Flyers, Ersson drop OT decision to Predators

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Flyers' Sam Ersson
A shot by Pittsburgh Penguins’ Kris Letang (not shown) gets past Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Samuel Ersson (33) for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

While the ending was not what the Philadelphia Flyers (15-10-3) had in mind, they managed to salvage the almighty point in an overtime loss to the Nashville Predators (16-13-0) on Tuesday night in front of a crowd that included Philadelphia Phillies‘ first baseman Bryce Harper. They found themselves in a 2-0 deficit halfway through the second period, but the Flyers clawed back to even the score in the third. Sean Couturier spoke about the team’s effort after the game:

“It’s a huge point. We battled hard all night. Down two goals, find a way to get back in the game and get a big point. It’s definitely huge. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the extra one, but a lot of positives.”

Sean Couturier; 12/12/2023

Here is a summary of what happened:

Philadelphia Flyers at Nashville Predators

The Flyers started a man down almost right out of the gate as Tyson Foerster was called for a slashing penalty before the first minute of play had transpired. The penalty kill unit for the Flyers came through once again, and the Predators came up empty. That would not last long as Gustav Nyquist deflected a puck in front of the net that got past Sam Ersson to give Nashville the 1-0 lead. They would hold for the remainder of the first period.

The Flyers would see three power plays of their own in the first period but came up empty each time despite putting eight shots on the net while up a man. The Flyers’ best chance at getting a puck past Nashville’s goaltender Juuse Saros came on a Cam Atkinson breakaway, which the netminder was able to stop.

The Predators were outshot 14-5 in the second period. The Flyers came out with two good chances to start the second period as Travis Konecny and Foerster entered the offensive zone on an odd-man rush but could not get the puck past Saros. Couturier followed up with another opportunity to score but to no avail.

Nashville added their second goal of the game on a goal from Michael McCarron on a delayed penalty. Garnet Hathaway looked to have played the puck, and the whistle should have been blown. He made his case with the officials, but they disagreed, and the goal stood.

A fight between Nicolas Deslauriers and Jeremy Lauzon eventually led to another Predators’ power play. Both received five-minute majors, but Deslauriers was also charged with unsportsmanlike conduct. Joel Farabee served the penalty and came up huge when he exited the penalty box as the Flyers killed another man advantage. After receiving the puck in transition on a play started by Atkinson, Farabee found Couturier in front of the net, and the Flyers finally found themselves on the scoreboard, ending the period down 2-1.

The Flyers grabbed a man advantage early in the third period after Nashville had too many men on the ice. Once again, the power play attempt came up empty for Philadelphia. They finished 0/4 with the man advantage on the night.

A few moments later, Konecny got the puck to Couturier in the neutral zone. He dropped it back to Konecny, who fired a shot on goal. Saros surrendered a rebound, and Travis Sanheim was able to find the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2. That would be all the scoring to be done in regulation. Both teams had multiple chances during an up-tempo final few minutes of regulation.

Overtime did not last long as Filip Forsberg put a shot on goal that Ersson had trouble with, and he poked it past the Flyers’ goaltender. The goalie gave some insight into what happened in his postgame interview:

“It was one of those, kind of felt it trickle a little bit. I didn’t know if I had it or if I were to lay back and try to cover it. Obviously, it is one I gotta to come up with. It hurts. We played such a good game and the way we battled in the third. It hurts that the overtime goal is one I feel like I want to have back.”

Sam Ersson; 12/12/2023

Despite outshooting the Predators 40-21, the Flyers didn’t score more goals. The effort in the second and third periods was inspiring but not enough to get the win. Overall, it was a good road trip for the Flyers, finishing 2-1 and collecting five points.

“Big picture, it was a good road trip. We got five of six points against some pretty good teams. We’ll go home, get some rest and get ready for the next one.”

Travis Sanheim; 12/12/2023

Up Next

The Flyers will return home and face off against the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, December 14th at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)