Flyers ‘comeback kids’ strike again in 3-2 thriller against Tampa Bay

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Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny reacts after scoring during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Humans of the sporting world, the Philadelphia Flyers are 3-0-0. The maybe-we-won’t-suck-that-much Flyers are currently the Metro Division leaders.

This game was reminiscent of the comeback win three days ago that was 3-2 over the Vancouver Canucks. This writer won’t go as far as to call this a statement win (again it’s only three games into the season) but this shows a side of the squad fans have been hoping was lurking under the cloak of mediocrity.

Trailing, and not the fun kind

Let’s get the obvious statement out of the way: the Flyers have trailed in all three tilts so far this season. While they’ve pulled out the wins, it’s not a good feeling to watch a squad not play a full 60 minutes of hockey.

Noah Cates driving to the net with Wade Allison in the game’s first shift was a bright spot for Torts. First nine minutes Tampa was given WAY too much time and the next seven shots on goal all belonged to the Bolts.

Second frame with one minute to go, Travis Konecny with the high sticking call and Tamps scored 25 seconds into their man advantage. Steven Stamkos potting it home off a one-timer from Nikita Kucherov. Goal number two for the Bolts and power play goal number two for Stamkos on a cross-ice pass from his buddy Kucherov.

Once again Philadelphia is in a 2-0 hole but lady luck (and Torts torture conditioning) changed the game.

Don’t call it a Flyers comeback…yet

The Boys on Broad managed to cut the gap with more than half the play in the second. Morgan Frost with a clean entry to Andrei Vasilevskiy, passed to Egor Zamula and his shot rebounded. I’ll let Scott Laughton and the tweet below take it away:

But the second period was just The Carter Hart Show (and Co.) Shots were 17-10 in favor of the Bolts and scoring chances were 20-10 also in favor of Tampa. Hart kept it to two.

Three’s the charm

Third period and Tampa Bay forgot how to play hockey. Philadelphia got a man advantage as Stamkos was calling for a hooking Cates (Noah). Just 25 seconds in, James van Riemsdyk with the thick screen and deflected in a shot from Kevin Hayes to draw the game even at two:

Tampa with a final power play in the third, courtesy of a Zack MacEwen holding call. The penalty kill for the Flyers stepped up to the plate and limited the Bolts to just ONE shot. But it was Cates on the night (Noah that is) and with 7:16 left in regulation, Tampa Bay with a fatal defensive turnover. It was all she wrote.

Hart shut down Tampa for the final seven minutes of the game and the Flyers took their first road win of the season 3-2.

Gina’s Gem of the Game

The diamond of this tilt (as the hockey Lady Whistledown) is handed to 23-year-old Noah Cates. Tortorella has lauded Cates since training camp. He joined the squad last season and has done nothing but impress.

Sitting squarely as the club’s third-line center, he’s proven that he’s able to contribute in a winger capacity as well. His game-winning goal was also his first of the season and the wrister isn’t a bad way to silence the crowd of the home team.

Next Game

Philadelphia Flyers face off against the Florida Panthers at 7:30pm EST.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum