Flyers, Ersson shut out Red Wings, 1-0

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Flyers' Sam Ersson
Philadelphia Flyers’ Samuel Ersson, right, reacts after blocking a shot by Washington Capitals’ Anthony Mantha during a shootout in an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The first meeting between the Philadelphia Flyers (17-10-3) and the Detroit Red Wings (15-11-4) ended in a defensive showdown. Cam York scored the game-winner in the first period, 1-0.

Extending their point streak to eight games, the Flyers won two consecutively. In December, John Tortorella coached his lineup to a 6-0-1 record, climbing to second place in the NHL Metropolitan Division.

This team is finding ways to win games. It is one of the biggest differences between this roster and the ones over the last few seasons. York offered some insight as to what is different this year:

“I feel like we are a team that can win six-to-five or like tonight, one-nothing. It’s something that’s really important to be able to do. I think it’s something that we didn’t do great last year and that we’re doing really good this year. If we can continue to do that, we’re going to have a lot more success.”

Cam York; 12/16/2023

Here is how the victory played out:

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Detroit Red Wings

Both teams started at a fast pace. The Flyers finished with a 12-7 shot advantage. York managed to get the puck past Alex Lyon off a slick give-and-go switch by Travis Konecny. It seemed like York tried to find Sean Couturier on the crease, but the puck deflected into the net, 1-0, with 13:39 remaining in the first period. Konecny added the 200th assist of his career on the scoring play.

Tortorella put Joel Farabee back on the powerplay, a notable change. The Flyers powerplay finished 0/3 on the evening. Despite not scoring on the man advantage, the Flyers held the lead into the second period.

A scoreless second period saw a fair share of excitement. Opposite of the powerplay, Philadelphia finished 3/3 on the penalty kill, a stellar performance. Lyon was injured when he kept Owen Tippett from extending the lead. Ville Husso replaced Lyon in the crease, stopping every shot coming his way. After two periods, the Flyers had a slight advantage in shots on goal, 22-18.

In a defensive-minded game, the Flyers outlasted the Red Wings. Rasmus Ristolainen, who jumped to the top defensive pair after Travis Sanheim became a late scratch due to illness, made his presence known with big hits and blocking shooting lanes. After the game, he credited Tortorella for his renaissance:

“I wish I had him when I was eighteen and I was coming in the league. It’s been fun working with him [Tortorella] and I feel like I have taken some big steps under him.”

Rasmus Ristolainen; 12/16/2023

Despite a nail-biting final minute of regulation, the Flyers remained steadfast and prevented the Red Wings from scoring. Detroit created chances as Philadelphia struggled to clear the puck. Sam Ersson made huge saves and displayed good rebound control. He saved all 33 shots he faced to claim the shutout win.

Up Next

Next, as the Christmas break approaches, the Philadelphia Flyers will head up the turnpike to visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)