Konecny, Ersson highlight Flyers shutout of Devils

Flyers' Sam Ersson and Travis Sanheim
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Samuel Ersson, left, and Travis Sanheim, right, celebrate after their victory in an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The Philadelphia Flyers (38-32-11) kept their NHL Stanley Cup Playoff aspirations alive.

Travis Konecny and Sam Ersson were highlights in a shutout victory against the New Jersey Devils (38-38-5) at the Wells Fargo Center. A shorthanded game-winner by Konecny stood as his 400th NHL career point and put him solely in the lead with six shorthanded goals in 2023-2024, ahead of Sam Reinhart and Simon Holmstrom.

“We’re all connected there. It worked pretty well. Thank God he [Seeler] was thinking what me and Laughty [Laughton] were thinking, ’cause I don’t know what would’ve happened the other way.”

Travis Konecny; 4/13/2024

Before the opening faceoff, Wayne Simmonds was honored with a ceremonial puck drop and a highlight package of his career with the Flyers. Simmonds signed a one-day contract to retire in Philadelphia, intending to continue working with the franchise by extending his community outreach with outfits like Ed Snider Youth Hockey. Sean Couturier and Nico Hischier participated in the ceremonial puck drop with Simmonds.

“I was born to be a Flyer. I think just the way I went about it, playing my game. I started in LA, and then once I got traded here, it was perfect. There was no other place I wanted to play. The tough, blue-collar mentality; score goals, hit, fight, protect your teammates, take care of your friends on and off the ice, and the community as well is what this organization encompasses. That’s the human I am, so it was a perfect fit.”

Wayne Simmonds; 4/13/2024
Former Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds, center, poses for a photo with Flyers Governor and CEO of Comcast Spectacor Dan Hilferty, left, and President of Hockey Operations Keith Jones, right, after a press conference prior to an NHL hockey game, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Philadelphia. Simmonds signed a one-day contract retiring a Philadelphia Flyer. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

When the puck dropped, the Flyers locked in on a shared concept. They kept their re-established structure and played a very low-event, simple game. Now, their game on Tuesday has a meaning.

In the first period, Philadelphia had a five-on-three powerplay opportunity. Erik Haula and Brendan Smith were in the penalty box. Kaapo Kahkonen denied all shots on goal as Tyson Foerster, Bobby Brink, and Cam York cycled the puck with shooting lanes. The Flyers finished 0/3 on the powerplay.

Jamie Drysdale, Nick Seeler, and Travis Sanheim were disruptive in passing and shooting lanes. Drysdale and Seeler broke up high-danger opportunities in close on Ersson. Sanheim blocked shots, leading the defensive unit.

Cam Atkinson served a minor penalty for holding. Seeler hustled to poke a loose puck to Scott Laughton, who began transitioning into the offensive zone with Konecny. Konecny beat Kahkonen on the breakaway, 1-0. Philadelphia finished 1/1 on the penalty kill, including the game-winner.

“This isn’t even close to ‘playoff atmosphere.’ That’s what I want them to taste; playoff atmosphere. Everybody says it’s our playoffs; if that’s the way you want to put it. It’s nowhere near ‘playoff atmosphere,’ but it’s our step that we’re taking to playing these type of games at the end of the year to get in. We’re close. I think it’s a great process for us. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re just going to go out and play hard and see where we’re at the end of Tuesday night.”

John Tortorella; 4/13/2024

Up Next

Next, the Philadelphia Flyers host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday to conclude the 2023-2024 regular season. The puck drops at 7pm.