The injuries are piling up. So are the losses.
The Philadelphia Flyers have dropped games in a variety of frustrating ways. But Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders was particularly maddening as the Flyers went scoreless in all nine rounds of the shootout.
Philadelphia hopes to avoid a10th consecutive defeat for the second time this season when it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
The challenge will be even more daunting with so many key injured players out of the lineup, such as Kevin Hayes (adductor/core), Sean Couturier (upper body), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Nate Thompson (shoulder) and Derick Brassard (hip).
"Obviously it's a big loss for us at a time when we're very thin at the center ice position," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said. "It's a challenge. We need guys to step up right now. We have to show our character and not allow excuses to creep in with the guys we have out of the lineup.
"Make sure individually the focus is on yourself to bring your best game and find another level than what we've been bringing."
One positive note from Tuesday's loss was captain Claude Giroux, who had one goal and one assist. But the result was another defeat for the Flyers, who also lost 10 straight from Nov. 18-Dec. 8.
"It's hard to sit here when you're in a losing streak like this and feel good about progress, but we have no other choice but to keep getting better," Yeo said.
The Blue Jackets will look to rebound after a frustrating 9-2 loss on the road against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
"We should be embarrassed, period," Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen said. "There's nothing more to say about it."
One interesting subplot in Thursday's matchup against the Flyers will be the return of Jakub Voracek, who recently competed in his 1,000th career game.
Voracek was selected No. 7 overall by the Blue Jackets in 2007 and was traded to the Flyers in the summer of 2011. He spent the next 10 seasons with the Flyers before being sent back to Columbus in a deal for Cam Atkinson.
"I've been really fortunate not being hurt much throughout my career," Voracek said. "I didn't miss many games. I take a lot of pride in that. Even if I'm banged up or was banged up throughout the year, I can always find a way to play the game. I think it's a little bit old school, kind of just battle through it no matter what you got."
Voracek has been very effective this season for the Blue Jackets with one goal and 24 assists.
"As long as I'm relevant to the team and helping the team to win games and being in a position to be successful on the ice, I'll play," Voracek said. "As soon as I feel that there is nothing I can offer, I'm going to call it."
--Field Level Media