The Philadelphia Flyers can match their longest winning streak of the season when they finish a five-game road trip at the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
The Flyers won 4-3 at San Jose in overtime on Thursday and followed that up with a 4-2 victory at Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. It marked the first time in almost two months (Nov. 5 at Ottawa and Nov. 8 vs. St. Louis) that Philadelphia won back-to-back games. The Flyers opened the season with a season-best three consecutive victories against New Jersey, Vancouver and at Tampa Bay.
Noah Cates scored a short-handed goal with 6:59 remaining in the third period for what proved to be the game-winner at Los Angeles. It was the seventh short-handed goal of the season for the Flyers and snapped a 20-game goalless streak for Cates. Owen Tippett and Scott Laughton each added a goal and an assist.
“We play hard,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said. “We may not do the right things at certain times and may have struggles here and there. But we play hard. And I think if you continue to do that, you find a way to get some results.”
The current win streak was accomplished with starting goalie Carter Hart on injured reserve while in concussion protocol. Rookie Samuel Ersson had 27 saves in the win over the Kings and has won two of his three starts.
“I think he’s shown his mind as far as how he can handle himself in a very important position on the team,” Tortorella said. “So good for him. He’s played very well.”
While Tortorella has lauded his team’s effort, Anaheim right wing Troy Terry called out his team’s lack of effort following a 6-1 loss to Nashville on Friday afternoon. The Predators scored the final five goals of the game while outshooting the Ducks 43-27.
“We’re definitely not a team that can afford to take a night off and rely on us getting a few chances and scoring,” said Terry, who leads the team with 12 goals and 31 points. “I mean, that’s the reality of the team. And what’s disappointing today — it starts with myself — (is) we played a team that has skill but plays the way we need to. They play hard, they play hard on the puck and nothing is easy against them.
“It’s myself, it’s everyone,” Terry continued. “We all have to take a look in the mirror after that one and realize it’s not an X’s and O’s thing. We just got outworked and outwilled. … When we gave up that fourth (goal) it felt like it was just a punch to everyone’s gut. I get it. It’s hard. It’s hard for myself. (But) the season is going to be long if we start giving up, especially on No. 36 (goalie John Gibson) back there. It’s not fair to him.”
Monday’s game will be the fifth of a franchise-record 10-game homestand for Anaheim. The Ducks are 1-2-1 in the first four games with the lone win a 3-2 shootout victory over Pacific Division-leading Vegas on Wednesday, when Gibson made a season-high 49 saves on 51 shots.
“We’re doing our best to compete every night,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s the reality of where our team’s at. When you are a team like that, you can’t make any mistakes.”
–Field Level Media