Konecny pots hat trick as Flyers defeat Capitals

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Flyers' Travis Konecny
Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny (11) reacts after scoring his third goal during an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It doesn’t get much better than a home win. The Philadelphia Flyers picked up a victory in the first of two in the home-and-home series. Riding high off a 4-0 shutout victory over the Buffalo Sabres, the next challenge were the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. Rolling, the Flyers earned a much needed two points in regulation to win six of their last seven games.

Taking the Lead

A few quality shifts got the engine humming. Scott Laughton launched a powerplay goal while Alex Ovechkin served for tripping. Tony DeAngelo and Owen Tippett notched assists on the powerplay drive from Laughton. DeAngelo dished to Laughton at the point before a wrist shot with traffic secured the 1-0 lead. Special teams contributed often for Philadelphia in this tilt.

In the final minute of the opening period, Washington had a chance to tie the game, 1-1. Nick Jensen had a step on Travis Sanheim, finding Garnet Hathaway for the close finish. A quick response to the equalizer followed :21 seconds later, however.

Travis Konecny earned first star honors, scoring his first goal of the evening before the first period finished. Joel Farabee won a puck battle along the boards, set up behind Darcy Kuemper, and set up a backdoor one-timer to Konecny to begin his hat trick journey, 2-1.

Second Period Stalemate

No goals were scored by either team in the second period. The lack of scoring didn’t indicate a bad period from the Flyers. Which team looked better? Who passed the eye-test? Those questions were answered.

Between the pipes, Carter Hart received a bit more work. He denied Lars Eller and Niklas Backstrom twice, keeping calm and clutch.

Dmitry Orlov served for tripping, giving Philadelphia their third powerplay chance. Tippett, away from the puck, threatened the Capitals with his speed, drawing the tripping minor. He drew the first three penalties for the Flyers, earlier resulting on a goal by Laughton.

Getting ‘Hatty’

Tippet made plays with the puck, too. He had an earlier assist, then notched a goal to kick off the third period. He snapped a shot on Kuemper, showing the impressive power we all heard about as he arrived in Philadelphia last season, 3-1.

Washington went on their only powerplay, showcasing a disciplined effort from the Flyers. DeAngelo served a slashing minor, but Konecny continued doubled down in the third period to complete the hat trick. He began on the penalty kill, notching the eighth shorthanded marker of the season for Philadelphia on a two-on-one with Laughton. It was the 23rd goal of the season for Konecny, making it a 4-1 score.

Rallying, Marcus Johansson and TJ Oshie closed the deficit, 4-3. Finishing the job, Konecny potted an empty-net goal with :13 seconds remaining in regulation, which counts as another powerplay goal. All the hats were tossed onto the ice.

The final favored the Flyers, 5-3. It was a hats over Caps evening.

Following the game, John Tortorella stated he believes Konecny is playing his natural game and getting rewarded for it:

“I just think he’s playing. He’s a reactionary type player. I’ve only seen him play from afar before this year. He just plays. The puck finds him; he plays in the areas. Everything about his game is effort. I think he’s getting rewarded.”

John Tortorella; 1/11/23

Konecny tallied the hat trick, but made sure to point out Laughton, who had a three point performance:

“He has been probably our most consistent guy all year. He just shows up every night, plays the right way and gets rewarded for it. He is one of those guys where if you need a big block, he gives you a block. Need a goal, he gets a goal. Whatever it is, Laughts is always there to get guys going.”

Travis Konecny; 1/11/23

Gina’s Gem

There is only one choice for Hockey Lady Whistledown’s Diamond of the Tilt: Travis Konecny.

He never killed penalties at the NHL level before this season, yet has three shorthanded goals. Konecny leads the Flyers with 46 points (24G, 22A) en route to his second career hat trick. In his last ten games, he has twenty points (12G, 8A) while riding a point streak as long.

Next Up

The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Washington Capitals on Saturday, January 14th, 2023. The puck drops at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)