the win,” Patera said. “Towards the end it was a little bit scary, but we got the job done, and I’m pretty sure we’re all happy. Guys made it really comfortable, they made it real easy for me. Good win.”

Vegas moved three points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division.

“For playing four in six days, the mental fatigue, the travel, we did a good job,” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Dorofeyev also added an assist in a strong all-around performance.

“He was on the puck a lot,” Cassidy said. “He created a turnover on the first goal with foot speed. I thought on his off wing he was able to get in on the inside a lot, to be dangerous there, went into traffic. He was kind of slippery around there.”

The Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith had two assists on Sunday and has six points (two goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak.

–Field Level Media

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