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Backed by Hart’s 29-Save Shutout, Flyers Win 3rd Straight, Sweep Season Series Against Red Wings

(Derik Hamilton/Associated Press)

The Philadelphia Flyers continued their winning ways today with a 3-0 shutout victory against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Flyers swept the season series behind Carter Hart’s perfect 3-0 record and .977 SV%. Today’s matinee was a different kind of win compared to their previous 3 with not many shots, not many chances, and plenty of penalties. The Flyers killed off 7 successive power plays, Hart made 29 saves in the game including 13 in the final frame and 9 in the final 11 minutes, and Scott Laughton’s late second period goal proved to be the backbreaker.

Kieffer Bellows opened the scoring midway through the second period after finishing off Owen Tippett’s initial shot in front for his 3rd of the season and 2nd in his last 4 games. Scott Laughton then added a late goal with 36 seconds left, going glove-high for his 18th of the season and extending his goal-streak against Detroit to 7 games. The third period only got interesting in the final half with the Wings trying to throw the kitchen sink towards Hart but he stopped everything en route to his 2nd shutout and hockey .500 (21-21-10).

Tyson Foerster iced things with his 3rd of the season into the empty net which extended his point streak to 5 games (3 goals and 4 assists), Joel Farabee recorded the primary assist which extended his point streak to 5 games as well (4 goals and 3 assists) and Noah Cates picked up the secondary assist which extended his point streak to 4 games (1 goal and 5 assists). Laughton recorded a goal and an assist as he has goals in 3 straight while Rasmus Ristolainen and Owen Tippett each picked up a helper.

The season-long 7-game homestand continued today as the Philadelphia Flyers set sail in game 6 of 7 versus the Detroit Red Wings. The Flyers have enjoyed a very successful and exciting run of games, winning 3 of their last 4 and earning a point in each game. They lost their first game on the homestand against the Vegas Golden Knights but then earned victories against the Buffalo Sabres powered by an Owen Tippett hat-trick, then took care of the Florida Panthers in a 6-3 rout, and then coming back to defeat one of the better teams in the league in the Minnesota Wild – in a shootout to boot. Now they look to take care of business by sweeping the season series against the Detroit Red Wings who have not fared well within the confines of the CoreStates Center, First Union Center, Wachovia Center, and now the Wells Fargo Center.

The lineup stayed the same from last game as Nicolas Deslauriers remained sidelined with an upper-body injury, making way for Kieffer Bellows once again. The Flyers continued to roll out their 11-7 formation with Egor Zamula earning another game. The red-hot Joel Farabee, looking to extend his goal-streak to 5 games, was on the wing with Noah Cates and Owen Tippett. The newcomer in Brendan Lemieux has found a nice niche with the youngsters in Morgan Frost and Tyson Foerster, the dangerous trio from last game in James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes, and Wade Allison were looking to finish off some of their great scoring chances, and Kieffer Bellows and Scott Laughton were the roamers of the forward corps.

Carter Hart returned in goal, looking for his 21st victory of the season and for hockey .500 (entered the game 20-21-10). Cam York looked to have dinged himself up ahead of the pre-game skate but made his way back onto the ice with Ivan Provorov. Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen completed the top-4, with Nick Seeler and Tony DeAngelo rounding things out as Egor Zamula was the roamer of the defense.

As for the Red Wings, on the other hand, they have been struggling mightily over the course of the last month and a bit as they sported a 5-11-1 record entering today’s game in their last 17 games. They have lost 4 of their last 5 games, earning a shootout victory two games ago against the St. Louis Blues.

Dylan Larkin continued to pace the Red Wings in goals and points with 26 and 68 respectively but after him it’s a severe drop off as David Perron sits in second with 44 points and then Dominik Kubalik with 41 points. The Wings did move on from several players at the trade deadline, including Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, and Oskar Sundqvist. With Ville Husso nursing an injury, Alex Nedeljkovic received his first start since the 30th of November.


3:02 into the game, the Philadelphia Flyers were guilty of too many men on the ice, making way for the 19th-best Detroit Red Wings power play to try to get things rolling early. The 28th ranked penalty kill of the Flyers made easy work of the early power play as they only allowed one shot on goal, which was easily handled by Carter Hart.

2:35 later and 5:37 into the game, Tony DeAngelo high-sticked Adam Erne in the mouth and was nailed for a double-minor. The Red Wings controlled the puck for minutes on end, but the Flyers deflected and blocked a lot of shots as they were able to not only kill the double-minor, but they mitigated any momentum with the puck sailing in the crowd numerous times.

With 5:36 left in the period, Andrew Copp was whistled for a hooking minor, giving way for the Flyers to get something going offensively after a slow and sluggish start. The 32nd-ranked power play had issues setting up and only fired one shot on goal, but things picked up afterwards when Kevin Hayes was absolutely robbed in and around the blue paint and then Joel Farabee had an abbreviated breakaway that was stopped near the end of the period.

The first period of today’s matinee had a bit of a lull pace – as expected – as both teams entered the intermission tied at 0-0, the Red Wings had the slight edge in shots on goal at 8-6, but didn’t have a shot on goal in the final 8:40 and had 1 shot on goal in the final 12:40 with the Flyers blocking a lot during the double minor.

The Red Wings out-attempted the Flyers 17-15, scoring chances were 4-3 for Detroit with the Flyers getting their 3 in the final 6 minutes of the period, but the Flyers had a 7-2 blocked shot edge.


Noah Cates was called for a holding the stick minor only 42 seconds into the second period. Detroit created a few chances early but the Flyers did well on their third kill of the game. Owen Tippett had a very dangerous odd-man rush opportunity with 10 seconds left on the Detroit power play, but he fumbled the puck at first and then once he recovered, it seemed like he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with the puck but once he made up his mind, he drove towards the paint but his shot attempt went just wide.

After another slow start to the period, the Flyers started to pick things up and Kieffer Bellows got the game going with the first goal after depositing a rebound from Tippett’s initial shot at the 10:10 mark of the period.

Tippett entered the offensive zone with speed and tried setting up Scott Laughton for a one-time opportunity but the pass alluded him, but Bellows was able to corral the puck at the point, passed it back to Laughton who found Tippett in the slot as he fired a hard shot with 3 White and Red jerseys in front of him.

The first shot was blocked, he grabbed his own rebound and fired again, and Nedeljkovic allowed a juicy rebound for Bellows, who was heading straight to the net to finish off with relative ease for his 3rd of the season.

It was Bellows’ 2nd goal in his last 4 games as he’s been in and out of the lineup, and Tippett also recorded his 40th point of the season with the primary assist. It was also the first shot in over 6 minutes and second shot in the period to that point.

With 6:28 left in the period, Adam Erne was guilty for delay of game as he sent the puck into the stands. Unfortunately, the Flyers matched their level of intensity from their first power play and provided a dud as they recorded one shot on goal, but it was with 8 seconds remaining and Nedeljkovic saw it the whole way.

Then with 2:33 remaining, the Red Wings were guilty of another penalty as Gustav Lindstrom was called for a high sticking minor. The third rendition of the power play was even worse and it ended with 10 seconds to spare after Tyson Foerster was called for a holding the stick minor after the rookie pulled out the stick from Moritz Seider’s hands as he was rushing along the boards.

With 3 seconds left in the 4-on-4, Scott Laughton jumped on a loose puck against David Perron and then rushed down the ice on an odd-man rush before firing a shot glove-high for his 18th of the season with 36 seconds left in the period.

Laughton lost the faceoff, but Rasmus Ristolainen did a good job at pressuring David Perron right away, which then forced him to turn it over after Laughton joined in on the fun. Laughton slowed up before firing a laser top-shelf for his 8th goal in his last 11 games against Detroit – which includes a 7-game goal-streak.

After a 0-0 tie going into the first intermission, the Flyers tacked on 2 goals to take a commanding 2-0 lead into the final 20 minutes – commanding for the sole purpose that scoring chances were hard to come by through the first 40. Detroit still held a 2 shot edge – 16-14 – as both teams fired 8 shots apiece.

As bad as the Flyers’ power play has been, they’ve actually created scoring chances the moment the penalty expired, including Laughton’s 18th of the season.


The Flyers dealt with the final 77 seconds of the Red Wings’ power play, killing off their 5th successive penalty of the game.

The next 10 minutes provided a tight checking, neutral zone clogging, dump-and-chasing style of hockey with the Flyers holding the fort down and the Wings have trouble traversing into the offensive zone.

The Flyers had 5 of the first 7 shots on goal, but the Wings had a very dangerous scoring opportunity on their first odd-man rush of the game, however Tony DeAngelo read the pass perfectly and deflected it into the corner. Then the Red Wings turned things up.

With 10:44 remaining in the final period of regulation, Tyson Foerster was called for his second minor of the game, this time a hooking minor. The rookie got his stick in on Jake Wallman and had it not been called, he was going to be in all alone on Nedeljkovic, but instead the Wings got their 6th power play of the game.

The Flyers didn’t allow a shot on goal as the Wings became 0/6 with the power play with only 6 shots. In a retaliation move from Scott Laughton, he slashed the back of the leg of Moritz Seider after a big-crunching – but clean – body check that the German defender laid out during their recent power play.

Not only did Carter Hart have to make spectacular saves with the delayed penalty but after the Flyers touched the puck to blow the play dead, Laughton went right back to Seider and started punching and pushing the defenseman with Brendan Lemieux coming in as well – who had a good and heated battle with Seider their last time out.

Fortunately, nothing extra was called, but Detroit jumped on their 7th power play of the game with 5:35 remaining. Shortly after the penalty expired, the Wings created their best chance of the game after Jonatan Berggren’s net-side chance was blocked by Ivan Provorov with Carter Hart not back in time after having to make a save on Andrew Copp’s one-timer and Dominik Kubalik’s rebound chance in front.

The Red Wings pulled Nedeljkovic for the extra attacker with 3 and a half to go and with several chances at the open net, it was Tyson Foerster who got the 3rd goal of the game and evidently his 3rd of the season with the empty-netter after Noah Cates retrieved a Detroit pass at the blue-line, poked it forward to Farabee, who found Foerster in the neutral zone with 1:19 left.

Carter Hart made 13 saves in the third period and 29 in total for his 2nd shutout and 21st win of the season. He finishes the season against the Red Wings going 3-0, and allowing 2 goals on 86 shots.


The Flyers close out their homestand on Tuesday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7:00pm ET, NBCSP).

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