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Brink Scores First 2 NHL Goals, Sanheim Adds 3 Points, Hart Stops 26 as Flyers Take Down Wild, 6-2

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers returned home after their mini-road trip and defeated the Minnesota Wild handedly by a score of 6-2. Carter Hart made 26 saves for his 4th win of the season, Bobby Brink scored the first 2 goals of his career, and Travis Sanheim scored his first of the year and recorded 2 more assists to propel the Flyers to a well deserved victory.

Konecny opened the scoring midway through the first period with a seed of a snap-shot as he came into the offensive zone for his 6th of the season. Sean Couturier then doubled their total with their first 5-on-4 goal of the season before Bobby Brink scored another power play goal – his first of his career – to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead.

Dakota Mermis and Marcus Foligno scored 85 seconds apart at the start of the third period to put some doubt in the Flyers but Hart stood his ground and made the necessary saves to keep the lead at 1. Then Owen Tippett, Bobby Brink, and Travis Sanheim scored goals 8:12 apart to push the Flyers past the finish line.

Cam Atkinson recorded 3 assists, Konecny and Couturier each scored a goal and added a helper, and Sanheim skated a team-high 27:37. Filip Gustavsson’s shaky season continued as he allowed 6+ goals for the 2nd time in 4 games and has allowed 22 goals in that span.

The Flyers walked back into the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center once more to play host to the Wild, looking to get one back in the win column after back to back defeats on the road against 2 powerhouse clubs in the Western Conference. After scoring 3 shorthanded goals and overcoming two 2-goal deficits, the Flyers fell in overtime to the Dallas Stars before blowing a late third period lead to Vegas and then giving up the winning goal with 33 seconds left in regulation.

The Flyers announced that they had sent down Emil Andrae to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after a quick run with the big club after a strong training camp. With Rasmus Ristolainen and Marc Staal out of the lineup and possibly for a lot longer – with Ristolainen suffering a setback – they called up two veterans in Louie Belpedio and Victor Mete with the former getting his first taste of NHL hockey since he appeared in one game in 2020-21 for the Wild.

The forward lineup remains the same with Sean Couturier, Owen Tippett, and Cam Atkinson at the top, Noah Cates centering Bobby Brink and Joel Farabee, Scott Laughton down the middle with Travis Konecny and Tyson Foerster on the wings, and the PhD line rounding things out in Nicolas Deslauriers, Ryan Poehling, and Garnet Hathaway. Morgan Frost returned to the press box for his 5th consecutive game. 

Louie Belpedio started with Nick Seeler, Egor Zamula was seen with Sean Walker, and Travis Sanheim and Cam York at the top. Carter Hart returned in goal looking to improve on his strong start.

As for the Wild, they entered tonight with a 3-2-1 record and coming off a big win against the Edmonton Oilers in their last game, 7-4. Former Flyer, Ryan Hartman, scored a hat trick and added 2 assists, as the Wild were propelled by a 5-goal third period. Filip Gustavsson returned in goal with shaky numbers to start the year as he held a 3.95 GAA and an .897 SV%  while allowing 19 goals in his last 3 games after a 41-save shutout to start the season.


2 seconds into the game, Nicolas Deslauriers and Patrick Maroon dropped the gloves with the latter and the former Wild taking down the former Flyer and 3-time Stanley Cup champion. It was a feisty start for the Flyers, who led the NHL coming into action tonight with first period goals (10) and had the best goal differential in the first period (+4) – a massive difference from previous seasons where the first period has usually been their worst.

With 10:29 remaining in the first period, Travis Konecny was guilty of a hooking minor, sending a struggling Wild power play onto the ice – 0 for 10 in their last 3 games. The Wild had a few chances, the Flyers countered with one of their own courtesy of their shots leader, Scott Laughton, but another good kill for a Flyers unit that has improved from last year in the early going.

After starting the game with most of the pressure, the Wild re-tilted the game just before their power play and shortly afterwards as well. Looking for a spark, the top line created a few chances including a slot-opportunity for Sean Couturier who came in off the rush, made a move towards the middle of the ice, and fired a hard shot that was blocked away.

A minute or so later, Nick Seeler went end-to-end before dropping a pass to Travis Konecny as he entered the offensive zone. The team’s leading scorer from the last 2 seasons then ripped a perfectly placed snap-shot over the head and glove of Gustavsson for his 6th of the year with 6:03 remaining in the first period.

The Flyers entered the first intermission with a 12-4 shot advantage, 10-8 lead in the face-off circle, and 4-3 edge in hits.


After a very dangerous shift from the Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny, and Tyson Foerster line – with the rookie inches away from his first goal of the season – they forced the Wild to take a penalty with Vinni Lettieri heading to the box for a holding minor at the 7:11 mark of the second period.

17 seconds into the power play, Sean Couturier delivered the Flyers’ first 5-on-4 power play goal of the season. Lots of great puck movement from the on-set as the wingers helped Couturier after he was tied up on the draw.

Bobby Brink and Travis Sanheim played pitch-and-catch before Sanheim set-up a one-time blast for Cam Atkinson. Gustavsson made the pad stop but Couturier deposited the rebound opportunity around his out-stretched pad for his 2nd of the season.

The Flyers headed back onto the power play after Jake Middleton was whistled down for a cross-checking minor at the 8:34 mark of the period.

And just like that, the Flyers not only scored their second power play goal of the game, but Bobby Brink scored his first career NHL goal after jumping on a loose puck that caromed off the referee for a fortunate bounce. Sean Couturier did a good job behind the net to retrieve the puck, his pass hit the referee’s skate and towards Brink who picked it up and slotted it through Gustavsson’s five-hole.

32 minutes into the game, the Flyers held a 22-6 shot advantage but in the ensuing 120 seconds, the Wild fired 6 shots including an in-tight opportunity by Mats Zuccarello who was robbed by a sprawling Hart.

In an amazing feat of strength, Louie Belpedio’s shift-of-hell came to a close without the Wild getting on the scoresheet. The Wild pinned the fourth line on the ice for 3:14 seconds, Belpedio for 3:32, and Sanheim for over 2 and half minutes. Minnesota found a second gear but fortunately for the 5 Flyers on the ice, Carter Hart was a brick wall.

With 1:39 left in the period, Sean Walker was called for a cross-checking penalty, giving Minnesota another chance to get back in the game. The period came to a close after with the Flyers up 3-0, holding a 25-13 shot advantage, 18-16 lead in the face-off circle, and 9-7 edge in hits.


3:05 into the third period, the Wild’s fourth line struck after a strong offensive zone shift. With Patrick Maroon parked in front of Carter Hart, John Merill’s point shot was stopped but the rebound was recovered by Dakota Mermis for his 2nd of the season. Mermis’ goal was on their 7th shot on goal and 11th shot attempt of the period.

Then 1:25 later, Marcus Foligno cut the deficit in half after finishing off a nice feed from Marcus Johnasson for his 2nd of the season. Brock Faber seemed to have faked everyone with a dump-in attempt after he passed to Marco Rossi instead. Johansson brought a crowd of Orange jerseys with him as Foligno was left unmarked and elevated it over Hart’s pad for a quick strike.

With the Wild all over the Flyers to start the third period, they needed to respond quickly and they got their response in the form of an Owen Tippett breakaway goal.

Kirill Kaprizov coughed the puck over at the blue-line to Cam Atkinson who then sprung Tippett all alone on Gustavsson. The “Red Rifle” didn’t make any mistakes on his shot as he beat him glove-side with a wicked snap-shot for his first of the season.

The Flyers jumped ahead to a 5-2 lead after another Kaprizov turnover in the offensive zone. Travis Sanheim started the play by following Kaprizov from behind the net all way the down towards the blue-line before he got in the way with Brock Faber trying to help with a pinch.

Sanheim then pushed it ahead to Joel Farabee who had Brink opposite him and he waited-waited-waited before sending the rookie a perfect feed for an easy-tap in for his 2nd of the night.

The Flyers were relentless and continued their scoring ways with Sanheim getting his first of the season with a nice low-shot in the slot with 5:12 left in regulation.

Travis Konecny jump-started on an odd-man rush with Tyson Foerster but the rookie’s shot went just wide. The Flyers retrieved the puck before Foerster whipped a back-handed pass to a streaking Sanheim who finished the play and recorded his third point of the night and 8th of the season.

Merrill then sailed the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty with 3:24 left in regulation to send the Flyers back onto the power play. Trying to record the hat-trick, Brink started the power play alongside Deslauriers, Hathaway, Poehling, and Walker.

After the Wild were jumpstarted by head coach Dean Evason’s line-juggling, Carter Hart made some huge stops with a 1-goal lead the propelled the offense to go the other way and pot 3 more before the final horn sounded and handed the Flyers their first 3-0-0 start on home ice in 15 years.

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