The Philadelphia Flyers suited up against the Edmonton Oilers last night, concluding a four-game road trip with a back-to-back. It was the final matchup between both teams for the season. The Oilers were victorious on home ice, 4-2.
Noah Cates got the Flyers on the scoreboard first. Wade Allison found Cates along the boards, who finished with a wrap-around on Stuart Skinner for a 1-0 lead. It was Cates’ ninth of the season and first in eight games. Nicolas Deslauriers had the secondary assist.
With a handful of seconds remaining in the first period, Joel Farabee went to the box for high-sticking. On the next faceoff, Tyson Barrie rifled a shot past Carter Hart to tie the game, 1-1, with 2.9 seconds on the clock. The Oilers’ top ranked powerplay made the Flyers pay in seconds.
Philadelphia hung with Edmonton in the opening period. The Oilers were slowed down in the neutral zone and were physically outmatched.
A little after midway into the second period, with 8:23 remaining, Owen Tippett reclaimed a 2-1 lead for the Flyers. Olle Lycksell forced a takeaway in the offensive zone where Kevin Hayes recovered the puck and put the puck on a string to Tippett crashing the crease. Lycksell picked up his first career NHL point on the scoring play with the secondary assist.
In the third period, a sweet game for Lycksell turned sour. Again, the best powerplay unit in the NHL wasted no time against a 22nd ranked penalty kill. Leon Draisaitl blasted a shot into the back of the net, tying the game 2-2. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins passed circles around the Flyers’ penalty killing unit, giving Draisaitl a lot of net to shoot at. It was the 700th career point for Draisaitl and the 800th assist for McDavid.
Minutes later, the Oilers took the lead. Cam York and Patrick Brown failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone, and McDavid scored the game-winner. He scored again on an empty net goal, securing the 4-2 win for Edmonton.
Penalty Kill (-)
Staying out of the penalty box was one of the main objectives for the Flyers facing a dangerous Oilers forward core. Philadelphia took four penalties in last night’s loss; four more than they did in their shootout victory versus Edmonton. Barrie and Draisaitl did their job, helping the Oilers score on two man advantage opportunities.
“The penalties, that was a key thing in the first time we played them was staying out of the box. Hurt us tonight.”John Tortorella; 2/21/2023
With the man advantage, the Flyers failed to convert on three chances. Philadelphia has the worst powerplay in the NHL. A few quality shots were placed on goal, but the ability to finish lacked.
Travis Konecny is one of the leading scorers on an abysmal powerplay. Without him in the lineup, the Flyers couldn’t find the puck luck they needed.
Third Period (-)
Before last night, the Flyers hadn’t lost a game in regulation when entering the third period with a lead.
Through the first two periods, the Flyers were stubborn on defense against the Oilers’ superstar-loaded offense. In the third, the Flyers were outscored, 3-0. Lycksell committed a high-sticking double-minor to begin the downward spiral resulting in a loss.
“I thought the team laid it out there. Did all the things we asked of them, checked. We played a hard game, just couldn’t find a way to win.”John Tortorella; 2/21/2023
Up next, the Philadelphia Flyers are back at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, hosting the Montreal Canadiens at 7pm.
(Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)