Claude Giroux battles for a loose puck in the Flyers' 5-2 loss to the Red Wings on Saturday. (USA Today Images)
DETROIT -- It’s hard to say that a team that is 1-5-0 is actually getting better, but the Flyers appear close to putting together a complete game.
If they can eliminate the penalties, get their offense and power play going, one-goal losses will disappear.
On Saturday, they showed some 60-minute determination and a sense of urgency despite losing 5-2 to the Red Wings at The Joe (see story).
“We don’t want to get comfortable with losing,” coach Craig Berube said, “but I thought we played a pretty good game -- solid game with guys having a lot of urgency.
“Our competitiveness out there, we moved the puck a lot better tonight. But it’s not good enough. We got to be better.”
With Scott Hartnell (upper body) and Vinny Lecavalier (lower body) out for a while (see story), Berube had to make line changes with his two Phantom call-ups, Tye McGinn and Michael Raffl.
McGinn played left wing on Claude Giroux’s line with Jakub Voracek. Brayden Schenn moved to center for the first time this year to allow Raffl to play the left side with Wayne Simmonds on the right.
Schenn, who is having a strong start to the season, had seven shots and an assist in the game.
“He’s a versatile guy and I thought he played well,” Berube said of Schenn. “He had some good chances out there and he was responsible defensively.”
Berube said both McGinn and Raffl gave the club “good energy.”
The Flyers’ six goals in their first five games were a franchise low, erasing the former mark of nine, which occurred in 1999-00.
As bad as that was, that Roger Neilson/Craig Ramsay-coached team recovered nicely and went to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to New Jersey.
Then again, that group had Eric Lindros (27 goals), John LeClair and Mark Recchi that season. Recchi led the team with 91 points, LeClair led with 40 goals and defenseman Eric Desjardins had 14 goals and 55 points.
Nicklas Grossmann led the Flyers with four hits. Three other players recorded three as the Flyers outhit the Red Wings, 24-20. ... Brayden Schenn led the Flyers with seven shots. ... Matt Read had five shots and four takeaways. Read also led the Flyers in ice time at 22:16. ... The Flyers are on a bad powerless-play skid -- 0 for 15. ... Giroux finally got a point, an assist on McGinn’s goal.