It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it Owen Tippett’s “coming out party.’’
After all, the Flyers had been waiting since last season’s trade deadline for a breakout effort when they acquired the right wing from the Florida Panthers for franchise player Claude Giroux.
It’s taken awhile but Tippett has shown steady improvement this season and that progress was highlighted in the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night.
Kevin Hayes’ goal at 8:17 of the third period put the Flyers ahead 4-3. He punched in the rebound of a Nick Seeler shot. But the Canadiens scored with three seconds to play on a goal from Cole Caufield, his second of the game. Nick Suzuki scored the only goal in the shootout for Montreal.
Tippett put together the first two-goal performance of his career but the Flyers saw their winless streak extended to six games (0-4-2).
Included in this production was a rare goal off a right circle faceoff at 15:50 of the second period to tie the score at 3-3.
In one motion, Tippett fired the puck past stunned Montreal goaltender Jake Allen.
Tippett’s first goal came just 2:55 into the game to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. Tippett was set up by defenseman Travis Sanheim, who scored his first goal of the season at the 39-second mark.
The Canadiens stormed back with a pair of goals of their own. Christian Dvorak sent a shot past goaltender Carter Hart at 4:07, then Caufield scored on a five-on-three power play at 17:49.
Montreal took a 3-2 lead on Mike Matheson’s goal at 11:55 of the second period but Tippett responded with his sixth goal of the season.
“He’s getting better,” Sanheim said. “He’s a big piece for us and we’re going to need him.”
Hayes, who was stopped on the Flyers’ third and final attempt in the shootout, said the effort couldn’t be faulted.
“I thought we did some good things, I think our team worked very hard tonight,’’ he said. “It’s tough when you lose a couple games in a row and then they score with one second left.
“It’s easy to say things aren’t going our way but you have to keep working hard. You don’t have to worry about the group falling apart. It’s a tight group in here. You can’t dwell on the wins and losses.’’
Tippett said it’s tough not to be frustrated.
“It’s frustrating when you lose six in a row,’’ he said, “when you know the work ethic is there and you don’t get the results you want. Hopefully it turns around here.’’
If not for a broken stick, the Flyers might have been able to stave off the Canadiens’ last second bid. Right now, luck is not on the Flyers’ side.
“I thought we played hard, I thought we had a ton of good hockey,’’ coach John Tortorella said “We just don’t know how to manage a game. We have so much to learn. It’s certainly not through a lack of trying.
“We’re going to keep on teaching them, keep on trying to help them. I’m a little frustrated tonight for them, I’m not mad. We didn’t get the result but I’m not even looking at that right now. I’m looking at who we want to keep here. But I’m not leaving the building upset when they try that hard.’’
>Konecny back to Philadelphia
Travis Konecny, who appeared to suffer an injury to his right hand in Thursday night’s 4-1 loss at Boston, was sent back to Philadelphia for further evaluation.
>Laughton injured in big collision
Scott Laughton left the game less than two minutes into the third period after a violent collision with Montreal’s Kaiden Guhle. He did not return to action. After the game, Tortorella did not have an update on Laughton’s condition.
The Flyers return to action on Monday when they host the Calgary Flames on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. . .Zack MacEwen registered a pair of assists, including one on the Hayes goal. It was his second career multi-point game. . .Morgan Frost’s shootout attempt hit both posts before the puck kicked out.