Flyers snap four-game losing streak against Flames

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Flyers' Wade Allison
Philadelphia Flyers forward Wade Allison, right, celebrates after his goal as Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom reacts during second-period NHL hockey game action in Calgary, Alberta, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Outlasting the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Philadelphia Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak. 

Before tonight’s tilt, John Tortorella discussed in which areas he felt the Flyers improved in a loss to the Vancouver Canucks. He pointed out where his lineup needed to improve before the puck dropped against the Flames:

“You would be surprised what the chances were; we did develop a number of chances. Some were from the outside; we need to get inside a little more often.”

John Tortorella; 2/20/2023

Taking what the opposing defense gives is the way Philadelphia battles. There were chances on offense available, and his lineup assembled made the most of them in Calgary. The Flyers got inside the Flames’ defense and Jacob Markstrom nearly a handful of times.

Philadelphia Flyers at Calgary Flames

Calgary got hot from the beginning of this one. Nick Seeler and Dennis Gilbert threw hands after Nicolas Deslauriers took a big hit. 

Samuel Ersson had to be incredible out of the gate, denying a handful of high-quality scoring chances from the Flames, including Jonathan Huberdeau on a two-on-zero setup by Nazem Kadri. 

Travis Konecny made good on a rush up the wing, created by a forced turnover by Noah Cates in the neutral zone. He stopped in the offensive zone, cut inside for a shooting lane, and fired the puck past Markstrom for a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, Philadelphia killed two penalties. Deslauriers extended the lead immediately after Cam York exited the penalty box; 2-0. However, Calgary answered with a Mikael Backlund snipe; 2-1.

“Obviously, not a good penalty by me. Kind of a gift right there coming out of the box. I saw him going to the net hard and wanted to get into an area for him. He made a great deflection there.”

Cam York; 2/20/2023

After killing a penalty committed by Seeler, Tony DeAngelo picked his shot from center-point and ripped it past Markstrom; 3-1.

Before the end of the second period, Konecny left the ice. He took a hit from MacKenzie Weegar from behind and crashed into the boards. Konecny didn’t return with an upper-body injury. Additionally, Patrick Brown put the Flyers in a man-down situation heading into the third period as the team faced a crucial injury.

Starting in the third period on the penalty kill, Philadelphia successfully kept the puck out of the net. Then, the Flames began to make their push in the final frame.

Tyler Toffoli and Andrew Mangiapane kept Calgary in the hunt, tying the game 3-3. Toffoli quickly wristed a shot on net from the bottom of the faceoff circle, beating Ersson. Mangiapane put a rebound in the back of the net following a shot initially saved by Ersson.

Wade Allison found a way inside the Flames’ defense for the game-winner. Markstrom barked for a goaltender interference call, but it was all clean. Allison received a beautiful pass from James van Riemsdyk on the crease, bumping the puck in for the 4-3 victory.

A Perfect Ersson (+) 

Ersson is 6-0-0 in his NHL career. He escaped a particular moment in the third period when Blake Coleman pinged the puck off the post. A bit of puck luck complemented Ersson and his previous spectacular saves to keep the Philadelphia Flyers ahead.

With this victory, Ersson is the eighth NHL goaltender to begin his career 6-0-0. 

“It’s fun, it’s special, but I’m just trying to make my spot on the team.”

Samuel Ersson; 2/20/2023

Inside Scoring Chances (+) 

He stressed it before the game, and Tortorella mentioned how it contributed to the win in his postgame comments:

“We found a way to get some offensive zone pressure, score a goal. That’s a good, hard win for us.”

John Tortorella; 2/20/2023

Each of the four goals was inside on the Calgary Flames’ defense. Konecny switched his lane from the left wing to the center before shooting. Deslauriers flipped the puck over Markstrom in close. DeAngelo took a higher-quality shot from center-point. Allison finished on the crease for the game-winner. It’s perfection in the ask from Tortorella before the puck dropped today.

(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)