Tippett’s hat trick powers Flyers past Sabres

Owen Tippett

PHILADELPHIA – For anyone wondering if the Flyers received fair value in last year’s Claude Giroux trade, all they had to do was take in Friday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Owen Tippett, acquired from the Florida Panthers in that headline deal, didn’t do a lot at the tail end of the 2021-22 season.

But this year has been a different story, as typified by his performance against the upstate New Yorkers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Tippett scored in all three periods, giving him 21 goals for the year with 14 games left on the schedule. His first career hat trick paced the Flyers to a 5-2 win, ending a four-game losing streak.

The Flyers have beaten the Sabres in both meetings this season. They also prevailed, 4-0, at Buffalo back on Jan. 9.

Also of note: Joel Farabee scored his first goal since that Jan. 9 victory to end a 26-game drought.

Tippett scored on a breakaway at 5:33 of the third period to complete the rare feat, which sent a cascade of hats onto the ice in the time-honored tradition of celebration.

Things have been falling into place for Tippett as the season has progressed. He continues to gain confidence and that could be the biggest factor in his strong surge to the finish.

“He steps on the ice, he’s dangerous,” coach John Tortorella observed. “I think he thinks he’s a good player. We (the coaches) know he’s a good player. More importantly, I think he thinks he’s a good player. He’s kind of letting it go.

“For any player, it doesn’t matter what we say. He’s got to take it, he’s got to have that swagger. ‘Tipp’ has a lot to learn still. But the improvement from where he was in (training) camp, for me, to where he is mentally now, I think he’s made tremendous strides.”

Tippett is not, to say the least, a self-promoter. But he had to admit the hat trick provided a nice moment in his young career.

“It was pretty cool,” Tippett said of the hats raining down from the stands. “The guys were kind of making jokes about it. I tried to stay calm but it was pretty cool.”

A year ago, Tippett’s world was turned upside down by the Giroux trade. But now he’s established himself in Philadelphia and his future looks bright.

“It gave me a new opportunity and a fresh start,” he said. “It’s been great so far and I love playing in Philly. I try not to put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t try to put too much expectation on myself.”

Kevin Hayes, who set up Tippett’s second goal, made a bold prediction about Tippett’s career.

“I mean he’s one of the fastest guys in the league,” Hayes said. “He’s one of those guys that going to be scoring 40-50 goals in this league, so he’s exciting to watch.”




Goaltender Carter Hart recorded the win. He took a shutout into the third period but lost it on a power-play goal by Victor Olofsson at 2:27 of the third period. The Sabres also scored a power-play goal with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

A rare power-play goal by the Flyers provided a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.

Tippett unleashed an accurate wrist shot from the right circle which eluded goaltender Craig Anderson at the 14:10 mark.

Farabee needed more than two months to reach double-digits (his 10th goal) but the wait is finally over. Tyson Foerster recorded the primary assist on the goal. He banked a pass off the end boards, with the puck bouncing right onto Farabee’s stick for a backhand shot past Anderson at 3:53 of the second period.

It was Foerster’s first NHL point and obviously a big thrill.

“It been a dream of mine to get to even play in this league,” he said. “Just to get a point is pretty cool.”

Tippett made it 3-0 at 15:14. Hayes took control at the bottom of the right circle, spun around and whipped a pass to an unguarded Tippett in front. Anderson had no chance.

Then James van Riemsdyk hit the 10-goal mark with 1:39 left in the period. Scott Laughton’s close-in entry was blocked but Laughton garnered the rebound and spotted JVR open on the right side. It was his 298th NHL career goal.


>Farabee gets rewarded


In recent games, Farabee has generated some scoring chances, so for the Flyers, it was good to see him get rewarded.

“I’ve been trying my best, I don’t know what else to say about that,” Farabee said. “It has been a while. It felt really good. I can’t really say anything else. I definitely feel like I’ve made a few more chances than I have been. Just trying to not think too much.”


>Short shots


The Flyers jump right back into action with a Saturday 5 p.m. game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the third of a seven-game homestand. . .Right wing Wade Allison returned from a three-game injury absence and played on a line with Tanner Laczynski and Nicolas Delauriers. . .The Flyers clinched the season series vs. Buffalo, which has one more game to play.

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About Wayne Fish 2426 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.