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Cates Ends Slump with GWG, Ersson Makes 20 Saves as Flyers End 5-Game Losing Streak


The Philadelphia Flyers snapped out of their 5-game losing streak with an important victory on the road against the streaking Florida Panthers by a score of 2-1.

Carter Verhaeghe scored the game’s opening goal on the power play in the first period before Travis Konecny finished his breakaway opportunity to tie things up before the third and final frame. Noah Cates scored the eventual game-winning goal – and snapped his 22-game goal-less drought – in the early stages while the Flyers defense limited the Panthers to just 3 shots in the third and 11 in the final 40 minutes.

Samuel Ersson snapped out of his 4-game losing streak with a 20-save performance but had to come up clutch several times in the opening frame. Anthony Stolarz made 23 saves in the losing effort.

After a lengthy All-Star break, the Flyers traveled south to face the red-hot Panthers with a familiar face returning to the lineup. Owen Tippett who had missed the last 4 games before the break was activated from IR ahead of tonight’s matchup, looking to help his club snap out of their 5-game losing streak against his former team.

John Tortorella made a few changes to the lineup with Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny on Morgan Frost’s wings, Sean Couturier in between Tippett and Cam Atkinson, and Tyson Foerster on the third line with Noah Cates and Ryan Poehling. Nicolas Deslauriers and Olle Lycksell were both scratched as the Flyers also went back to their 11/7 formation.

On defense, Jamie Drysdale was paired up with Cam York, Rasmus Ristolainen was reunited with Travis Sanheim, and Egor Zamula was the 7th defenseman. Samuel Ersson also made his return between the pipes after being pulled in his previous game against Boston.

As for the Panthers, they entered tonight’s tilt riding a 4-game winning streak, sitting comfortably in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, and were 13-2-2 in their last 17 games overall.

They are paced by an electric offense with Sam Reinhart at the top with 37 goals an 62 points, Matthew Tkachuk with 35 assists and 51 points, Carter Verhaeghe with 24 goals and 50 points, and Aleksander Barkov with 37 assists and 48 points in 6 less games than the rest.

Anthony Stolarz received the nod in goal as the former Flyer has enjoyed a successful campaign as Sergei Bobrovsky’s backup. He entered tonight 8-4-2 with a .916 SV% and a 2.11 GAA.


Samuel Ersson looked absolutely sharp in the first half of the period with the Florida Panthers firing on all cylinders. The Panthers were credited with 8 scoring chances in the first 8 and a half minutes with Ersson having to make 6 saves.

Unfortunately with the Philadelphia Flyers snoozing a little to start the game, Nick Seeler was guilty of a tripping minor at the 9:08 mark against Jonah Gadjovich behind Ersson’s net. It took the Panthers just 14 seconds to get on the board after Carter Verhaeghe wired a shot over Ersson’s blocker through a Travis Sanheim-Travis Konecny screen for his 25th goal of the season.

With a shade under 2 minutes left to play in the period, Konecny had a golden opportunity to tie the game up but his breakaway attempt was stopped by Anthony Stolarz. The Panthers had otherwise dominated the period with 30+ shot attempts towards Ersson’s crease – but had just 10 reach the net to the Flyers’ 5.


The Flyers hopped on their first power play of the game at the 3:18 mark after Kevin Stenlund was assessed a tripping minor. They were credited with 1 shot on goal but rode the momentum to the tune of a 10-3 shot advantage in the first 12 minutes of the period.

After being denied on his first opportunity last period, Konecny wasn’t going to be stopped a 2nd time as he made a nifty drag move before chipping it over Stolarz’ glove to tie the game with 6:27 remaining. The goal was his 23rd of the season, his first in 5 games, and 2nd in 12 games.

A large scrum ensued at the end of the period with Konecny and Matthew Tkachuk right in the middle of it. By the end of it, Konecny and Gustav Forsling were each assessed slashing minors to start the third.

The Flyers did a much better job in the second period as the ice finally tilted in their favour. The game was tied heading into the final frame with the Panthers holding an 18-17 shot advantage through 40 minutes.


The Flyers took the lead 3:36 into the third period after Noah Cates jumped on an errant turnover from Forsling, which allowed him to walk in on Stolarz and beat the goaltender for his first goal in 22 games. Cates had to settle the puck first and made a move on Aaron Ekblad before finishing in tight.

With 8:44 remaining in regulation, Owen Tippett was assessed a boarding minor after taking out Niko Mikkola. This time around the Flyers survived the kill, not allowing the Panthers to register a shot on goal for the duration of the penalty.

Paul Maurice pulled Stolarz for the extra attacker with 2:46 remaining. The Panthers threw everything including the kitchen sink towards Ersson but nothing made it through the barricade of shot blockers. The Flyers failed to clear the puck several times, they iced it twice, but the shot blocking was at the forefront with no shots on goal registered in the final 2:50 as they sealed the victory.


The Flyers return home on Thursday to play the Winnipeg Jets (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) as they look to kick off their mini 3-game homestand with a bang.

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