In a tightly contested battle between the two NHL Metropolitan Division rivals, the special teams never worked. The Hurricanes didn’t allow many scoring chances on the penalty kill and made their only powerplay opportunity count.
“I’m sitting behind the bench when we have those chances. Not capitalizing; sooner or later against a really good hockey team, we just need to bury one of those. It comes back and bites us.”John Tortorella; 10/30/2023
As time passed, the Flyers improved their game. They created offense by taking risks, and it earned them the lead. However, Frederik Andersen tightened his stance, improving his goaltending record to 4-0-0 this season.
“When we started, we watched them play. It could of been ten-nothing, it looked like to me with the way the game started. We slowly get into it, and we played better as the game went on. I thought we made some really good offensive plays in the third period, created a lot of scoring chances; not only off the rush, but also within the forecheck, but Andersen, I didn’t think he looked that good early on; in the couple of goals he did let in, but he stood on his head in the third period.”John Tortorella; 10/30/2023
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
A passive start caught Philadelphia unsettled and inexplosive in their defensive zone. Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov were both in the area of a loose puck, and Orlov crossed a pass to Andrei Svechnikov. Svechnikov was a step ahead of Louie Belpedio and Nick Seeler, slipping an easy look to Stefan Noesen near the crease. Noesen shook away from Belpedio, then slid the puck five-hole on Carter Hart, 0-1, with 16:49 remaining in the first period.
Morgan Frost was a high-ticket item in the lineup after being scratched for six consecutive games. On the first Flyers powerplay, he was bumped off of the puck with relative ease. They finished 0/5 with the man advantage, but Tortorella doesn’t believe the powerplay struggles made a difference.
Owen Tippett answered the call. In the neutral zone, Tyson Foerster joined Sean Couturier on the check on Martin Necas. Couturier recovered the puck, then chipped a lead pass to Tippett, who finished glove side on Andersen, 1-1, with 4:51 remaining in the first period.
Nicolas Deslauriers stapled Jack Drury into the boards in the defensive zone before accepting the pass and working a successful give-and-go entry with Scott Laughton. Brady Skjei stopped the initial cross from Deslauriers, but the second effort made it to Hathaway on the crease. Hathaway converted a backhand five-hole on Andersen, 2-1, with 1:37 remaining in the first period.
Tortorella has a fantastic crew. He got the green light to challenge the goal by Drury and was successful; 2/2. Noesen skated the puck into the offensive zone and was offside before the goal.
Carolina controlled the second period. In addition to their successful penalty kill, the Hurricanes did not miss on the powerplay. Laughton didn’t win the defensive zone faceoff, allowing Noesen to make up for his offside error with a quick pass to Michael Bunting to tie the game, 2-2, with 10:58 remaining. Seeler put Philadelphia in a precarious position, serving a minor penalty for interference.
One of the reasons Tortorella doesn’t think the powerplay made a difference is because they were getting scoring chances. It wasn’t from a lack of effort. The execution wasn’t there. Frost created his most effective offense while on the powerplay, feeding Foerster for a scoring chance blocked by Andersen.
“I thought it was inconsistent tonight. I thought we threw a lot of pucks into pressure instead of away from pressure in trying to get it set up; that’s where I thought the biggest weakness on our powerplay tonight was. We didn’t get it down the middle of the ice. We kept on throwing it down the wall, and that’s where they’re waiting for; to jump you. As we started moving, I thought it was better.”John Tortorella; 10/30/2023
After the second intermission, the Flyers entered with some wind in their sails. They knew they had to win a period to defeat a good team. Foerster and Seeler missed a couple of early opportunities. A backhanded attempt by Foerster sailed wide, which was a high-danger chance.
Hart stood on his head to keep the game tied. He and Andersen, specifically in the third period, were dueling goaltenders. The pace became so quick that the Flyers and Hurricanes were knifing through the transition and peppering goaltenders with shots on goal, particularly in traffic. Lost in all of this was a denied ‘Michigan’ attempt by Svechnikov on Hart.
Bobby Brink didn’t clear the puck out of the defensive zone, leading to another game-winning goal in consecutive games for Teuvo Teravainen. Teravainen dumped the puck deep after intercepting Brink, then settled behind Joel Farabee and Travis Sanheim to bury the one-timer, 2-3, with 3:47 remaining in the third period.
Philadelphia competed with Carolina. For a rebuilding franchise, to compete with the Hurricanes is a mighty accomplishment because they’re a potential Stanley Cup contender. The Flyers wanted the two points, but perspective says this team can hang in the NHL. Believing that will bring them a long way.
“I think we all have to keep it in perspective of where we’re at here, too. I’m not going to stand up here all year long and talk about moral victories, but I gotta’ God damn remember where we are as far as where in the organization and the process that we’re at. I’m certainly not going to boo the team. I’m going to try to help ’em.”John Tortorella; 10/30/2023
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)