To conclude the 2022-2023 NHL season at the Wells Fargo Center, the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A rare favorite, the Flyers hoped to end the season on a high note in front of their hometown fans. It also would be a gift to Steve Coates, who completed the final home game of his broadcasting career.
Both teams didn’t have a postseason berth on the line. The discourse surrounding the Flyers and Blue Jackets has a lot more to do with the NHL Draft Lottery and the ‘Connor Bedard Sweepstakes.’ How did the final contest at the Wells Fargo Center in 2022-2023 play out in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Adam Ginning made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ginning made his first impression, separating Carson Meyer from the puck as he entered the defensive zone.
“It was a lot of fun, a dream come true.”Adam Ginning; 4/11/2023
About halfway through the first period, Tim Berni flipped the puck down the ice, leading Meyer between James van Riemsdyk and Cam York. Meyer couldn’t score on his attempt, but van Riemsdyk unsuccessfully cleared the puck. A poke check to clear the puck out of the crease didn’t work to plan by York, and Liam Foudy scored on the lingering rebound, 1-0.
Michael Hutchinson was active in the first period. He made a save on Joel Farabee, who forced a free puck in the slot, but no Flyers were there to capitalize.
A few minutes after Foudy broke onto the scoreboard, the Blue Jackets’ defense created a scoring chance. Adam Boqvist stopped an attempt to enter the offensive zone by Kevin Hayes, chipping the puck to Kent Johnson. It seemed Noah Cates took the puck away, but Trey Fix-Wolansky stayed with the turbulence to score a snapshot on Carter Hart, 2-0.
A couple of minutes later, the Flyers finally respond. Morgan Frost entered the offensive zone, setting the forecheck. Travis Konecny possessed the puck before finding Farabee on the doorstep, scooting the puck past Hutchinson, 2-1. Just over half a minute later, Scott Laughton won a critical faceoff. Ivan Provorov possessed the puck before locating van Riemsdyk at the right faceoff dot for the equalizer and 300th career NHL goal, 2-2.
“Before the year, Dean Lombardi pulled me aside and was letting me know where I stood with some of those things, like with career goals; milestones like that. [I] obviously knew it was within reach this year. [I’m] excited to get it in Philly; obviously a winning effort is always nice, too. That was definitely a cool little reception from the fans also.”James van Riemsdyk; 4/11/2023
Before the end of the first period, Josh Dunne and van Riemsdyk were in the box, serving minor penalties. Farabee nearly gave the Flyers a lead, but Hutchinson made the save while Berni committed a cross-check.
On their first powerplay, the Flyers began the second period on the man advantage for 54 seconds. Rasmus Ristolainen kept possession in the neutral zone, dishing the puck to Owen Tippett. Tippett made the clean entry, cut in on Hutchinson, and took the lead on a quick shot, 3-2.
Hart made an aware save on a wraparound attempt by Dunne. At the opposite end, Provorov rang the puck off the post. The Flyers maintained a one-goal lead after two periods.
Both teams finished 1/3 on the powerplay. Sean Kuraly scored on the final man advantage for the Blue Jackets. Johnny Gaudreau dished a pass to Jake Christiansen at the point, who shot at the net. Kuraly nabbed the deflection, 3-3.
Brendan Lemieux took a healthy shot on goal after a crossing pass from Nicolas Deslauriers. The fourth line continues to buzz for the Flyers. Both goaltenders didn’t allow a game-winner in regulation, forcing overtime. Hart stopped 26/29 shots on goal.
Laughton, Ristolainen, and Travis Sanheim began the overtime period for the Flyers. Foudy, who scored the first goal, had a chance to get the game-winner, but Hart sealed the post. On another possession, Gaudreau tried to pass to Christiansen at the point one more time, but the puck got away. Tippett recovered on a breakaway, but Hutchinson made the save on a backhand attempt.
Tippett had another chance. Provorov entered the offensive zone, then dropped a pass to Tippett. Cutting from the right wing through the slot, Tippett did finish backhand for the game-winner. The Flyers won their final home game of the 2022-2023 season in overtime, 4-3.
“Provy made a great pass coming into the zone. Ideally, I was going back to him on my backhand, and I just opened up room to bring it back to my forehand, and put it in there.”Owen Tippett; 4/11/2023
Owen Tippett (+)
He surpassed 25 in a season last night, scoring his 26th to win in overtime. With direction, Tippett towered his formerly career-best season, a combined effort between the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers from 2021-2022.
“You can see, with the breakaways, for example, how many opportunities he’s had over the course of the year, and sometimes it’s a good save; sometimes he probably likes to have a few back, but he’s starting to turn a corner in that aspect as far as becoming a goal scorer.”Rocky Thompson; 4/11/2023
The 2023 Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy recipient added a pair, not cooling down in a breakout season.
James van 300 (+)
Everyone talks about the professional van Riemsdyk is. He is a model NHL player, representing the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHLPA. It was a feel-good moment when he scored his 300th goal:
“He’s an awesome pro, and three-hundred goals is a very impressive feat. The way he scored it, kind of a knuckle puck; he scored so many goals in so many different ways. He’s always around the net; it’s ironic that he ends up scoring a perimeter goal like that. He’s a pleasure to work with; a consummate professional without a doubt.”Rocky Thompson; 4/11/2023
A milestone goal in what is likely his last season with the Flyers. He became the 220th skater to score 300 career NHL goals, tied with David Pastrnak.
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)