Singing the Blues: Flyers defeat St. Louis, 5-1

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Flyers' Felix Sandstrom and Travis Sanheim
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom, left, and Travis Sanheim celebrate a victotry after the third period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The struggling St. Louis Blues visited Philadelphia on the second game of a back-to-back road trip. They scored once against the Boston Bruins last night, falling short 3-1. Also, tonight was a homecoming of sorts for a former Philadelphia Flyers player and coach, Craig Berube.

Carter Hart missed tonight with an illness. Felix Sandstrom got the start. Lukas Sedlak scored his first goal for the Flyers in the 2022 reverse retro sweater and Rasmus Ristolainen answered the challenge made by Tortorella, helping set the tone for a 5-1 victory. Philadelphia handed the Blues their eighth straight defeat, jumping to fourth in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-3-2 record.

Reverse Retro brings out ‘the Bullies’

The opening period was spicy. Maybe the reverse retro kits helped channel ‘the Broad Street Bullies’ of old. Brayden Schenn and Nick Seeler got into it in the first five minutes.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Zack MacEwen and Robert Bortuzzo decided, in the Blues zone, to contribute to the Tortorella and Berube fight card, joining Seeler and Schenn in the ‘bully box.’ All of this was in the first seven minutes of the first period. Ristolainen answered the call in his return to the lineup, using his physicality to block shots.

The Flyers attacked the Blues’ zone. Thomas Griess defended eighteen shots on goal. It was one of the most active and well-played periods this season, yet both teams went into intermission scoreless.

Golden goals in the middle stanza

Fighting did not set this period off, but the energy shifted at the Wells Fargo Center. Tony DeAngelo had a great chance, but Pavel Buchnevich interrupted. St. Louis went on the first powerplay of the tilt when Ivan Barbashev took a high stick from MacEwen. Sandstrom stood tall.

Wade Allison broke the ice with a little under ten minutes left to play in the second period. Joel Farabee and Ivan Provorov made a few quick passes, finishing with an assist from Provorov close to Allison.

Philadelphia continued to dominate the second frame. They’re beginning to wear down the Blues, exhibited in the scoring barrage from this period. Owen Tippett navigated through the neutral zone with Travis Konecny before passing. Once Konecny accepted the puck, he went ‘royal road’ on Greiss, setting a quick screen and firing through the slot in stride for the 2-0 lead.

Then, the Flyers went on their first powerplay, but Tippett went to the box for tripping. Now, four-on-four, Scott Laughton contained the puck in the offensive zone on a failed clear. Immediately, he found Travis Sanheim, who whipped the puck to Noah Cates on the crease. In the final seconds of the second period, Cates extended the lead to 3-0.

Sandstrom gets his win

Berube must’ve had a few words of encouragement for his team during the second intermission because the Blues were firing in the third. Barbashev offered a beautiful drop pass to Ryan O’Reilly to spoil the shutout bid for Sandstrom. St. Louis scored; 3-1.

Philadelphia won’t allow that goal to be the last word. Less than a minute later, Seeler sent a heat-seeking pass to the tape from the blue line. Luka Sedlak scored his first NHL goal with the Flyers. The Wells Fargo Center erupted as the lead expanded to 4-1.

Who doesn’t love a good insurance goal to finish a game? Flyers fans did. Tippett joined in on a multi-point party, scoring a goal. Konecny returned the favor to Tippett, who launched a powerful shot at Greiss. The puck makes contact with Greiss before flipping over his shoulder and into the back of the net; 5-1.

After the game, John Tortorella remarked about the Flyers playing like a hard, cohesive roster:

I think these guys through the first 12 games have played hard. We tend to make things harder for ourselves at certain times as we’ve gone through it. Tonight was a game where maybe we were a little tired but we played a really good team game.

John Tortorella, 11/8/2022

Gina’s Gem of the Game

Hello! Hockey Lady Whistledown has the latest gem of the game. The diamond of the tilt is generally the goaltending, and tonight was no exception. Sandstrom earned his first NHL victory on short notice. Hart couldn’t play tonight due to an illness, and Sandstrom plugged an elite-sized hole in the lineup.

Sandstrom blocked 27/28 shots on goal, proving to be a reliable backup. He withstood the pressure and performed when the Flyers needed him.

Up next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers take the show on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

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