Flyers earn critical point in OT loss to Hurricanes

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Flyers' Joel Farabee
Philadelphia Flyers’ Joel Farabee (86) controls the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

John Tortorella will approach this performance from a different angle than what a quick narrative will suggest. To the eye, the Philadelphia Flyers (35-26-9) forced overtime, earning a critical point in the race for third place in the NHL Metropolitan Division. Tortorella said after the loss to the Boston Bruins that there needs to be caution about ‘moral victories.’ This performance does result in a point, but another was left on the table against the Carolina Hurricanes (44-20-6).

There wasn’t a feeling of panic. As they’ve shown throughout the season, they’re cockroaches. If it weren’t for a successful coach’s challenge by the Hurricanes, the Flyers would’ve held on for a regulation win. That’s how tightly contested this tilt was. Brad Shaw spoke in the postgame media availability following the overtime loss:

“I loved how we kept coming after them [the Carolina Hurricanes]. We know how hard they work as a team, and we knew we had to match that. I thought through most of the third period and large portions of the game, we carried the play. We surprised them with how many pucks we won. A little unfortunate at the end, but a huge point for us.”

Brad Shaw; 3/21/2024

Erik Johnson was very effective in the defensive zone. He cleared the zone to disjoint the pressure Sam Ersson faced, got in between Ersson and the crashing forward on the crease, took away angles from defenders in pursuit of forwards while transitioning on offense, and sacrificed his body by diving at the puck to defend a wraparound by Martin Necas.

Owen Tippett would’ve scored the aforementioned overturned goal. Travis Konecny was ruled offside before Morgan Frost received the puck due to a deflection by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Frost dangled through Carolina, and Tippett put home a rebound on Frederik Andersen, but it didn’t count. However, Philadelphia never lost its drive and focus.

“He [Frost] is more confident, and for the high-end offensive guys like he is, that can make a world of difference; see the ice better, [and] hold onto the puck a little bit longer when it’s necessary. He has that vision, the hands, and the skill set to find guys that some other guys just can’t find, and it’s really showed up for us. It’s made that line a real danger and you saw how often Carolina put their specific guys out there to try and stop them. It’s been a good stretch for Morgan.”

Brad Shaw; 3/21/2024

Ersson didn’t make an alert pass and almost paid for it. Brendan Lemieux swooped into the defensive zone for a takeaway, but Ersson made the sitting glove save to bail out his mistake. Then, Frost served a minor penalty for high-sticking. The Hurricanes began to turn the tide, but a collective effort from the Flyers’ penalty kill turned away the powerplay. Philadelphia went 2/2 on the penalty kill.

Andrei Svechnikov and Jordan Martinook put the Flyers on a five-on-three powerplay. Konecny rang a shot off the post and Carolina stomped out a final effort from Tyson Foerster and Olle Lycksell. Philadelphia went 0/3 on the powerplay, leaving a grand opportunity to get their overturned goal back on a two-man advantage. At the end of the first period, neither team officially contributed to the scoreboard.

Martinook, Necas, and Jordan Staal transitioned into a three-on-two rush against Tippett and Cam York. Necas, who received a pass from Brett Pesce, centered to Martinook for the wrist shot, 1-0.

Less than a minute later, Scott Laughton received a clever, redirected pass from Joel Farabee in the neutral zone to break free on Andersen. Laughton skated in close on Andersen and beat him on his glove side, 1-1.

“I thought that was one of Bobby’s [Brink] best games tonight. He won every battle along the wall [and] he made it really easy for me to keep pucks in, and Beezer [Farabee] did a great job; two guys that are always looking for you. I thought we did a good job in the [offensive] zone. Both [of] those guys made great plays on the goal to get one back.”

Scott Laughton; 3/21/2024

Adam Ginning and Ronnie Attard began to feel like a young, quality third pair of the future for the Flyers. Attard forced a bad pass into the middle of the neutral zone early in the game, then corrected himself and showed a willingness to block shots. At times, they’ll get stuck on the ice for a long shift, which isn’t ideal for a prospect still in development and new to the NHL pace. However, Ginning and Attard seemed like the best duo on the ice for Philadelphia.

“They’re [Attard and Ginning] big guys that can move good, they’re heavy on their sticks, and that shows up on the penalty kill a lot. They create a lot of turnovers and get them down the ice. They’re on the ice for the tying goal, too. They can play the game; we’re trying to put them in the right situation so they can keep that momentum going in their favor and keep helping us get points in these games.”

Brad Shaw; 3/21/2024

Jalen Chatfield reclaimed the Hurricanes’ lead. Sebastian Aho chased down a puck banked into the defensive zone, then patiently waited for Chatfield to enter the rush. Chatfield welcomed the dish with a one-timer uncorked past Ersson, 2-1.

Before the second intermission, there was a scary moment for Farabee. Laughton put a shot on goal, but it caught Farabee in the head. Farabee turned his head just in time, allowing his helmet to take the impact. He left the ice under his control and then returned for the start of the third period.

Lycksell, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Noah Cates were an unlikely source to generate a sustained push to begin the third. They began to grind away at Carolina, committing to the disgusting brand Laughton cited earlier in this seven-game gauntlet.

“We knew what we were up against. I thought Ers [Ersson] was really good in [the] net for us again and we had a much more concerted effort of managing the puck. Outside of a couple [of] miscues in the second they [the Carolina Hurricanes] took advantage of, I thought we did a much better job with it; we were a way harder team to play against.”

Brad Shaw; 3/21/2024

Konecny scored that disgusting, greasy goal. Tippett whiffed on the initial plan with the puck, and Frost tried to go between his legs to score on Andersen as he did against the Bruins. This time, Frost didn’t execute the fancy move all the same, but Konecny did clean up the loose puck, 2-2.

“We’re getting familiar with each other [Tippett, Frost, and Konecny]. Today was a harder game; we played against Staal most of the night, [and] he’s difficult to play against. We just tried to stay patient and wait for opportunities.”

Travis Konecny; 3/21/2024

Fighting for a cushion between them and teams like the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals, the Flyers gained a point. The win was the mission, but Seth Jarvis scored the game-winner on a two-on-one rush with Brent Burns. Farabee had to defend, but Jarvis accepted the feed from Burns before ripping a wrist shot past Ersson, 3-2.

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Boston Bruins on Saturday at 1pm.

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)