Flyers get a bigger boat and blow up the Sharks, 3-2

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Flyers' Tippett and Laughton celebrate.
Philadelphia Flyers’ Owen Tippett, left, and Scott Laughton celebrate after a goal by Tippett during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Earlier this season, the Philadelphia Flyers (34-24-8) followed a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings with a visit to the San Jose Sharks (16-41-7). The focus in November was the same as in March against the same opponent: get back into the win column against a team you should beat.

Then, the Sharks were winless with a 0-10-1 record. John Tortorella dispelled the idea of that being a ‘trap game,’ stating that the Flyers had enough traps in front of them just to be ready each night.

“It’s the National Hockey League; you need to be ready to play each and every night.”

John Tortorella; 11/6/2023

San Jose earned their first victory of this season versus Philadelphia. The Sharks munched on the Flyers like chum, 2-1. The lesson learned: Tortorella needed a bigger boat.

Tonight, Tortorella was not on the bench after getting served with a two-game suspension and a $50,000 fine for standing up for his team on the bench against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brad Shaw and Rocky Thompson split coaching duties. When San Jose circled into Philadelphia, the shots fired didn’t miss. Owen Tippett pulled the trigger on the game-winner, blowing up the Sharks, 3-2.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. San Jose Sharks

Travis Konecny and Nico Sturm recorded the first scoring chances for their respective teams. Konecny had a chance to convert on a rebound surrendered by Magnus Chrona, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic succeeded as the last line of defense between the puck and the goal line. Sturm got in close on Sam Ersson, but Ersson made the save, tracking San Jose in the defensive zone with poise.

“In my head, not even a thought when there is something going to the net. I have confidence; not that he’s [Ersson] going to make every save, but I don’t have the feeling like he’s not. He’s earned that respect, in my opinion, over the last couple [of] months. He’s done a really good job.”

Rocky Thompson; 3/12/2024

Joel Farabee put the Flyers ahead, 1-0, with 16:31 remaining in the first period. Morgan Frost lofted a beautiful saucer pass through the neutral zone to Farabee, leading him on a breakaway. Farabee put a quick wrist shot past Chrona for the lead.

“Once I turned, I heard the bench yelling. I saw him [Farabee] just in the corner of my eye and just threw one out there.”

Morgan Frost; 3/12/2024

Tyson Foerster served a minor penalty for tripping. On their second powerplay, the Sharks made Philadelphia pay. Filip Zadina streaked down the middle of the ice, where Marc Staal abandoned, and walked in the equalizer, 1-1, with :41 remaining in the first period. The Flyers’ momentum after taking an early lead was squandered after committing a pair of penalties and surrendering a pair of powerplays.

Givani Smith and Konecny exchanged pleasantries after a whistle. Extra-curricular activity results in Konecny skating into Smith, who flops for an easy minor penalty for roughing. If we’re being honest, it is a high hockey-IQ decision by Smith to earn that man advantage for San Jose. Travis Sanheim, Cam York, and Noah Cates helped Ersson kill the penalty. Then, the Sharks received a bench penalty for too many men on the ice.

Frost lent a hand to Farabee earlier but put the Flyers ahead on the powerplay, 2-1. Konecny placed a shot on goal, and Frost measured a juicy rebound, teeing off on the puck past Chrona with 10:40 remaining in the second period. Philadelphia finished 1/4 on the powerplay.

“They’re [San Jose Sharks] a pressure penalty kill. You have to move the puck quick; it forced us to do that. I thought we had good support. TK [Konecny] did a good job off the half wall; it seemed like he had the puck on his stick a lot, and I thought he made good decisions with it. I like Frosty [Frost] in the bumper on that one unit, as well. I thought he was not just staying there, but was reading the ice and where the open ice, so that’s so important for a bumper.”

Rocky Thompson; 3/12/2024

Egor Zamula and Garnet Hathaway served separate penalties for hooking and elbowing, putting San Jose on a five-on-three advantage. Zamula exited the penalty box, putting Philadelphia down one man instead of two. Before Hathaway was freed, Zadina scored another powerplay goal, 2-2, with 6:26 remaining in the second period. Ersson was ready for the designed slapshot but couldn’t get his reaction in time to stop a tip-in from Zadina. The Flyers finished 3/5 on the penalty kill.

A wild sequence in the final minutes before the second intermission featured Chrona down on the ice, trying to reset as he survived a barrage of shots from Philadelphia. A rogue puck from Konecny nearly snuck through traffic and past Chrona for a goal, but it rolled off the post instead. Both goaltenders were bailed out by the post a few times in this one.

Alexander Barabanov came incredibly close to helping the Sharks to a lead, but Ersson made his best save of the night: a sprawling skate pad save at the post. In the following sequence, the Flyers went to a six-on-five due to a delayed penalty on San Jose but scored when Tippett drilled home an exquisite cross-ice feed from Konecny, wing-to-wing, 3-2, with 14:51 remaining in regulation.

“Before the game, even yesterday, we [Konecny] knew seams were going to be open a little bit. As soon as I was at the top, we locked eyes, and the seam stayed open. He made a great play.”

Owen Tippett; 3/12/2024

Bobby Brink, Erik Johnson, and Farabee helped eliminate the puck from the defensive zone in the closing minutes to ensure Ersson and the rest of their teammates escaped with a vital two points in the NHL standings. Additionally, they got back in the win column for themselves, their coaches on the bench in Shaw and Thompson, Tortorella, and the front office, who defends the organization in a way that would make Ed Snider proud.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at 7:30pm.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)