Flyers defeat Penguins in after overtime dèja vu

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Flyers' Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny celebration.
Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Walker (26) and Sean Couturier (14) celebrate after a goal by Walker during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It feels like a similar result already took place. Oh right, the Philadelphia Flyers (13-10-2) did it on Saturday when they visited the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-10-3).

The ‘Battle of Pennsylvania’ is one win away from being painted Orange and Black.

To serve as a refresher, Sean Couturier scored the 4-3 shootout game-winner on Tristan Jarry at the PPG Paints Arena. He did it again tonight, 2-1, in sudden-death overtime on Alex Nedeljkovic at the Wells Fargo Center

Concluding the recent eight-game stretch against the Metropolitan Divison, John Tortorella coached his lineup to a 4-3-1 record.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Between the Keystone State rivals, the first period was dormant. Teams had a couple of scoring chances in odd-man rushes, or shots that rang off the post. The line featuring Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, and Bobby Brink created scoring chances but didn’t finish.

Bryson Stott was in attendance. He supported the Flyers versus the Penguins, representing the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sidney Crosby brought action to the last minute. Gaining the odd-man rush, Jake Guentzel dished to Crosby, 1-0, with :46 remaining in the first period. Giving the lead to Pittsburgh, Crosby scored his 15th of the season, earning his 125th NHL point against Philadelphia, the most scored against them by one player in franchise history, passing Mario Lemieux.

Whether Crosby breaking a record at the Wells Fargo Center was used for motivation in the second period might’ve been proven halfway through the second period.

Travis Konecny sent a pass across the ice to the red-hot Tyson Foerster. The ‘Tour de Foers’ buried his shot from the top of the faceoff circle past Nedeljkovic, 1-1, with 10:14 remaining in the second period. It was the fifth of the season for Foerster, and his third in as many games.

“Anytime you can score in this league, your confidence is going to rise. TK [Konecny] made a great play, and so did Risto [Ristolainen]. I was just lucky enough to score.”

Tyson Foerster; 12/4/2023

After 40 minutes, the teams were in a seesaw contest. In stretches, the Flyers bent but didn’t break with Nicolas Deslauriers, Ryan Poehling, and Garnet Hathaway. Carter Hart bailed the transitional defense out of a couple of odd-man rushes.

“We just got caught; we’re in the middle of a shift, we couldn’t get guys off. That’s what that second period is; you don’t want to get caught in those situations. We did. Carter [Hart] gives us a chance to bail out of it.”

John Tortorella; 12/4/2023

Then, in the third period, it played a lot like the first. Philadelphia went on the powerplay for the first time, but Cam York stopped Lars Eller from a shorthanded breakaway by committing a holding penalty. Overall, the penalty kill finished 3/3 while the powerplay finished an abbreviated 0/1.

Nedeljkovic and Hart had all the answers between the pipes. Marcus Pettersson wound up a slapshot on goal, but Hart snared the glove save. The 1-1 draw entered sudden-death overtime.

These deep waters were familiar. Overtime, with a home-and-home sweep at hand. Travis Sanheim and Konecny had excellent scoring chances, but Nedeljkovic made a point to deny Konecny the entire night. Sanheim rang his chance off the post. At the opposite end, Hart put a stop to Kris Letang.

Then, Couturier showed out in overtime to put a fork in it. Konecny, the playmaker, found Couturier, the game-winner, on the odd-man rush, 2-1, to put an end to the Penguins.

“It was a nice setup. Everything just worked out perfectly from the faceoff; clean, and then TK’s [Konecny] saucer pass just lined it perfectly. It was nice to get that extra point.”

Sean Couturier; 12/4/2023

An overtime win serves as the third game in a row where the Flyers played past regulation. In December, they’re 2-0-0 in a shootout or sudden-death overtime, specifically versus Pittsburgh. Despite finishing the Metropolitan Division stand strong, Tortorella isn’t focused on the standings. He is focused on his lineup and remaining consistently tough to compete against:

“We just worry about ourselves. We’re gonna’ play. I think we play hard pretty consistently. If you have the room that we have right now, the togetherness, I think you find a way to compete in this league. We get really good goaltending tonight, we score a timely goal, great faceoff play at the end, we’re blocking shots; we’re doing all those things that we have to do.”

John Tortorella; 12/4/2023

There are still concerns surrounding the lack of scoring, but Tortorella is happy to see Foerster find his scoring touch as he grows back into the NHL:

“It kind of fast forwards him [Foerster], as far as what it means to be a pro and the things you have to do as a National Hockey Leaguer [NHLer]. It’s great seeing him score the goals, but it’s been so impressive as far as the other stuff, and that’s caught us off guard as a coaching staff. We didn’t realize how equipped he was.”

John Tortorella; 12/4/2023

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on December 7th at 9pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)