The Flyers are making things difficult on themselves as they try to stay in the race for the Metropolitan Division title.
They played solidly Monday night but lost for the sixth time in seven games, dropping a 3-2 decision to upstart Vegas at the Wells Fargo Center.
Third-line right winger Ryan Carpenter scored from the left circle to snap a 2-2 tie after Cody Eakin won a board battle behind the net with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in regulation.
Vegas’s Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves and became the 12th goalie in NHL history to register his 400th victory.
It was the second time in three games that the Flyers lost late in the third period. They allowed a goal with 22 seconds left in a 3-2 loss in Boston on Thursday.
The lost points could be killers.
The Flyers had a 40-29 shots advantage Monday, but you don’t get points for shots.
Wayne Simmonds tied the game at 2-2 by scoring from close range with 12:54 left in regulation, beating Fleury with a perfectly placed shot to the short side that went over the goaltender’s right shoulder while the Flyers were on a power play.
The Flyers were in a 2-for-28 power-play funk before Simmonds converted a slick feed from Jake Voracek.
William Karlsson had given Vegas a 2-1 lead by scoring on a power-play rebound with 14 minutes left in the third period. The Golden Knights capitalized on a high-sticking penalty against defenseman Travis Sanheim.
Ten seconds before his penalty, Sanheim was robbed by Fleury, who gloved his ticketed shot from the high slot.
Claude Giroux’s 10th goal in the last 16 games enabled the Flyers to tie the game at 1-all with 18:33 left in the second period.
Travis Konecny took the puck away from Shea Theodore near the offensive blue line, and Sean Couturier fed Giroux for a left-circle wrist shot that sailed over Fleury’s glove for his 25th goal, three shy of equaling his career high.
About two minutes later, former Flyer Pierre-Edouard Bellemare leveled Nolan Patrick, and the rookie had to go to the locker room and be tested for a concussion. Patrick returned to the ice about five minutes later.
The Flyers were the stronger five-on-five team – holding a 9-4 shots advantage — but Vegas won the special-teams battle in the opening period.
Vegas had five shots on its power play, including a pass by Erik Haula that deflected off the stick of goaltender Petr Mrazek and into the net. Haula was at the goal line to the right of the net when he tried to throw a pass out front that Mrazek misplayed.
The Golden Knights, an expansion team that leads the Pacific Division and is setting many NHL records, got the power play when the Flyers were whistled for too many men on the ice, a call that infuriated Dave Hakstol, their normally placid coach.
The Flyers had no shots on their lone first-period power play, and they were 0 for 2 with a man advantage in the first two periods.
Fleury made key saves on Couturier (redirection) in the first period, and made a glove save to rob Voracek from scoring on a left-circle drive with 8:38 left in the second. With a little over three minutes remaining in the second, he made consecutive point-blank saves on Patrick and the snake-bitten Oskar Lindblom (rebound).
Mrazek, Fleury’s counterpart, denied Alex Tuch as he broke in alone early in the first period, and he stopped Haula after Vegas had a three-on-one following an Andrew MacDonald turnover with 15:26 to go in the second.
The Flyers controlled the second period, scoring the session’s only goal and having a 16-8 shots domination against a team that was completing a five-game road trip.
It was the teams’ second and final regular-season meeting of the season. On Feb. 11, Couturier had three points and Michal Neuvirth made 37 saves as the Flyers overcame a 1-0 deficit and won in Vegas, 4-1.
The Flyers have 12 games remaining, including just two against Western Conference teams. They went into the night with eight wins in their last nine games against West opponents.