The Philadelphia Flyers lost their 4th consecutive game after being defeated by the St. Louis Blues, 4-2.
The Flyers started this game flat-footed and sloppy after Jordan Kyrou jumped on a Noah Cates turnover early in the period to get them on the board before Tyler Pitlick and Justin Faulk scored 2 goals in 3:22 midway through the second period to give them a 3-0 lead heading into the third period.
Noah Cates looked to have gotten the Flyers on the board early in the third period but somehow the goal was confirmed as Cates having punched the puck in the net, so it was waived off. Only a minute later, James van Riemsdyk deflected a Nick Seeler slap-shot to get the Flyers on the board. Morgan Frost then scored his 19th of the season and his 5th goal in his last 5 games just 6 minutes later.
The Flyers had 2 very dangerous scoring chances to tie the game at the very least but Jordan Binnington was tasked to make some big saves down the stretch to earn his 26th win of the season.
Binnington made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period for the victory, while Samuel Ersson stopped 28 of 31 shots for his 3rd consecutive defeat after starting his NHL career 6-0-0.
With the regular season coming to an end, the Philadelphia Flyers visited the St. Louis Blues to try to sweep the season series that started all the way back in the early parts of November. After winning 4 consecutive games and 5 of their last 6, the Flyers had lost 3 in a row, including a back to back series over the weekend.
Ronnie Attard got called up as he was set to make his season debut, Samuel Ersson got the nod once more, and Rasmus Ristolainen returned to the lineup after a one-game absence with a lower body injury. The Flyers reverted back to an 11/7 formation with Kieffer Bellows getting the boot in lieu of Attard.
Travis Konecny was placed on a line with Morgan Frost and Owen Tippett. Joel Farabee found himself with Noah Cates and Wade Allison. The veterans in James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes were the roamers as Scott Laughton was reunited with Nicolas Deslauriers and Brendan Lemieux. Ristolainen returned to his pairing with Travis Sanheim and Attard was the roamer on the backend.
As for the St. Louis Blues, it was not the season they had anticipated and ahead of the trade deadline they cut themselves loose from several marquee veterans like Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. They were 6-2-2 in their last 10 before tonight’s game but had lost their previous 2 games – a similar back-to-back set as the Flyers.
They were paced by Jordan Kyrou’s 36 goals and 71 points, Pavel Buchnevich who had 25 goals and 66 points in just 59 games, Robert Thomas and his team leading 46 assists, and former Flyer in Brayden Schenn with another 20 goal and 60 point campaign. Jordan Binnington earned his 57th start of the season in his 58th appearance and sported a 25-25-6 record with a paltry 3.39 GAA and .891 SV%.
2:11 into the game, Jakub Vrana was whistled down for a high-sticking minor, sending the Flyers’ 32nd-ranked power play onto the ice against the Blues’ 29th-ranked penalty kill. The power play was abysmal once more, they fired one shot on goal near the end from Ronnie Attard, and were unable to create anything of actual substance.
5:53 into the first period, the St. Louis Blues got the scoring going after Jordan Kyrou jumped on a turnover from Noah Cates for his 37th goal of the season.
An unusual donor of turnovers, Cates was below the goal-line in the corner and he had his back turned to the play, but he tried centering a pass in front of his goaltender that was deflected by Brandon Saad, got through an unsuspecting Tony DeAngelo and Nick Seeler, and landed right to Kyrou who pounced for the early lead.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 5, 2023
The Blues were relentless and jumped on several loose pucks as the Flyers looked extremely flat-footed, sleepy, and sloppy to start this one.
With St. Louis staking their claim in the offensive zone, Cam York was called for a ticky-tacky cross-checking minor 10:23 into the game. The Blues’ 22nd-ranked power play went toe-to-toe with the Flyers 29th-ranked penalty kill – truly a battle of special teams tonight.
Jakub Vrana had the best opportunity of the game to that point as he was set up for a one-time blast from the circle with Samuel Ersson almost out of the picture, but the young Swede outstretched his glove to make an incredible save.
The Blues stripped Travis Sanheim off the puck in the corner, which allowed them to catch the Flyers out-numbered in the slot as Kyrou’s pass to Vrana made it through with relative ease. Fortunately for Sanheim, the score remained 1-0.
Nothing too exciting took place the rest of the way except for Vrana coming within inches – yet again – of his 10th goal in 16 games with his new club, but his wicked wrist shot clanged off the post, much to the relief of Samuel Ersson. The Blues outshot the Flyers 9-7 but went the final 8:41 without a shot on goal – the Flyers had 3 in that span.
5:04 into the second period, former Flyer Tyler Pitlick ripped a shot glove-side on Ersson off the rush for his 6th of the season.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 5, 2023
Alexei Toropchenko jettisoned the play from his own zone after sending a stretch pass to Nathan Walker, who baited Attard before depositing a backhand to Pitlick as he entered the zone with speed. Attard tried to regain the ground he had lost by chasing down Pitlick but he had taken his shot just in time to avoid the defenseman and beat Ersson for a 2-0 lead.
Nick Seeler was called for a retaliatory penalty after he was upset with Jake Neighbours for a hit he delivered on Attard. The Blues had their chances during the man advantage and actually scored just as the penalty expired.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 5, 2023
Justin Faulk made it 3-0 with his slot-shot that beat Ersson glove-side for his 11th of the season at the 8:26 mark. Nick Leddy kept the puck in the zone with a pass that found Sammy Blais in the corner. He walked in from below the goal-line before feeding Faulk in the slot, who was able to walk in and fired a shot past a diving Brendan Lemieux.
With 10:42 left in the period, Seeler was clipped again as Logan Brown was guilty of a high-sticking minor. For a penalty kill that was struggling over their last 5 games, killing only 6 of their previous 17 opportunities, they made easy work of the Flyers for the second time tonight, as they only recorded one shot – another Ronnie Attard one-timer with no traffic.
After Kevin Hayes came within inches of snapping his goalless-streak, the Blues went the other way as Sammy Blais finished off a nice passing play for what looked like his 4th of the season at the 14:31 mark. Colton Parayko corralled the rebound and jetted out of the zone, passed it off to Logan Brown who then found Blais for the open net.
Rocky Thompson challenged the play for offside as Blais entered the zone before Parayko brought the puck in and it took the referees literally seconds to overturn the play.
Hayes had the best chance to break the shutout on the previous play but instead of making a move in tight on Jordan Binnington, he tried slinging it through the five-hole.
With 2:46 left in the second period, Morgan Frost was tripped up in the neutral zone by Justin Faulk for the Flyers’ third power play of the game. The Flyers didn’t record a shot on goal but did hit the post on an odd-man rush one-timer from Tony DeAngelo who was perfectly set up by Frost.
The Blues had 2 of their own previously but Brayden Schenn weirdly trailed off as Toropchenko was gliding through the neutral zone, and then a bad pass to Brandon Saad led to a soft chance that allowed the Flyers to turn the other way.
The Blues added 2 more goals in the second period to give themselves an unassailable 3-0 lead heading into the third period. They outshot the Flyers 12-9 in the period and held a 22-16 advantage after 40 minutes.
Noah Cates looked to have redeemed himself from his earlier mistake by getting the Flyers on the board early in the third period. Cates jumped on a loose puck that rolled into the blue paint, he took a quick shot from his knees that went off of Torey Krug’s skate that then seemingly double-doinked off both his gloves and in the net.
It looked like Noah Cates gave the Flyers their first goal of the game, but it was determined he gloved the puck into the net. Questionable call based on the replay. pic.twitter.com/b5McZc0fmZ
— Ryan Quigley (@ryanquigz) April 5, 2023
The referees waived it off immediately, probably because Cates looked to have made a punching motion before the puck crossed the line, but after video review it looked pretty conclusive that he missed on the punch at the end. Unfortunately, the referees convened and came back with a ruling of no goal at the 4:06 mark of the period.
1:45 later and with 14:09 left on the clock, Nick Seeler’s point shot got deflected by James van Riemsdyk in the slot that handcuffed Jordan Binnington for his 11th of the season, first goal in 9 games, and 3rd goal in his last 27.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 5, 2023
Scott Laughton fed Seeler at the point for the one-time blast with van Riemsdyk camped in his usual spot in front of the goal. It definitely seemed like Binnington was not expecting a deflection of any kind as he tried to ensnare the puck and missed completely.
With 8:29 left in the third period, the Flyers were oh so close to cutting into the deficit after an Owen Tippett blast was stopped by an aggressive Binnington. His rebound leaked to Cates in front but as he tried to take a shot and the puck got pushed to DeAngelo, who came in hot, but Binnington grabbed the loose puck with his blocker and held on for the whistle.
Only 12 seconds later, the Flyers did in fact cut into the deficit as Morgan Frost scored yet another goal, stationed right in front of the net.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 5, 2023
Cam York walked in towards the faceoff dot after keeping the puck in the zone and scooping up a turnover, fired a hard shot that through traffic that was stopped, and Frost swung at the rebound in one swift motion over the pad of Binnington for his 19th of the season.
With 6:32 left, Ivan Provorov was called for an interference minor as he tried to allow Ronnie Attard a clear space to skate out from behind the net. Less than a minute into the kill, Scott Laughton came gliding into the slot for a scoring chance. He diverted around the net and set up Nick Seeler who was at the side of the empty net, but his shot was stopped by the stick of a sprawling Binnington before Travis Sanheim’s blast was somehow gloved down by the goaltender from his stomach.
With 100 seconds left, acting head coach Rocky Thompson decided to pull Ersson for the extra attacker but the Flyers lost the puck immediately. It took the Flyers close to 30 seconds to regroup, re-enter the zone, and set back up.
Even with an offensive zone faceoff, the Flyers couldn’t control the puck and the Blues were persistent and worked hard to get the puck out of the zone as they found Toropchenko all alone in the neutral zone before he deposited the empty netter for his 9th of the season, as the St. Louis Blues were able to ice the game with the Philadelphia Flyers attempting a third period comeback.
— nopClips (@nopClips) April 5, 2023
The Flyers will head to Dallas to take on the Central Division-leading Stars on Thursday night (8:30pm ET, NBCSP) at American Airlines Arena.