Hart, Konecny lead fired-up Flyers to 2-1 win

Carter Hart
      NEWARK, N.J. – Frustrated by a winless three-game winless streak on the road, the Flyers brought an edgy attitude into Thursday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
      That was evident in a fight-filled contest, which saw the Flyers finally prevail in a third period for a change with a 2-1 win at the Prudential Center.
      A goal by Travis Konecny at 11:46 of the final session broke a 1-1 tie. Konecny scored off a clean breakaway.
      The Flyers finished their four-game road trip with a 1-1-2 mark.
      Goalie Carter Hart was at his best, stopping all but one of 49 shots. The 48 saves tie his career high, originally set in a 4-3 win over Florida on Oct. 27.
      Hart repeatedly turned away quality scoring chances from a variety of angles.
      “He was dialed in,’’ Scott Laughton said with a grin. “You need your goalie to be good, especially against a team like with so much speed and skill. He was great for us.’’
      Hart played like a man on a mission. He didn’t turn in one of his better efforts in a 5-4 overtime loss at Arizona on Sunday, then didn’t start in Colorado on Tuesday. Maybe that provided some added incentive.
      “I had a little extra energy for sure,’’ he said.
      As for the heavy workload in this game, Hart said it might not have been as taxing as one might think.
      “They (the Flyer defense) did a good job of letting me see the puck,’’ he said. “They were boxing guys out, not letting them get any second whacks at pucks. The one at the end there, with about 10 seconds left, went off my blocker, squirts to the middle and Risto (Rasmus Ristolainen) does a good job of clearing it. That was a huge play.’’
      An all-out punch-exchange between the Flyers’ Nic Deslauriers and Michael McLeod typified the Flyers’ spunk. The two players went toe to toe, with the Flyer enforcer gaining a slight edge.
      Even the normally mild-mannered Joel Farabee, who went into the game with only 10 penalty minutes, got into the swing of things. He held his own with the Devils’ Brendan Smith.
      The fights were just what the Flyers needed to get some energy going.
       “A couple big fights. Beezer (Farabee) fights a really tough guy. DeLo (Delauriers) does his job, one of the best at it in the league, if not the best, so it gives our team a little bit of a boost,’’ Laughton said. “We had a way better second period.’’
      In addition to the mini-brawls, the Flyers also killed off a critical five-on-three N.J. power play late in the second period.
      Laughton’s power-play goal at 4:12 of the second period brought the Flyers even at 1-1.
      His shot from the top of the right circle found its way through a screen and past goalie Vitek Vanecek.
      Another slow start for the Flyers resulted in a 1-0 deficit after one period but it could have been much worse if not for the play of Hart.
      He faced 17 shots and stopped 16 of them.
      The only puck to get by him came off the stick of Jack Hughes, who found room down the right circle and beat Hart far side from close range at 4:20.
      The Flyers were outshot 8-0 in the first five minutes and really couldn’t get much offense mounted. Even receiving a four-minute power play near the end of the period, the Flyers failed to get a shot on net in the first 3:17 of that man advantage.
      By the third period, the Flyers looked steadier. Noah Cates tipped a puck that sent Konecny in alone for a wrist rocket into the net.
      “That was not a clean game for us by any means,’’ Konecny said. “If we can still get a win by somewhat playing the right way.’’
      Added coach John Tortorella: “I just liked his (Hart’s) demeanor through the whole game. I’m not a goalie coach but there wasn’t a lot of extra movement, he looked calm. It’s one of the better games I’ve seen him play. When you play against a high-octane team, last game of the road trip for us, we knew we needed play like that from our goaltender.’’
      >Lycksell called up
      With defenseman Tony DeAngelo off for a fourth straight game for personal reasons, the Flyers placed him on the Non-Roster list. His status for Saturday’s home game against the New York Rangers remains uncertain.
      Also, the Flyers announced forward Olle Lycksell was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms due in part to upper-body injuries to Patrick Brown and Max Willman. Lycksell filled one spot and Zack MacEwen, who missed Tuesday night’s game at Colorado, returned to the lineup and filled the other.
      >Short shots
      Saturday’s game against the Rangers will mark the end of a 40-day stretch in which the Flyers played 21 games, tying them with St. Louis for the most games completed in that timeframe. . .The Flyers have allowed the opponent to score first 23 times in their 31 games.
Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2446 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.