Flyers lack energy in losing effort to the Blackhawks

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Blackhawks Celly
Chicago Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy (5), Reese Johnson (52), MacKenzie Entwistle (58) and Colin Blackwell (43) celebrate past Philadelphia Flyers’ Carter Hart (79) after a goal by Johnson during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at the Wells Fargo Center, the Philadelphia Flyers threw a wrench into their tanking plans, losing 4-1. 

Morgan Frost broke the ice with a smooth finish. He looked off Seth Jones, then sniped Petr Mrazek for the 1-0 lead. Nine seconds later, Andreas Athanasiou scored, but John Tortorella challenged the play. Ruled offside, the goal was overturned. Before the end of the first, Scott Laughton took a nasty crash into the boards, face first, but returned to the bench shortly after.

Into the second, the Flyers had 49 seconds remaining on their powerplay but didn’t convert. The penalty kill unit provided momentum to the Blackhawks, where Jonathan Toews tied the game on a deflection goal, 1-1. Again, Philadelphia went to the powerplay, but Mrazek made a lucky save, swiping the puck clear of danger with his skate. Keeping the momentum from successful penalty killing, Reese Johnson scored the eventual game-winner from the slot, 2-1. Chicago had all the energy behind two goals, two successful penalty kills, and Mrazek keeping the puck out of the net.

Tyler Johnson scored quickly, capitalizing on a Patrick Kane rebound, 3-1. The Flyers had chances in the final frame, but all were denied by Mrazek. Philipp Kurashev potted the empty net goal to seal the final score, 4-1.

“It was one of those games where I didn’t like much about it at all.”

John Tortorella; 1/19/2023

Forechecking (-) 

Tortorella built this team to forecheck. A score-by-committee club cannot expect to get ahead on the rush in most games. In the first two periods, even when up 1-0, Philadelphia did not grind down the Blackhawks.

“I don’t think, the first and second period, we did enough forechecking. Sometimes, it gets good to you when you start scoring off the rush, and you start scoring some goals like we have. You forget about what it is for us; we’re a forechecking team.”

John Tortorella; 1/19/2023

Tortorella gave a ton of credit to Chicago for continually checking, and being faster. Ultimately, the Flyers were flat.

“It’s the mental tiredness we have to fight. That’s the first thing that goes. We were flat mentally. We weren’t quick, they checked going forward, we weren’t anticipating.”

John Tortorella; 1/19/2023

Philadelphia has to find a way to regain energy because they do not have a break until the end of their January schedule. A back-to-back begins tomorrow on the road against the Detroit Red Wings and finishes at home at the Wells Fargo Center versus the Winnipeg Jets. 

Up Next 

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers travel to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The puck drops tomorrow at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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