ELMONT, N.Y. – Tyson Foerster had been working on that fantasy shootout move for who knows how many practices and Saturday night the dream came true.
In what amounted to a “sudden death” situation, the Flyers rookie scored in the fourth round of a shootout against the New York Islanders.
Foerster deked his way past Islander goalie Ilya Sorokin for the big goal and a 1-0 victory at UBS Arena.
The Flyers, who lost to the Islanders here on Wednesday, raised their record to 11-9-1.
The victory ended the Flyers’ two-game losing streak. Goaltender Samuel Ersson picked up the shutout win.
Foerster, who just scored his first goal of the season recently, said he’s been working on that move in practice, usually against Flyers’ No. 1 goalie Carter Hart.
“I was talking to ‘Hartsy’ before (the shot),” said a grinning Foerster after the game. “I do that move quite a bit. He just told me to yeah, do it and it ended up working. I was going with that move no matter what.”
Every single player on the Flyer bench leaped up in celebration. This is the kind of game the Flyers would have lost last year.
“Big goal,” Foerster said. “And ‘Ers’ (Ersson) played great. We know we’re weren’t scoring for him. . .he made some big saves. It’s great to get the win here. We didn’t give up any goals, so that’s a plus. We feel good going back home.”
Ersson was at his best late in the second period, turning aside shots by Julien Gauthier at the 12-minute mark and another tip try by Bo Horvat a minute later.
The Flyers’ No. 2 netminder is playing like a No. 1 right now.
“Tonight we kept our composure,” Ersson said. “Throughout the game we played well but the goals just didn’t come for us. We didn’t get flustered, we stuck to it. And we got rewarded for it.”
The Flyers found themselves in penalty trouble again throughout the game, with Ryan Poehling going off in the first period and Rasmus Ristolainen and Sean Walker sidelined in the second.
Although the first period ended in a scoreless tie, the Flyers did have their share of scoring chances and outshot the Islanders, 12-6.
The Flyers’ beat chance came in the closing minutes when Sean Couturier wound up with the puck right between the inner hash marks. But his hard forehand shot was turned away by Sorokin.
Rasmus Ristolainen, playing his first game of the season, reported no problems at the first intermission.
“So far, so good,” he said. “Actually not too bad. I got a couple of good, short shifts so that helped a lot.”
Ristolainen said the key to scoring in this game had a lot to do with creating trouble in front of Sorokin.
“I feel like we have to get a lot of pucks to the net,” Ristolainen said. “Get some guys in front of their goalie. He’s playing really well and that’s the challenge for us right now.”
Owen Tippett saw similarities between this game and the one on Wednesday.
“It’s the same game we had a couple days ago,” he said during the second intermission. “We just have to try and get traffic and get bodies toward him (Sorokin) and maybe we can get a bounce.”
A number of players said it was important to finish the three-games-in-four-days stretch with a win.
“I think it’s huge for us,” Ersson said. “Not to lose the momentum we built up here (from the recent five-game winning streak). With this, we get right back in the win column. Keep building with what we’ve been doing at the start of the season.”
Coach John Tortorella was pleased with the way his team performed after that somewhat dull effort here on Wednesday night.
“I thought ‘Ers’ was really good,” the coach said. “We were much better away from the puck. It was actually pretty good timing the way they play, we knew it was going to be in the trenches, it was going to be one of those games – a good reset game, not so wide-open as we were against the Rangers (a 3-1 loss on Friday).
“And I thought we did some good things with the puck without us stopping trying to make offensive plays.”
Tortorella has shown faith in Foerster all along, even though the young player has only one official goal in 21 games.
“I think he had eight shots, five hit the net,” the coach said. “He’s been close for quite a while. I guess it doesn’t count as a goal for him but it will count for him because hopefully it releases him. Hopefully that will help his confidence. It was a really good move on a great goalie.”
After playing three games in four days, the Flyers get a couple days off, then play host to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. . .The Flyers continue to improve on penalty killing. They started the game 12th in the NHL with an 82.8 percent kill rate. They stopped all three Islanders power-play chances on Saturday night . .Philadelphia’s five shorthanded goals are one off the league lead. The Flyers have surrendered only one goal against their power play. . .Sean Walker’s three shorthanded points are tied for the league lead.