A referee raised his right arm to call a first-period penalty on the New Jersey Devils, so Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov left his net and started making a beeline to his bench.

A few strides later, Bryz fell flat on his face before play was whistled to a halt.

Fitting.

The Flyers are doing the same.

On a day the white smoke pouring from the Sistine Chapel chimney signaled a new Pope had been picked, a once-promising Flyers’ season took another big step toward burning to ashes.

Desperate to get hot and stay hot before it’s too late, the Flyers came out flat again Wednesday night, then after making more than their share of bad mistakes, they were handed an embarrassing and pathetic 5-2 roasting that was more lopsided than the final score.

“We’ve been doing this all year long and we continued to do the same thing,” Bryzgalov said. “You know, it’s not my area to discuss the things. It’s just bad.”