Flyers rally for valuable point in OT loss at Carolina

Scott Laughton

If the Eastern Conference standings stay the way they currently are for the last dozen games or so, Thursday night’s Flyers-Carolina game could be a preview of things to come in the playoffs.

Both teams concentrated on defense in the Hurricanes’ 3-2 overtime win at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

The Flyers put on a nice rally with Travis Konecny tying score in the third period.

But the Hurricanes came back to win it when Seth Jarvis scored at 1:28 of the tiebreaker.

Konecny’s goal at 10:16 of the third period pulled the Flyers even at 2-2. Morgan Frost’s backhand pass from the slot found Konecny open at the post for an easy tap-in beyond goalie Frederik Andersen’s reach.

The Flyers, third in the Metropolitan Division (Carolina is second), are now 1-2-1 in a difficult stretch of seven games vs. potential playoff teams. When it’s over, the Flyers will finish the season with eight of their last nine games coming against teams not in the playoff scenario at the moment.

By gaining the point, the Flyers moved four points up on Washington in the Metro standings. The Caps have two games in hand.

Players and coaches were impressed with the way the Flyers competed in this one.

“I loved how we kept coming after them,” said associate coach Brad Shaw, filling in for head coach John Tortorella in the post-game media session. “We know how hard they work as a team. We knew we had to match that. I thought for most of the third period and large portions of the game we carried the play. I thought we surprised them with how many pucks we won.”

It’s a good omen when a team fights back on an opponent’s home ice and refuses to give up.

“It’s a high-flying team we played tonight,” Shaw said. “They’ve had a ton of success since the trade deadline. We knew what we were up against. I thought we had a much concerted effort of managing the puck. I thought we were a way harder team to play against.”

Carolina took a 2-1 lead at 10:43 of the second period. Jalen Chatfield took a pass from Sebastian Aho and connected with a long shot.

The Flyers surrendered the first goal of the game early in the second period but quickly responded with a goal of their own.

A Konecny turnover led to Carolina’s three-on-two rush. That left Jordan Martinook open for a shot past Samuel Ersson at 3:56.

A fine play by Bobby Brink sparked Scott Laughton’s get-even goal. Brink spotted Joel Farabee open in the middle, who in turn relayed to Laughton breaking through the neutral zone. Laughton sent a short shot past Andersen into the net at 4:21 for his 12th goal of the season.

As for the game, Laughton sounded satisfied with the effort.

“We’ve got a lot of positives to take out of that,” he said. “Especially coming out of the last couple games.”

The Flyers are showing that they can stand toe to toe with some of the league’s big boys.

“I think we can hang with anyone,” Laughton said. “We’ve shown that all year. We come in here, play a really quick team and has been really hot of late, keep them to two goals in 5 on 5. . .a couple little mistakes but other than that we did a pretty good job.”

Konecny likes the way his team refuses to give up, even when the odds are against a third-period comeback.

“That’s the type of game we want to play,” he said. “Just continue to give ourselves a chance in games. Stick around as long as we can, whether we’re up or down. Stay in the fight and give ourselves a chance.”

Cam York had five shots on net and blocked six Carolina attempts. Quite a night in a tough building to play in.

He knows these two teams could play again in the Stanley Cup playoffs and this was a nice way to leave a calling card.

“We easily could have won that game,” he said. “I think it goes to show when we play our game we can beat the best teams in the league.”

>Couturier, Atkinson scratched again

Both Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson were scratched. Couturier was out of the lineup as a healthy no-play for the first time in his professional hockey career in Thursday night’s game against Toronto.

>Short shots

Farabee picked up his 100th NHL assist on the Farabee goal. Later in the second period, Farabee left the game after he was struck in the head by an errant Laughton shot but he returned for the third period. . .The Flyers will play home games both Saturday and Sunday. Boston hits town on Saturday for an afternoon game and then the Florida Panthers arrive on Sunday night (6 p.m. start). Philadelphia blocked 36 shots in Thursday night’s 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs and that was a franchise record. . .Andersen is returning to action after missing 49 games due to blood clot problems. . .Owen Tippett lost a goal in the first period when Konecny was found to be offside on a Carolina challenge.

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About Wayne Fish 2473 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.