Flyers win to complete California dream trip

Joel Farabee

Simply golden in the Golden State.

The Flyers made it a three-for-three sweep of their trip through California with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night at the Honda Center.

It’s the first time in Flyers history they’ve been able to accomplish that feat.

For the overall “holiday’’ five-game trip, the Flyers finished with a winning 3-2 mark.

This is only the second time the Flyers have won three straight games this season. The other streak came in the first three games of the season.

Rookie goaltender Sam Ersson continued his Cinderella getaway by recording his third straight victory and came within 39.6 seconds of his first NHL shutout.

Philadelphia, which had taken wins at San Jose (4-3 OT) on Thursday night and at Los Angeles (4-2) on Saturday night, picked up goals from Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton.

Coach John Tortorella admitted he was a little concerned how his team would react in the final game of a long road trip but those fears proved unfounded.

“I thought everyone chipped in, played a simple game, tried to go straight ahead,’’ Tortorella said after the game. “These are tough games sometimes when you’re out West, going home the next day. Sometimes the guys forget to play the game. I appreciated how they handled themselves, they concentrated and I thought everyone contributed.’’

Farabee ended a 15-game goal drought which had started back in late November. He took a pass from Noah Cates, pivoted in front of the net and sent a backhand shot past goalie John Gibson at 7:42 of the first period.

“Just a scramble in front, a little lucky on my part,’’ Farabee said at the first intermission. “Just go to the net and eventually you’re going to get a bounce there.’’

Farabee said the Flyers approached this game the right way. There was no complacency after the previous two wins.

“We’re definitely feeling good,’’ he said. “Last game of the road trip, it kind of sneaks up on you if you don’t mentally prepare the right way. We wanted to come out with a good effort there (in the first period).’’

At 10:36, Frost hit the net off assists from Cam York and Farabee. Frost picked up the York pass, skated the length of the rink and wristed a shot into the net.

York was born in Anaheim Hills, California and had plenty of family members and friends at the game.

“I’ve got like 20 or 30 people here,’’ York said. “This is my first time here (playing with the Flyers). It’s great to be back. Sam’s been great. We played together earlier in Lehigh this year. He’s a special player.’’

Then, in the second period, Konecny ran his goal streak to four, putting a shot home off an assist from Kevin Hayes.

Konecny now has a six-game overall point streak and points in each of his last eight road games.

Laughton completed the Flyers scoring with a goal in the third period, the third straight game he has registered a goal.

Ryan Strome scored in the final minute to spoil Ersson’s shutout bid.

It’s been only four games but there could be a little goaltending controversy brewing in Philadelphia. Regular starter Carter Hart has cleared concussion protocol but Tortorella is sticking with the hot hand.

“He’s just not afraid,’’ Tortorella said of Ersson. “He just plays. I thought this was probably the calmest he’s looked in net in his starts. It’s a 4-1 game but he made some really key saves at times for us.’’

Ersson certainly doesn’t look like a rookie goalie out there. He’s playing with remarkable composure since he was lit up for five goals in Carolina in his first NHL start last month.

“You want to play games, I was very happy,’’ Ersson said of finding out the news he was starting on Monday night. “Go in there and try and do my best and try to find a way to help the team win.’’

Added Konecny: “We were excited to get in here and get a last game under our belt before we go home. We had a lot of energy tonight. He (Ersson) is super impressive. He looks so calm, looks like he’s been playing here awhile. He works hard in practice so it’s nice to see it pay off for him.’’

The Flyers have been on the road since Dec. 22 so it will be nice to get home. However, they played well in all five road games, including narrow defeats at Toronto and Carolina prior to Christmas.

“It seems like we’ve been on the road for a month,’’ Tortorella said. “We were traveling so much in the past few weeks, I was worried about tonight’s game, as far as the team being satisfied after a couple wins. But I think the guys handled themselves really well.’’


>Short shots


The Flyers resume action on Thursday when they return home to host the Arizona Coyotes. . .Justin Braun returned to action after sitting out three games. Nick Seeler was a healthy scratch. . .The Flyers have hit the three-goal mark in seven straight games.

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About Wayne Fish 2437 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.