Flyers sweep the season series versus Red Wings

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Flyers' Scott Laughton
Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Laughton, left, celebrates his goal with Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

One more home game remains in March, and the Philadelphia Flyers want to close out this seven-game homestand with a nice winning streak. They played host to the Detroit Red Wings at the Wells Fargo Center in an attempt to sweep the season series. The hometown crowd was in for one fun Saturday matinee:

Hart and the Defense

Each team ranks seventh in its respective divisions. The Philadelphia Flyers drew the first penalty of the game, a two-minute minor for having too many men on the ice. James van Riemsdyk drew the short straw, serving the penalty. Their discipline, as the kids say, was mid; setting a pace of several committed penalties throughout the contest.

Tony DeAngelo commits a double minor for high sticking soon after the van Riemsdyk penalty was killed. Carter Hart worked the crease but received help from the penalty kill again. Ivan Provorov helped clear the defensive zone. Dominik Kubalik fired a hard shot in the best scoring opportunity for the Detroit Red Wings of the powerplay, but the Flyers kept it scoreless.

Alex Nedeljkovic made a few big saves in the opening frame where Detroit possessed the puck most often. The Red Wings didn’t seem to be in sync; missing passes and turning the puck over. They managed to win 58% of the faceoffs, but Hart made every save.

Just a couple of goose eggs at the end of the first in Philadelphia.

Bellows, Laughton Light the Lamp

Noah Cates committed a penalty in back-to-back games, his fourth in total through 72 games played. Comparably, this acts as the fourth powerplay for the Detroit Red Wings compared to one for the Philadelphia Flyers in less than 21 minutes of action. Again, the penalty kill remained perfect; 4/4. Cam York and Provorov were incredibly effective in the defensive zone.

Halfway through the second, Owen Tippett fired one on Nedeljkovic, but the save was made with the skate. Kieffer Bellows cleaned up the rebound, scoring the eventual game-winner; 1-0. It was his third of the season.

Adam Erne served a delay of game penalty to give Philadelphia their second powerplay, but they didn’t convert. Gustav Lindstrom served another for high sticking, but the Flyers committed to an 0/3 effort.

During a four-on-four situation with Tyson Foerster in the box after an obvious hold, Scott Laughton took it downtown, snapping a shot past Nedeljkovic, 2-0. Rasmus Ristolainen notched the assist, and Laughton has a seven-game scoring streak versus Detroit.

One More for Foerster

Hart was on fire, making a glove save on a snap shot by Jonatan Berggren. The Detroit Red Wings didn’t lack scoring chances. It’s that nothing materialized of those chances. Bad turnovers were the dessert of choice, but there was nothing sweet about it.

Foerster served two more minutes for hooking. Unlike the obvious call against him earlier, this one was bad from the official’s standpoint. The penalty was killed again, and the Red Wings were in a severe powerplay dry spell. One note about Foerster: he’s got speed and he skates with a purpose, catching up to the puck. He looks like the kind of player Philadelphia needed.

Laughton committed the final penalty for the Flyers, a slashing call. Berggren snapped a shot at Hart, but similar to soccer players, Hart used his head to keep the puck out of the net. It was the last stand from Detroit as Philadelphia finished 7/7 on the penalty kill and Foerster put the exclamation point on this season’s series with an empty net goal; 3-0.

That’s all Gritty wrote as the Flyers earned their third consecutive win for the first time since January, and they’re on a season-high five-game point streak. John Tortorella praised the youth on his roster for how they keep improving:

“You can see I’m using the young players in a lot of situations. It’s not any type of criticism on the older guys. I want to use the young guys in these situations and protecting a lead, all that stuff. They continue to get reps. Just going to keep on trying to play and trying to find them some spots.”

John Tortorella, 3/25/2023

Gina’s Gem of the Game

One name comes to mind, and it’s ol’ Scott Laughton for Lady Hockey Whistledown’s Gem of the Game. He notched his eighth multi-point (1G, 1A) of the season to eclipse 40 points (18G, 23A) for the first time in his NHL career. His accomplishment took a backseat when asked if the milestone had any significance:

“Not really, no. [You] try and set some personal goals for yourself at the start of the year, but at the end of the day, it’s about the team and us doing well. Once that falls into place, it probably feels a little bit better if you’re in that situation.” 

Scott Laughton, 3/25/2023

Up Next

Up next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm. You can watch the telecast on NBC Sports Philadelphia and listen to the broadcast on 97.5 the Fanatic or Flyers Radio 24/7.

(AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)