Foerster lifts Flyers over Senators, 4-2

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Flyers' Felix Sandstrom and Travis Sanheim
Philadelphia Flyers’ Felix Sandstrom left, and Travis Sanheim celebrate after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the Ottawa Senators, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Earning a win to complete the back-to-back was critical for the Philadelphia Flyers (32-23-7) as they officially clear 70 points in the NHL standings. More importantly, the 4-2 victory versus the Ottawa Senators (25-31-3) briefly gains ground on the Washington Capitals while keeping the New York Islanders at an equal distance as they sneak into a postseason push.

Tyson Foerster helped the Flyers back into the win column. In the loss to the Capitals that began the back-to-back, John Tortorella said he needed more from his offense. He elaborated, including Foerster as one of the players he expects offensive production from. Off a faceoff won by Scott Laughton and a penalty shot, Foerster raised his goal total to 16:

“He has had a good run, here. I’ve been looking to him the whole time because he was getting chances, they just weren’t going in for him. It’s easy for a coach to look at a guy for scoring, but also know he’s probably one of your best defensive players too. I’ve been looking his way pretty much all year long.”

John Tortorella; 3/2/2024

Joel Farabee began the scoring. He scored his 18th of the season, deflecting a shot on goal by Nick Seeler. At the end of the first period, Philadelphia led 1-0. Seeler notched an assist on the opening goal and remained active throughout, blocking five shots, three for a penalty-killing unit that finished 5/5. On the television broadcast, Seeler spoke about what he wants of his immediate NHL future:

Additionally, Tortorella added:

“We’re not looking to trade Seels [Seeler]. He’s a huge part of the competitiveness of the room; that brings that room together. He’s one of the true competitors that I’ve ever coached as far as how he handles himself.”

John Tortorella; 3/2/2024

Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game in the second period. He led a two-on-one with Seeler in the middle, electing to take the backhanded shot past Felix Sandstrom, 1-1.

Sandstrom saved 26/28 shots, translating to a 92.8%SV and a 1-0-0 record in 2023-2024. However, those statistics don’t articulate how often the goalposts bailed out Sandstrom. The puck hit iron a handful of times, sometimes twice on one shot.

“The thing I liked about it; he [Sandstrom] closed the game out. I think that was his next step. I thought that was his struggles when we had him here last year was closing a game out. He made some key saves at key times; I’m happy for him. He looked confident.”

John Tortorella; 3/2/2024

The Senators maintained their pace after knotting the game, but the momentum began to shift once Travis Sanheim and Mathieu Joseph served for slashing. Those two chirped at each other from the penalty boxes, but on the ice, the Flyers took away space from Ottawa in the defensive zone. Marc Staal kept Tim Stutzle off-balanced, and once both teams were back to five-on-five, Foerster took the game from a deadlocked 1-1 to another Philadelphia lead, 3-1.

Cam York served a double-minor for high-sticking, which knocked a tooth out of Jakob Chychrun. This was the penalty kill where Seeler shined brightest, featuring a gutsy shot-blocking effort in the final two minutes of the double-minor.

Nearing the end of regulation, Maxence Guenette hit Garnet Hathaway from behind after Hathaway made a big, legal check along the boards on Jacob Bernard-Docker. For a moment, it seemed like another Flyers and Senators brawl might brew, but that was just wishful thinking based on prior history.

Sogaard was pulled for the six-on-four advantage, which paid off. Thomas Chabot scored after the puck deflected off a one-timer misfire by Dominik Kubalik. Chabot buried the puck the second after the powerplay expired, essentially with a two-man advantage in hand, 3-2. Pulling Sogaard for another man advantage didn’t work to beat Sandstrom again, as York scored the empty net goal, 4-2. Philadelphia defeated Ottawa, avoiding a season sweep.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the St. Louis Blues on Monday, March 4th, at 7pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)