By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
It was already a disappointing road trip for the Flyers with three very different types of losses coming in their first three games out of the holiday break. On Tuesday night, the Flyers rang in the new year with a fourth straight loss, a type that has already led to significant changes twice this season.
The Predators rolled to a 4-0 win behind a 32-save shutout from Juuse Saros as the Flyers closed out a four-game road trip in Nashville.
The Flyers came out strong in the first period with a good energy and generating shots. The Predators had a handful of quality shifts in the first period as the Flyers largely controlled the opening period, outshooting the Predators, 13-6.
Early in the second, the Predators got their game going and turned a transition play into a goal. On a counter-rush, which turned into a brief four-on-two, Kevin Fiala dished a pass to Craig Smith, who went top shelf for the goal to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers had chances going the other way, including two power plays in the period, but failed to solve Saros or the post on two occasions in the second period. Nashville turned another chance into a goal exactly 10 minutes after the game's opening tally.
Off a blocked shot by Ryan Hartman, Ryan Johansen came up with the puck and held control, slipped a pass through Travis Sanheim to an uncovered Viktor Arvidsson, who beat Michal Neuvirth to make it 2-0.
The Predators had the advantage in shots, 16-12, for the period, cutting the gap to 25-22 for the game through 40 minutes.
The Flyers did kill off an early power play for the Predators in the third, but never got on the board before the Predators could extend the lead. At 6:15, Arvidsson scored his second of the game on another transition play.
Just over five minutes later, another miscue and counter-rush led to a goal as Zac Rinaldo set up Rocco Grimaldi to make it 4-0.
That was more than enough of a lead for Saros, who cruised to a 32-save shutout win. Neuvirth finished the game with 26 saves.
The Flyers are back on home ice on Thursday for the first of three straight games at home, starting with the Carolina Hurricanes. Game time is 7 p.m.