A recent 3-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks is a distant memory. Shutout who? The Philadelphia Flyers looked refreshed versus the Florida Panthers, unlike in their previous meeting on the heels of a back-to-back in a 4-3 loss.
At home, the Flyers served revenge on ice, returning the favor with a 4-3 victory over the reigning President’s Trophy winners.
Don’t count them out
As per usual, the Flyers found themselves in a hole early. Gustav Forsling, from the slot, sent a wrister sneaking across the goal line. He used the traffic in front of him to hide shield Carter Hart.
Then, the Flyers evened the score. Tony DeAngelo was the recipient of a smooth, behind-the-back feed from Travis Konecny, setting his shot to tie the game, 1-1.
Florida cooled the home fans jets, posting another lead. Three straight goals from defensemen to begin the evening, now including Josh Mahura. Radko Gudas forced the rebound, allowing Mahura to post the 2-1 lead. The Panthers outshot Philadelphia, 19-9.
Eetu Luostarinen took a tripping penalty, providing the Flyers with an opportunity. On the first powerplay of the tilt, Scott Laughton knotted the game once more. Konecny had the helper by forcing a rebound for Laughton to clean up.
Leading the way
Instead of trailing at the start of the middle frame, Philadelphia was sitting even with Florida. In the second period, the Flyers scored twice, shutting down the Panthers.
Nick Seeler snapped a hot shot off the faceoff, and Zack MacEwen stuck the deflection for the lead, 3-2.
Kevin Hayes had a breakaway chance just over a minute later. Sergei Bobrovsky made the initial save, but couldn’t get out of the net. Hayes recovered the puck, finding Joel Farabee on the doorstep for a two-goal lead; 4-2.
Early in the final frame, Florida tightened the score. Brandon Montour scored less than a minute into the third period on the powerplay, blemishing the Flyers’ penalty kill. Each goal from the Panthers were exclusively scored by defensemen.
Hart continued to stand on his head, closing out the victory at home. Following the win, Philadelphia is 5-2-0 and atop the Metropolitan Division.
The Carter Hart Show
The 24-year-old goaltender set a new career-high, saving 48/51 shots in the victory. Hart is 5-0-0 to start 2022-2023 with a 2GAA and a 94.7%SV.
He allowed more than two goals for the first time this season, but he was peppered with shots often. Hart went 16/18 in the first period alone. The defense in front of him cleaned up in the second period, saving 10/10. Taking on 51 total shots is new territory, but Hart proved he could handle the volume. In the third period, he saved 22/23 shots on goal. Hart credited his teammates, citing a renewed identity from the lineup:
“I think that’s something we haven’t really had the last few years is an identity. We’re becoming a gritty hockey team to play against. I think for us to be successful, that’s how we have to play — we have to play hard.”Carter Hart, 10/27/2022
As ‘the Lady Whistledown of Hockey,’ the ‘Diamond of the Tilt’ goes to Konecny. His response to getting benched versus the Sharks: two assists, including a powerplay point. He and Hayes both were on the ice for 31 shifts, second to Laughton. His first apple to DeAngelo was a stunner.
Konecny has eight points (4G, 4A) on the season. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, ascending during the team’s hot start.
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow at 7pm.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)