It was bound to end at some point. Shayne Gostisbehere's impressive streak of points in 15 straight games never made it to 16 as the Carolina Hurricanes downed the Flyers, 3-1, snapping the streak.
You could say Gostisbehere was already on borrowed time with the streak. In four of the last five games of the streak, Gostisbehere's point came in the third period or later.
In setting the record with his 11th straight, Gostisbehere scored to tie the game against New Jersey with 16 minutes remaining. He assisted on Brayden Schenn's goal the next night with nine seconds left in regulation of a 3-1 loss to the the Rangers. He assisted on Michael Raffl's go-ahead goal at 3:15 of the third. He scored the overtime winner in Toronto to make it 15 straight games.
Regardless, Gostisbehere finds himself in rare company with such an extensive and impressive streak and in the process emerged as a future star in the NHL.
Gostisbehere's streak started against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 19 in a 3-2 loss. Gostisbehere scored the game-tying goal in the third with a brilliant end-to-end rush.
He quickly tallied points in his next five games. He also had his fair share of close calls as the Flyers lost a couple of games in regulation while scoring only one or two goals.
In Flyers history, only seven streaks by four different players have gone that length. Tim Kerr is tied with Gostisbehere at 15 games. Brian Propp had a 16-game streak and Bobby Clarke had two 16-game streaks. Eric Lindros had a 17-game streak. Clarke and Lindros are tied for the record of 18, which Gostisbehere was rapidly closing in on before Tuesday's sudden snapping.
In addition, Gostisbehere now finds himself in elite company for points streaks by any defenseman. Given the difficulty of scoring in the modern-day NHL, it is certainly impressive that Gostisbehere got halfway to Paul Coffey's NHL record 28-game streak for points by a defenseman. The next highest streak ever by an NHL defenseman: 19 games by Ray Bourque. Bourque also had a 17-game streak, as did Brian Leetch. Gary Suter had a 16-game streak. And Gostisbehere's streak of 15 ties the longest by Bobby Orr, who did it twice, Steve Duchesne and Chris Chelios.
Not a bad list to be on.
Gostisbehere's 15-game streak also falls just five games short of the overall record by a rookie at any position. Paul Stastny still leads the way at 20 games. But Gostisbehere takes his place on that list tied for fourth with Jude Drouin. He trails only Peter Stastny at 16 games and Teemu Selanne at 17 games.
Among rookie defensemen, Gostisbehere reigns supreme. His 15 games are a new NHL record, set with his 11th consecutive game. Gostisbehere not only claimed the NHL record for longest points streak by a rookie defenseman, but also the Flyers rookie record at any position, passing Mikael Renberg's 10-game streak.
Gostisbehere's streak is also the longest in Flyers history by a defenseman, passing Brad McCrimmon's 12-game streak in 1984-85.
Through it all, Gostisbehere became a rock star in Philadelphia and a player to watch constantly throughout the NHL, which may be why as the streak wore on, the points were harder to come by.
In the end, Gostisbehere's focus stayed where it has throughout the streak. The end of a 15-game stretch with points was hardly the focus to the rookie defenseman after a 3-1 loss that hurt their playoff chances even more.
"It was a special streak. I really thank my teammates, most importantly, and my coaches helping along the way, not letting me think about it too much," Gostisbehere said. "The biggest thing is to not get a big head about it. It was a fun thing. I'm personally happy it's over and we don't have to talk about it anymore. I just want to thank my teammates for all the support.
"To see how good we played out there, a couple bad bounces, it's tough to see. We're a no excuse team. That stuff happens. It's just one of those games where you did some good things and you've just got to build off that."
"Hell of a streak by him," head coach Dave Hakstol said. "He didn't play any differently tonight. He generated opportunities. I think like the rest of the team, one wouldn't go. Streaks like that are going to come to an end. He can be real proud of it. I know his teammates are happy for him. I'm sure if you asked him the question, the most important thing right now is what we do to get two points in our next game."
With the hoopla surrounding the streak over, the Flyers now must shift focus to a crucial six-game homestand that will really decide whether they are a player in the playoff race or not quickly, especially with the trade deadline fast approaching.
But for now, we all will step back to remember the streak that really gave Flyers fans some excitement over the course of the season.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.