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Ersson Stops 35, Sanheim Records 3 Points as Flyers Spoil Carlsson’s Hat Trick in 6-3 Win

(Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers took care of business in Anaheim as they defeated Lukáš Dostál and the Ducks by a score of 6-3. After being handily defeated in the Wells Fargo Center on October 28th, the Flyers got their revenge and a big part of that was the goaltending from Samuel Ersson.

Thrusted into tonight’s action with Carter Hart being ruled out with an illness, the young Swede made 35 saves, including 15 in the first period for his 2nd win of the season. Owen Tippett found the back of the net twice, Travis Sanheim, Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier, and Louie Belpedio each scored a goal, and Joel Farabee added 2 helpers.

Sanheim had a 3-point night while skating 25:14 TOI and Atkinson chipped in with a helper as well. Ducks rookie phenom, Leo Carlsson, scored his first career hat trick, Alex Killorn added 2 helpers, and Lukas Dostal made 30 stops.

The Flyers had been reeling in recent weeks going 2-6-1 in their last 9 games before tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks. Their power play has remained powerless, their offense can’t bury goals, and in effect have lost a lot of close games. Their most recent loss came against the previously winless San Jose Sharks, where the Flyers set an NHL record having lost to two 0-10-1 teams – the other being Arizona back in 2016. At the very least, the Sharks rode that momentum and defeated the hapless Edmonton Oilers in their very next game, lessening the blow ever so slightly.

Morgan Frost returned to the lineup after he was scratched for the 7th time this season and Ryan Poehling revisited the press box with Victor Mete. John Tortorella changed the lines a little bit as Sean Couturier centered Tyson Foerster and Cam Atkinson, Morgan Frost was in between Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett, Scott Laughton returned in between Nicolas Deslauriers and Garnet Hathaway, but the third line remained intact in Noah Cates, Bobby Brink, and Joel Farabee. Carter Hart was supposed to return from his mid-body injury but was ruled out with an illness, making way for Samuel Ersson’s 5th start of the season.

As for the Ducks, their 6-game winning streak came to an end against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night after they were shut out 2-0. They had beaten Columbus, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Vegas in rather convincing fashion. At 7-5-0 entering tonight, they have surprised many around the NHL and have been led by Mason McTavish’s 13 points, Frank Vatrano’s 9 goals and 12 points, and Ryan Strome’s 10. Lukáš Dostál got the start again after having beaten the Flyers earlier this season as he entered tonight’s game with 5-1-0 record, .920 SV%, and a 2.80 GAA.


With the Anaheim Ducks buzzing to start this game, it was the Philadelphia Flyers who scored the first goal after their first sustained offensive zone shift 4:57 into the first period. Sean Couturier and the new first line were cycling the puck very well, winning battles along the boards, before Couturier finished off a rebound in front of the net past Lukáš Dostál for his 3rd of the season.

Mason McTavish had 2 really good scoring opportunities that Samuel Ersson had to fend off but after the 2nd save, the Flyers went right down the gut and into the offensive zone and set up camp with a really good shift. Egor Zamula was able to keep the puck in the zone before deciding to take a shot from the point with traffic in front of the net. Dostál made the initial stop but Couturier was able to clean up the rebound and slide it past the pad for an early lead.

7:13 into the period, the Ducks took the first minor penalty in the way of Ilya Lybushkin for tripping. 0 for their last 21 and 4-for-45 on the season, the Flyers won the initial faceoff and even had one-timers set up, but Atkinson’s ripper was blocked off and then subsequently cleared. Moments later, Couturier had an opportunity with a very open net but he was shooting from a weird angle so his shot went straight into the paint where the sprawling Dostál was able to cover up.

With the Flyers continuing to push, they doubled their lead with the newly formed first line at it again. Couturier set up Tyson Foerster in tight for a scoring chance that was stopped, he grabbed his own rebound, and found Travis Sanheim at the the point. Sanheim made a move before firing a shot that hit Cam Atkinson in front and deflected into the net with 7:29 left in the period.

For a stretch of about 10 minutes, the Flyers scored twice and outshot the Ducks 14-4, however Anaheim came back in waves and drew a penalty for their first power play of the night with just 2:03 remaining at the expense of Couturier. Midway through the kill, Atkinson was set up for a shorthanded breakaway attempt from Sanheim that was beautifully denied by Dostál to keep the deficit at 2.

The period came to an end with the Flyers up 2-0, had a 17-15 shot advantage, a 12-10 lead in the faceoff circle, and were trailing in hits 7-6.


2:33 into the second period, the Flyers jumped on a turnover right outside of their blue-line to make it 3-0.

Quickly transitioning from defense to offense, it was very obvious today that the Flyers defense was going to be active tonight. Louie Belpedio batted down a puck in the air, pushed it forward to Joel Farabee who patiently waited for reinforcements before finding Belpedio – with an amazing pass – who snuck through and finished it glove-side for his 2nd of the season.

4:14 into the period, it looked like the Flyers made it 4-0 after Tyson Foerster’s initial shot was deflected by Sean Walker but it looked to have been kicked in. The referees on the ice called it a goal but after a very quick review, they overturned the call.

10:33 into the period, Radko Gudas jumped on the offense with the Flyers caught flat-footed. He ripped a shot high and wide but then took a cross-checking penalty right after, sending the Flyers back onto the power play. The power play lasted a minute after Atkinson was called for a very ticky-tacky hooking minor.

40 seconds into their abbreviated power play, Leo Carlsson was able to beat Ersson to get the Ducks on the board with 6:45 remaining in the period. Carlsson’s shot from the faceoff dot deflected off of Sanheim and past Ersson for his 4th of the season. The Flyers’ penalty kill sat back and allowed Carlsson far too much time and space.

The aggressiveness started to amplify, primarily because of Radko Gudas, which led to a Morgan Frost retaliation cross-checking penalty with 6:11 left to play. Max Jones looked to have interfered with Frost, but nothing was called so he took matters into his own hands and the referees saw that all the way. The Flyers survived but the Ducks were swarming.

The march to the penalty box continued as Cam York was called for a slashing minor with 3:14 left to play. The Flyers killed another penalty but were barely able to get out of the period with a 2-goal lead. The Ducks outshot the Orange and Black 13-0 in the latter half of the period with all that offensive zone time thanks to the power plays.

The Ducks outshot the Flyers 16-7 in the period and 31-24 through 2, the Flyers held a 21-20 edge in the faceoff dot, but the Ducks held a 13-9 edge in hits.


Travis Konecny jumped on a turnover just outside of the Ducks’ blue-line and patiently waited and faked out the Ducks before finding Owen Tippett for a wide open one-timer but his shot went high and wide. Unfortunately as the play developed the other way, Egor Zamula was called for a delay of game penalty as he shoveled the puck over the glass less than 2 minutes in.

With 26 seconds left on th power play, Sean Walker lost the puck in the skates of the referee, which was a fortunate bounce for the Ducks because Carlsson jumped on the loose puck right in front of Ersson. He tried a move in tight but Ersson flashed the leather to keep the score at 3-1.

3:56 into the period, Tippett’s deflected shot was blockered by Dostál but as he brought his stick down it clipped Joel Farabee in the face, sending the Flyers back onto the power play. Not much came out of the power play but they used that momentum to retake their 3-goal lead shortly after.

Farabee’s corner shot was stopped but Dostál left out a huge rebound that went to Sanheim all the way at the point. The Flyers anchor made a move towards the net once he picked up the puck before dangling Dostál for a pretty finish for his 2nd goal of the season and 2nd point of the game with 12:21 left in regulation.

The Ducks’ rookie phenom Carlsson scored once again, this time from a wicked one-timer set up by Alex Killorn – again – past the glove of Ersson to make it 4-2. Pavel Mintyukov started the play from his own end with a great outlet pass to Killorn before finding Carlsson for his 5th of the season with 9:22 left.

Nearly 2 and a half minutes later, Owen Tippett retook the 3-goal lead after finishing a fantastic play past Dostál for his 3rd of the season. He made a wicked move on Frank Vatrano along the boards just inside the blue-line before wiring the shot past the glove.

With 3:23 remaining, Scott Laughton was called for a hooking minor, giving the Ducks one last gasp. With the goalie pulled, the Ducks had the offensive zone time but weren’t able to get many pucks through the maze of bodies until Carlsson completed the hat-trick with 6 seconds left on the man advantage and 1:28 in regulation.

Troy Terry whipped a perfect cross-crease seam pass through the legs of Nick Seeler to Carlsson, who was waiting at the other side of the net to make it 5-3.

27 seconds later, Owen Tippett iced the game with an empty netter for his 2nd of the night and 4th of the season.

The Flyers exacted revenge against the Ducks with a 6-3 victory thanks in large part to Samuel Ersson’s 35 saves.


The third game of the California road trip has the Flyers visiting the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night (10:30pm ET, NBCSP) as they look to finish this portion of the road trip with a winning record.

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