James van Riemsdyk scored the game-winner in the shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Minnesota Wild, 5-4.
Suddenly, the Flyers are a team who wins shootouts more often than not. In the 2022-2023 season, they’re 2-1.
Each time, van Riemsdyk scored the deciding shootout goal in a Philadelphia victory. Carter Hart notched both wins. Here’s how it went down at the Wells Fargo Center:
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Minnesota Wild
From the onset, the Philadelphia Flyers began to apply pressure on the Minnesota Wild. Tyson Foerster had the first quality scoring chance, which became a trend.
On a rush through the neutral zone, van Riemsdyk set up Travis Sanheim in stride with a dish from the boards, who slipped another pass across the ice to Scott Laughton for the first goal, 1-0. Oskar Sundqvist deflected a shot by Jake Middleton past Hart to tie the game, 1-1, with 3:25 remaining in the first period.
“He’s [Sanheim] got great legs; he moves very well. He had a great chance in the second to pull a drag shot. He’s making things happen for himself, so I’m happy for him; he’s a great guy, [and] cares for this organization. It’s good to see.”Scott Laughton; 3/23/2023
After a clean period of hockey, Egor Zamula took the first penalty. The Flyers penalty kill did its job, another trend set for the rest of the game. Momentum swung back to Philadelphia when Cam York shot from the blue line, but Joel Farabee deflected the puck to score his fourth goal in as many games; 2-1. Marc-Andre Fleury had to make a handful of incredible saves, surviving a few close calls.
Matt Boldy sniped Hart, glove side, to tie the game 2-2. Just over two and a half minutes later, the Wild led after Foligno beat Hart fair and square, 3-2.
Down a goal, the Flyers had an opportunity to get back into the game on the powerplay. Joel Eriksson Ek served the penalty for Minnesota, and Rasmus Ristolainen took advantage with a hard slap shot from the blue line, 3-3.
Noah Cates committed only his third penalty of the season, a nod to how disciplined he is as a two-way forward. Hart made a critical pad save on the penalty kill, then Laughton helped clear the clock to keep his team perfect while shorthanded.
Reminiscent of the earlier bout between these two clubs, Boldy scored two goals. Hart gave up a rebound with the puck loose in the crease. Ivan Provorov couldn’t locate the puck and didn’t play the body on Boldy, resulting in an easy clean-up goal to give another lead to the Wild, 4-3. Soon after, Foerster made good on his incredible shot at the professional level, which will likely be elite, pinging the puck bar-down from the faceoff dot, 4-4.
Before the end of regulation, Owen Tippett went to the penalty box. Minnesota began overtime on the powerplay for 26 seconds, and Ristolainen killed the rest of the penalty for a 3/3 finish. John Tortorella elected to keep the two defensemen and one forward version of an overtime lineup. The Wild kept any offensive production from Philadelphia away from Fleury, shutting down most shooting lanes. No one scored in overtime, so came the shootout.
Foerster, van Riemsdyk, and Morgan Frost represented the Flyers. Shooting for Minnesota were Mats Zuccarello, Frederick Gaudreau, and Boldy. Only one skater could light the lamp: van Riemsdyk. Philadelphia keeps their four-game point streak alive, 5-4.
“He [Tortorella] went right to me. I scored on the last one; maybe he remembered that one, but it’s always nice to get one like that.”James van Riemsdyk; 3/23/2023
Fleury flailed in the crease during the second period. The Philadelphia Flyers had multiple scoring chances come within inches of reality. The Minnesota Wild defense made the timely save with their sticks. When that wasn’t the case, Fleury had a bit of puck luck on his side.
Then, the Wild led after Foligno buried his shot past Hart, forcing the Flyers to play from behind for the rest of regulation. Ristolainen and Foerster both smashed powerful shots on goal to even the score.
“The second period could’ve been really frustrating. We rack up chance after chance, can’t score, and then bang-bang, they score in two chances. We held ourselves together, and stayed in it.”John Tortorella; 3/23/2023
This victory marks the seventh playoff contention team Philadelphia split the 2022-2023 season series with.
Sanheim kept his point streak alive, notching four (3G, 1A) in the last five games. He is at his best when he joins the offense on the rush and collects a primary assist.
“He [Sanheim] looked even freer tonight. That’s what I’m watching. I’m hoping he ends on a good note so he can feel good about it during the summer. Him and I, we’ve got to adjust ourselves as we start next year in how we’re going to go about it. I just want him to feel good about himself before he leaves this year.”John Tortorella; 3/23/2023
Tortorella needs consistency out of Sanheim, which he hasn’t been since earning the Barry Ashbee Trophy and Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy a season ago.
“I want more. It’s my job to ask for more. I’m going to continue to ask for more because I saw it, and when I see it, I’m going to ask for it. That’s where he’s been inconsistent.”John Tortorella; 3/23/2023
Beezer In The Cut (+)
He just needed to score one goal. It set him free.
Farabee struggled following off-season neck surgery. Tortorella could sense that he needed a goal to boost his confidence. Ever since the Buffalo Sabres came to town, Farabee found his scoring touch.
“It’s a confidence league. When you’re playing with confidence, you definitely start to feel good, and our lines’ really clicking with Cates and Tip. We had some really good cycles; made a lot of plays tonight.”Joel Farabee; 3/23/2023
He deflected a shot by York, doing what Tortorella preached to steal a few additional scoring chances:
“He’s been around the net; does it again tonight.”John Tortorella; 3/23/2023
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)