Flyers beat Nashville for winning road trip

Zack MacEwen

And to think that less than a week ago Zack MacEwen was toiling away in the American Hockey League for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Things have changed in the ensuing few days. . .and then some.

By Saturday night, MacEwen was a force to be reckoned with in the Flyers’ 3-1 win over the Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The right wing got the Flyers energized with an early big hit on the Preds’ Alexandre Carrier, then scored his first goal of the season off an Egor Zamula rebound at 18:36 of the opening period for a 2-0 lead.

“It (physical style) is a big part of my game,’’ MacEwen said during a televised second period intermission interview. “I just have to make sure I bring that every shift.’’

Goaltender Carter Hart made that lead stand up as the Flyers finished their three-game road trip with a 2-1 mark. For the season, the Flyers improved to 4-1. Hart improved his own record to 4-0.

Getting four of six points against the likes of Tampa Bay, Florida and Nashville drew praise from coach John Tortorella.

“It was a tough week as far as opponents,” Tortorella said in a televised post-game interview. “I’m happy with the week.”

Kevin Hayes opened the scoring for the Flyers in the first period. He took a pass from Joel Farabee in the left circle and buried a rising shot behind goaltender Juuse Saros at 3:13.

It marked the first time all season the Flyers scored first in a game.

Farabee scored at 7:44 of the third for a 3-0 lead and a three-point night. He also had an assist on the MacEwen goal. It’s the sixth three-point game of Farabee’s career.

Nashville scored a power-play goal by Matt Duchene with 2:18 to play to cut the margin to two goals.

In addition to MacEwen’s physical play, the Flyers also drew some energy from fights involving Nic Deslauriers and later Nick Seeler.

“I thought we had a little bit of a gang mentality in the first period,” Tortorella said. “A couple fights, protected one another, protected our goalie when we needed to. I thought we played better as the game went on. The third period was really good with our checking.

Lukas Sedlak, claimed off waivers from Colorado during the week, made his Flyers debut. He wore No. 23 and had several good scoring chances early in the game.

Hayes registered an assist in his fifth straight game. That’s tied for the second-longest streak for consecutive games at the start of a season in team history. Peter Forsberg holds the franchise record with six.

Hart is off to perhaps the best start of his five-year NHL career.

“I thought our third period was awesome,” he said. “We really didn’t give them much at all (only five shots). I thought we really protected the lead well. When they did have possession in our zone, we just kept them to the wall.  I think special teams is a huge part (of the early success). Our special teams have been good.”

>Borowiecki injured

Nashville defenseman Mark Borowiecki suffered what appeared to be a head injury in a collision with the Flyers’ Morgan Frost during the second period.

Borowiecki, who has a history of concussions, had to be carried off the ice on a wheeled stretcher and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. NBC Sports Philadelphia reported Borowiecki had movement in all his extremities before he left Bridgestone

>Lindblom in town Sunday

The Flyers return to action on Sunday night when they host the San Jose Sharks, who will have former Philadelphia forward Oskar Lindblom in the lineup. Lindblom became a fan favorite when he was able to overcome a rare for of bone cancer back in the 2019-20 season.

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About Wayne Fish 2031 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.