The Philadelphia Flyers held off the Edmonton Oilers following a “men against boys” start versus the New York Islanders on Monday.
The Flyers put pressure on Stuart Skinner quickly in the first period. After multiple scoring attempts, Kevin Hayes gave the Flyers an early lead. In the defensive zone, Hayes’ stick deflected a pass from Leon Draisaitl, which led to Travis Sanheim creating an offensive rush. Sanheim fed a pass back to Hayes, who beat Skinner to score his 16th goal of the year; 1-0. Scott Laughton also received the secondary assist on Hayes’ goal.
Evander Kane equalized the game for the Oilers in the opening minutes of the second period. The speed from Connor McDavid started the play, and he dropped a pass backward to Kane for the equalizer, 1-1. A puck that usually would’ve been smothered by Hart managed to find its way into the back of the net.
In the third period, Zach Hyman nearly gave the Oilers the lead with 12:36 remaining, but his goal was called back due to goaltender interference on Hart. Both teams generated chances throughout the third, and Noah Cates nearly scored the game-winner with under one minute remaining, but Skinner made an impressive save and sent the game into overtime.
In a free extra period of hockey, McDavid had two chances to win the game for the Oilers but was shut down by Hart each time. The Oilers dominated overtime, but neither team could find a goal. After the overtime period, the Flyers defeated the Oilers in the shootout, 2-1.
Travis Sanheim (+)
Earlier in the day, John Tortorella mentioned that Travis Sanheim needed to get back to the level he was at earlier in the year. Against the Oilers, Sanheim gave Tortorella what he wanted. Sanheim assisted on Hayes’ goal, was generating offense, was sound defensively, and tested Skinner at times.
Sanheim is a player known for jumping into the play. He displayed his fearlessness all of last season but has been inconsistent until tonight.
“Something obviously [I’ve] been struggling as of late and I think it’s a big part of my game [joining the rush]. Talking with the coaching staff, something that I needed to bring back. When I’m playing my best, I’m moving my feet. A big part of that is joining the rush. I thought I did a much better job of that tonight.”Travis Sanheim; 2/9/2023
Dueling Goaltenders (+)
There was no shortage of offense between both teams, but Hart and Skinner both stood tall through overtime. Hart had himself a night and earned a win. Credit Skinner for keeping the Oilers competitive.
Hart always has fun facing his hometown team and gave credit to his team for grinding hard against a star-studded Oilers offense.
“Playing against my hometown too, so I love playing against Edmonton. Those two guys [McDavid and Draisaitl] are some of the best guys, if not the best guys in the league. They got a lot of skill there up front. But i thought we really stuck to our game tonight and just grinded hard.”Carter Hart; 2/9/2023
While the powerplay didn’t convert, the Flyers remained disciplined and didn’t allow the Oilers to show their man advantage. The Oilers have the best power play in the NHL, but they didn’t get a chance to display their talents in Philadelphia.
“It was something we discussed this morning and then again before the game [staying out of the penalty box]. I think they’re the number one power play in the league. That first unit seems to score a lot of goals. You can’t give them any luck. Obviously, to give them zero was great for us.”Travis Sanheim; 2/9/2023
The Flyers continue their homestand with a matchup against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. The puck drops at 12:30pm.
(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)