Thrashed by the Boston Bruins on Monday, 6-0, the Philadelphia Flyers had to turn it around quickly, hosting the Anaheim Ducks to complete a back-to-back. They did just that, pelting the Ducks, 5-2.
“I thought it was going to be one of those games that they tie up, but I appreciate and respect how we just stayed with it. I thought we played a pretty good game.”John Tortorella; 1/17/2023
A power-play goal from Kevin Hayes opened the scoring for the Flyers in the first period. Receiving a pass from Tony DeAngelo, Hayes’ wrist shot beat Anthony Stolarz. The Flyers were on a two-man advantage before Hayes potted his eleventh goal of the year, but hesitancy to shoot the puck caused a turnover breakaway for the Ducks’ Max Comtois who came out of the penalty box, but was stoned by Samuel Ersson.
The Ducks were heavily outshot going into the second period, but Adam Henrique equalized the game for the Ducks. The Ducks caught the Flyers napping as Owen Tippett was down on the ice and Patrick Brown was getting into a scuffle in the offensive zone, leading to a 5-on-3 opportunity and capitalizing.
Rasmus Ristolainen laid a huge hit on Max Jones, then followed up by scoring his first goal of the season. His first-ever shorthanded goal too, Ristolainen received a pass from Scott Laughton and beat Stolarz with a backhand. Morgan Frost would make it 3-1 shortly after Ristolainen’s tally. Pulling off a highlight reel goal, Frost scored from between his legs to beat Stolarz to double the Flyers’ lead.
Hayes would light the lamp for the second time in the third period. Wade Allison picked up the puck along the boards before dishing it to Laughton, who then set up Hayes. The Ducks would score with 1:09 remaining in the period, but it wouldn’t be enough to mount a comeback. Hayes would then complete his first-ever NHL hat trick with an empty net goal, and seal the win for the Orange & Black.
Kevin Hayes (+)
The Flyers’ All-Star, Hayes had himself a night. Potting his first-ever hat trick, Hayes is continuing his hot 2022-2023 campaign. Despite falling off his point-per-game pace, he’s gelling with Laughton and Allison on the third line.
Hayes knows the team was embarrassed against the Bruins, so they had to make a statement against the Ducks:
“It just shows the resilience we have. At this point of the season, you don’t wanna keep losing games, it’s very important to nip it in the bud right when it happens. We kind of said that before the game; we don’t want to lose two in a row up until the break.”Kevin Hayes; 1/17/2023
‘Power Kill’ (+)
The Flyers lead the league in shorthanded goals this season with nine. As was to be expected after the hire of Brad Shaw, the Flyers’ unit has taken a step forward in 2022-2023.
Ersson also stood tall against the Ducks’ power play unit. He made 25/27 saves during the night and picked up his fifth career win. Ersson remains undefeated when starting in goal for the Flyers.
“I’ve got to be honest. The team’s been playing great in all the games I’ve been playing. Just got to try to do my job back there and stop as many pucks as I can and try to help the team win.”Samuel Ersson; 1/17/2023
Rasmus Ristolainen (+)
Under the leadership of Tortorella and Shaw, Ristolainen has made strides in his defensive game. He displayed some of his offensive abilities too, courtesy of his goal, but has been playing a more sound defensively this season.
“It was nice to see everyone excited and kind of being happy with me. It was an important moment to score the leading goal.”Rasmus Ristolainen; 1/17/2023
Tortorella knows Ristolainen has been working hard at his game this season, and so have his teammates. Ristolainen’s goal gave the Flyers momentum to keep the pressure on Anaheim, an example of hard work paying off.
“They were happy for him. They know he’s been knocking on the door. They know he’s really worked at his game. Another big hit tonight. Has played in the areas and has been strong. I think he’s a guy that guys pull for.”John Tortorella; 1/17/2023
The Flyers are back in action on Thursday night when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the Wells Fargo Center. The puck drops at 7pm.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)