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Flyers End Season With Overtime Victory Against Toews, Blackhawks, 5-4

(Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

The Philadelphia Flyers ended this season with a 5-4 overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Travis Konecny opened the scoring with 2 goals in the first 6 minutes of the first period before that was responded to by Jujhar Khaira and Anders Bjork to end the first period at a deadlock. Owen Tippett and Noah Cates scored 2 goals in the first 4 minutes of the second period before Jonathan Toews cut the deficit in half in his final game as a Chicago Blackhawk. Andreas Athanasiou tied the game with 2 minutes left and the net empty sending the game to overtime before Ivan Provorov scored a spectacular, highlight-reel goal to end the season on a high.

Konecny scored 2 goals and added 2 assists as he finished the season as the team leader in goals with 31 and points with 61 in just 60 games, respectively. Owen Tippett scored a goal and added a helper, finishing his season with 27 goals and 49 points in 79 games, Morgan Frost recorded 2 assists to finish the year with 46 points in 81 games, and Felix Sandström earned his 3rd win of the season with 34 saves tonight.

Athanasiou ended the game with a goal and 2 assists, getting himself to the 20-goal mark and 40-point plateau. Alex Stalock allowed 5 goals on 36 shots. Chicago earned an overtime point to put them 2 points ahead of Anaheim and Columbus for last place and the best odds for Connor Bedard.

Game 82 had finally arrived and for the third consecutive season this will be the final game until the 2023-24 season commences. The Philadelphia Flyers entered the confines of the United Center to face off against the Chicago Blackhawks, who were one regulation defeat away from 50.

Locked in at the 26th position in the standings, the Flyers decided to end their season with Felix Sandström in net, Tony DeAngelo up in the press box for the 5th consecutive game, Nick Seeler returned to the lineup, and they were hoping to give Justin Braun a warm farewell with plenty of ice-time, including power play time as he was on the hunt for point 200 in what was the final NHL game of his 13-year career.

As for the Blackhawks, they entered tonight’s game tied for second-last, but only 1 point separated them from last-place Columbus. They had 58 points with Anaheim and Columbus had 57 with the latter having 2 games left to play – all in the hopes of landing Connor Bedard. Chicago entered tonight with only 2 wins in their last 10 games, their leading scorers were Andreas Anthanasiou and Taylor Raddysh with 37 points – Max Domi and Patrick Kane were traded ahead of the trade deadline – and had Alex Stalock between the pipes for their finale.

Captain Jonathan Toews was playing in his final game as a Blackhawk as it was announced that the club would not re-sign him for next season. He has dealt with health issues related to COVID over the last few seasons, which had limited him to 52 games this year heading into tonight. This would be game number 1,067, and he had 371 goals and 882 points entering tonight, with 3 Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy to boot.


The Philadelphia Flyers scored the game’s opening goal only 26 seconds in courtesy of Travis Konecny’s 30th of the season.

Caleb Jones was caught as the Flyers countered from the defensive zone to the offensive zone before Morgan Frost saucered a pass to Konecny, who wired it past Stalock for his first 30-goal season.

Konecny was the catalyst of the play as he won a board battle in his own zone before getting off to the races with Frost as they caught the Hawks flat-footed and sleepy.

Konecny and Frost connected again at the 6:21 mark of the first period with the former collecting his second goal of the period and 31st of the season.

Morgan Frost’s backhand in the slot was stopped but Alex Stalock allowed a juicy rebound for Konecny to finish off. Konecny won another board battle, this time in the offensive zone, and quickly passed it to Frost before he finished off the rebound for an early 2-0 lead.

After winning an offensive zone faceoff, the Chicago Blackhawks got on the board with 12:32 remaining in the period. Jujhar Khaira finished off the play from the right in front of Felix Sandström for his 6th of the season.

After Chicago won the faceoff, Connor Murphy fed the puck to Wyatt Kaiser, whose shot was stopped but Khaira corralled the rebound and backhanded it past Sandström to cut the deficit in half.

Less than 2 minutes later, the Blackhawks tied the game at 2 courtesy of Anders Bjork’s 2nd of the season.

The Flyers failed to clear the zone, which allowed Ian Mitchell to keep the puck in at the blue-line and step into a play. He fed a pass to Andreas Anthanasiou who backhanded a shot with several jerseys in and around Sandström. Fortunately for him, Bjork was right there to finish off the rebound with 10:40 remaining in the period.

A very offensive-minded first period came to a close with both teams tied at 2 on the scoreboard and each recording 15 shots on goal.


This time, the Flyers opened the period with a goal 46 seconds in after Owen Tippett jumped on a turnover right in front of an open cage for his 27th of the season.

Alex Stalock sent a pass to Seth Jones in the corner who tried to one touch it up to Khaira, but it hit the back of his unsuspecting skate and bounced to Tippett who had an open net in front of him for a 3-2 lead.

Similar to Konecny’s opening goal, Tippett was the catalyst as he dumped the puck in the zone before alertly jumping on a loose puck.

3:36 into the period, the Flyers received the first power play of the game after Wyatt Kaiser was whistled for a delay of game minor.

At the 4:22 mark of the second period and 46 seconds into the power play, the Flyers retook a 2-goal lead after Noah Cates finished off some nifty passing plays in the slot for a one-time goal that represented his 13th of the season.

Tippett fed Konecny who was below the goal-line and he one-touched it to Cates in the slot for the finish and a 4-2 lead.

After turning it over in their own zone, the Flyers were whistled down for a penalty of their own with Nick Seeler being the guilty party for a holding minor with 12:26 remaining in the second.

It only took the Blackhawks 7 seconds to cut the deficit back to 1 and it was none other than Jonathan Toews.

After winning the faceoff cleanly, he made a beeline for the net as the Hawks were quickly setting up. Andreas Athanasiou sent a pass directly to the tape of Toews’ redirecting stick for his 15th of the season.

The second period came to a close with the Flyers up by 1 after another early outburst of goals before Toews cut the deficit in half. The Flyers outshot Chicago, 14-9 in the period after an early 8-0 edge, and 29-24 through 40 minutes.


To open the third period, the Flyers could’ve made it 3/3 for early period goals as Travis Konecny was sprung on a breakaway – looking for his hat-trick – but his shot was stopped by Stalock and he wasn’t able to locate the rebound, keeping the score at 4-3.

The following minutes in the third period rolled away with a lot of neutral zone play and dump-and-chase hockey before the Blackhawks started to pick things up with an 8-4 shot advantage by the midway mark.

With less than 7 minutes remaining both teams exchanged breakaway chances – or at least 1-on-1 – first with Andreas Athanasiou trying to work his way around Cam York and then Owen Tippett sending James van Riemsdyk an alley-oop pass. Athanasiou made a move on York before sending a pass into the slot that was defended by Ivan Provorov, and then van Riemsdyk’s attempt was stopped by Stalock as the veteran forward had a Blackhawk defender hanging onto him.

With 2:41 remaining in regulation, Alex Stalock was pulled for the extra attacker and it only took them 41 seconds to tie things up off the stick of Atthanasiou – who had been everywhere tonight.

Moments earlier and before the goaltender was pulled, the Blackhawks came within inches of tying the game but Boris Katchouk’s sweep attempt in the crease went just wide. This time around, Athanasiou outmuscled Provorov in the crease for his 20th of the season and 40th point.

Chicago’s relentless pressure allowed them to tie the game – in a game they really shouldn’t have tried to get points considering what was at stake. Chicago outshot the Flyers 12-6 in the period and 36-35 at the end of regulation.


With 2:15 remaining in overtime, Jonathan Toews could’ve had the best send-off imaginable after he was sprung on a breakaway after a turnover by the Flyers but his five-hole attempt was just stopped by Sandström and rolled inches away from the post.

Then on the other side, Konecny sent Provorov a beautiful backhanded pass outside the offensive zone before Provorov danced his way through the defense and made Seth Jones look silly before depositing the game-winner past a sprawling Stalock for his 6th of the season.

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