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Ersson, Flyers hold off Devils to keep postseason hopes alive

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Samuel Ersson was spectacular all evening long and recorded his fourth shutout of the season as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 1-0.

“I think looking back where we were a couple games ago, we definitely like this situation,” said Ersson postgame. “We’re just going to do everything we can to get the job done here.”

The Swede stopped all 20 shots the Devils fired his way and Travis Konecny took care of things at the other end with his sixth shorthanded goal and 33rd overall on the season for the game’s only tally.

“It was just getting back to believing,” said Konecny. “We know where we’re at. We’ve talked in the room about as long as we go home after the last three and say we gave it our best shot, it’s all you can do. So you can feel it in the room right now. Guys want to prove that we should be in the spot we’re at.”

This was by far the biggest game of the Flyers’ season with playoff implications on the line. The victory moved Philadelphia temporarily into the final Wild Card spot in the East, while the Penguins, Capitals, and Red Wings are hot on their tail with a game in hand each.


After Flyers icon Wayne Simmonds dropped the ceremonial puck on his special night to celebrate his retirement, the Flyers looked sluggish and the Devils generated some early offense. Luckily, Samuel Ersson was sharp early to keep New Jersey off the scoreboard.

The Flyers would eventually settle in and they wound up with the game’s first power play just past the halfway point of the period. Just 47 seconds into Erik Haula’s tripping penalty, Philadelphia ended up with a 5-on-3 after Brendan Smith whacked Noah Cates in the face with his stick. The Flyers fired a couple shots at Kaapo Kähkönen but the Devils netminder was able to shut things down and help kill both penalties.

Both goaltenders were strong when they had to be as the period wrapped up at 0-0, with the Flyers leading in shots on goal 11-6.


Both the Flyers and Devils were more reserved in their play in the second period and weren’t giving up many chances to start out.

The Flyers’ faithful finally had to hold their breath as the home team headed to the penalty kill right before the midway point of the period. Cam Atkinson was whistled for holding Kevin Bahl, but instead of a deflating power play goal against, the “power kill” came back out to play.

After Nick Seeler made a spectacular play on a loose puck to force it to Scott Laughton, the latter sprung Travis Konecny for a shorthanded breakaway that he made no mistake on.

“We’re all connected there. It works pretty well,” said Konecny. “Thank God he (Seeler) was thinking what me and Laughty were thinking because I don’t know what would’ve happened the other way, but yeah it was a great play by him.”

That was career point number 400 for Konecny while Laughton racked up the primary assist in his 600th NHL contest.

The Flyers would take that 1-0 lead into the second intermission, clinging to their advantage and their playoff hopes with every passing and coming shift.


The third period was a barrage of shot blocks and clutch saves by Ersson. The Devils didn’t set up very often in the offensive zone, but when they did, they fired everything they could towards the net.

The Wells Fargo Center crowd was louder than it’s been in ages and were incredibly appreciative of the team’s effort as the clock wound down on a massively important victory for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ersson was the best player in the game and his teammates and fans alike both made sure to let him know as the Philadelphia Flyers took down the New Jersey Devils, 1-0.

3 STARS OF THE GAME: 1) Travis Konecny – PHI, 2) Samuel Ersson – PHI, 3) Nick Seeler – PHI


The Flyers’ regular season will come to a close on Tuesday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP) when they take on the Washington Capitals in a matchup that could have major playoff implications.

Union Forge Vodka proudly serves as the Official Vodka of Flyers Nation. This partnership celebrates the unyielding spirit of Flyers fans and offers a quality spirit that perfectly compliments the team’s essence. Whether celebrating victories or showing resilience, Union Forge Vodka embodies the winning spirit of both the Flyers and their dedicated fans. Stay connected with exciting giveaways by following @unionforge and @flyersnation across all social media and platforms.

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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