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Flyers Take Down Ducks 5-2, Hayes Records 1st Career Hat-Trick, Ersson Improves to 5-0

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers were able to put a 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in rearview mirror in quick order as they defeated the Anaheim Ducks with ease, 5-2.

Kevin Hayes scored a hat-trick, Rasmus Ristolainen was credited with the game winning goal on his shorthanded tally, and Morgan Frost scored a back-breaker with 37 seconds left in the second period -giving them a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame. Samuel Ersson improved to 5-0-0 with his second win against the Anaheim Ducks this season, first stopping 28 of 29 shots 15 days ago and then making 25 of 27 tonight. Scott Laughton, Wade Allison, and Travis Konecny each recorded 2 assists, and Ristolainen, James van Riemsdyk, Tony DeAngelo, and Cam York each recorded one assist.

After the Ducks tied the game midway through the second, the Flyers responded quickly with their 9th shorthanded goal of the season. The Flyers didn’t give up or let off the pedal after outshooting the Ducks 23-4 at one point with Anthony Stolarz keeping the Ducks in the game. The Flyers looked dominant for most of the game, which was a welcome sign after yesterday’s disastrous 6-0 defeat. They are now only 5 points out of a wild card spot, which is pretty remarkable after going through a stretch of 3-12-5.

In game 2 of 5 this week, the Philadelphia Flyers came back to the confines of the Wells Fargo Center to face off against the lowly Anaheim Ducks. Reeling after a 6-0 defeat against the NHL’s best yesterday, the Flyers looked to bounce back and sweep the season series against the Ducks for the first time since 2019. They iced the same lineup as yesterday’s matinee with the sole change coming in goal with Samuel Ersson starting the back half of their back-to-back. Right before the clock struck 7, many media members present noted that Ivan Provorov would not be playing and that he was a late scratch for Justin Braun. A few minutes later his name re-appeared on the lineup sheet – Philadelphia gonna Philadelphia.

The Ducks had a 3-2 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the game last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, not only squandering the lead but then losing in overtime. With Pennsylvania-native John Gibson in goal last night, former Flyer Anthony Stolarz got his 9th start of the season.


It was a tentative start for both teams who were reeling off tough defeats the day prior. The Ducks held a 4-1 shot advantage in the first 7 minutes but the Flyers looked primed for a bounce back effort. They had offensive zone time, they were cycling the best they could, and they were using their speed to their advantage but just couldn’t find a puck to get through the Anaheim defence. Joel Farabee had the best chance for both teams but he over skated the puck in tight before Kevin Shattenkirk cleared the crease before Farabee came back and had his wing-side shot gloved down for a faceoff.

7:31 into the game, Jakob Silfverberg was called for a holding minor as Owen Tippett tried making his way for a breakaway, giving the Flyers the first power play of the game. The 30th-ranked penalty kill took advantage of the 31st-ranked power play unit as the Flyers just couldn’t get anything set up, they were sucked in by the neutral zone trap, and they lost several of their dump-and-chase battles. The Flyers’ first and only shot on goal came with 5 seconds left when James van Riemsdyk came within inches from scoring in his office with his patented through-the-legs move that Stolarz just got his pad on it.

The Flyers quickly picked up their game in a hurry as they started to amount all the pressure with a 10-4 shot advantage in just a few minutes after being outshot 4-1. Flyers then got their second power play attempt after the Ducks were called for a too many men on the ice minor with 8:56 left in the period. Unfortunately they weren’t able to ride the momentum wave with the extra skater but with 43 seconds left on the first minor, Morgan Frost was tripped up by Frank Vatrano, sending the Flyers on a 5-on-3 advantage – something they’ve struggled with for years.

An infuriating cycle of plays came back to hurt the Ducks as the Flyers took a 1-0 lead off the stick of Kevin Hayes on the second minor penalty at the 13:32 mark of the first.

It was an extremely infuriating 2-man advantage because of their set up. 3 Flyers were up top with 2 playing the point and nothing in the middle, allowing the Ducks to collapse in front of their goaltender and keep the point-men on the outside, which is essentially what happened even with full control of the puck.

Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, and Tony DeAngelo kept passing, passing, passing, and with the first minor expiring, Hayes turned the puck over and that allowed the Ducks to send Max Comtois on a breakaway coming out of the box. He tried making a move on Ersson but his shot went high and wide. As the Flyers went back down the ice, they set up but lost the puck to Comtois, who for some reason held the puck and waited far too long, turned it over to Konecny who passed it to DeAngelo waiting at the point. He then fed it to Hayes on the other side of the ice, who made no mistake in wiring his shot glove side for his 11th of the season and 2nd goal in 17 games.

The Cates-Konecny-Farabee line was buzzing all period and on the second shift after the power plays, they came back in waves and somehow weren’t able to bury the puck into the net with chaos surrounding Stolarz. Rasmus Ristolainen and Nick Seeler joined in as well as the puck was loose for a few seconds but no one wearing a Black jersey was able to lift it over the pad of Stolarz before the referees finally blew the whistle down. Konecny’s initial shot was stopped but it almost trickled past Stolarz, then Cates corralled the rebound and tried jamming it home from below the goal-line, and then the puck rolled through the crease where Farabee got the bottom of the stick blade on the puck and missed on a golden opportunity.

With 1:50 remaining in the period, Zack MacEwen and Max Comtois got into a surprising tussle with the former taking down the latter in quick order. MacEwen lost his stick in a tussle with Comtois and as the former was complaining to the referee looking for a penalty, he grabbed a hold of Comtois and they both decided to drop the gloves. The Flyers headed into the intermission break with a 1-0 lead and a 17-4 shot advantage. The Ducks failed to register a shot in the final 15:37 of the first period.


24 seconds into the second period, Mason McTavish was called for a high-sticking minor against Joel Farabee, the fourth Ducks penalty of the game. The Flyers officially had 6 shots on goal during the man advantage, the top unit was on the ice for the entire power play, and even though it was pure dominance by the Orange and Black, Owen Tippett lost the puck at the point midway through but followed Silfverberg the whole way through and thwarted his scoring chance by keeping him to the outside.

The Ducks eventually tied the game with 12:21 left in the second period after Adam Henrique notched his 15th of the season and extended his goal streak to 3 games. On the rush before the goal, Owen Tippett looked to have had a stride on the Ducks defence for a breakaway chance but Dmitry Kulikov came in last second and delivered a good clean body check. Patrick Brown was coming in the defence of his teammate by going after Kulikov in the corner but in doing so the Ducks had numbers going the other way and John Klingberg who was all alone on Ersson, instead of taking a shot or making a move, dropped a pass to Henrique after realizing the Flyers were caught and not going to get back in time. In tight, Henrique made no mistake as the Ducks tied the game even though the Flyers held a 23-4 shot advantage at one point.

Nicolas Deslauriers tried making an aggressive pinch near the blue-line as he noticed Brown and Tippett were too far back but the Ducks made a nifty pass to evade the enforcer and set out on an odd-man rush. As Deslauriers got back, Sanheim was tied up in the corner with a Duck defender, allowing Anaheim to walk in on a 3-on-2 in tight with Deslauriers in all sorts of fits as he tried to recover his position but it was too late after Klingberg neatly passed up the shot to Henrique.

Then with 8:18 left in the middle frame, the Flyers took their first penalty of the game after Patrick Brown was guilty for a tripping minor. After the whistle, the Ducks took exception to a crunching hit delivered by Ristolainen as he he took down Max Jones with a thunderous hit before they entered the offensive zone, but unfortunately for the Ducks that scrum cost them an offensive zone faceoff. 61 seconds into the man advantage the Flyers scored their 9th shorthanded goal of the season by…. Rasmus Ristolainen. Not only did he block the initial shot that led to the turnover but he went down the rush with Scott Laughton opposite him and as they entered the zone, Laughton saucered a pass to the defenseman who made a nifty move before finishing off the backhand top shelf for his first of the season. Konecny recorded his second assist of the game, while Laughton registered his 7th shorthanded point on 9 goals.

With 37.5 seconds left in the period, Morgan Frost scored using James van Riemsdyk’s patented through-the-legs move in tight on Stolarz that not only surprised the Ducks, but the entire arena, including the person in charge of the goal horn. Ristolainen sent the puck deep with the Ducks closing in on him at the point, Cam Fowler tried getting to the puck first but had his stick stuck underneath the arm of Frost. As Fowler finally came onto the puck, van Riemsdyk converged from behind and poked it to Frost who was already positioned at the near-post and he delivered with a highlight reel finish for his 9th of the season.

The Flyers scored 2 goals in the period and extended the lead to 3-1 with a timely late goal by Morgan Frost. They also outshot the Ducks 13-9 in the period and held a 30-13 edge heading into the final frame. Samuel Ersson wasn’t tested as much as his previous game against the Ducks or compared to his counterpart tonight in Stolarz tonight but whenever tasked to make a key save he came up big several times including a golden opportunity for the Ducks in close on the power play before the Ristolainen shorthanded tally.


The goals kept on coming for the Flyers after Kevin Hayes scored his second goal of the game 2:30 into the third period. Jumping on a bad turnover committed behind the net and, Wade Allison retrieved the puck along the boards before sending a quick pass up to Scott Laughton who once again set up his teammate with a perfect pass for a smooth finish by the first-time All-Star for his 12th of the season.

With 8:12 left in regulation, Travis Sanheim was called for an absolutely unnecessary slashing minor on Mason McTavish who was at the front of the net doing nothing but positioning himself at the side of Ersson. The Flyers survived the penalty kill but with only a few seconds left and after turning at the blue-line, McTavish waited, waited, and waited but rang the shot off the iron, keeping the deficit at 3. The Flyers’ Nicolas Deslauriers was called for a holding minor with 2:46 remaining in the game for their third power play of the game. With 23 ticks left on the power play and 69 seconds remaining, Kevin Shattenkirk’s point shot was deflected by Frank Vatrano as he knocked it out mid-air for his 7th of the season on a shot that looked to be going well wide.

Kevin Hayes completed his hat-trick with 43.9 seconds left with the Ducks quickly pulling their goaltender for an extra attacker. The Ducks had a quick scoring chance but Allison grabbed a loose puck, passed it to Hayes who went down the ice for his first career hat-trick and 13th of the season and 5th point in 2 games against the Ducks.

With a 3-1 lead entering the third period and then adding a fourth goal within the first few minutes, the rest of the period was almost automatic outside a few penalties they had to kill. The Ducks were no match for the Flyers and at times it seemed like they were on completely different playing fields.

The Ducks were obviously far more aggressive in the final frame with nothing to lose if they were overly aggressive with a 13-9 shot advantage but Ersson came up big time after time and the Flyers also kept them to the outside on a lot of their chances. Vatrano scored a late goal before Hayes matched it with his empty-netter but the Flyers dominated from start to finish and took care of a game they had to have won, they should have won, and needed to win.


The Flyers will welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to Wells Fargo Center on Thursday as the team hosts their 2000s Throwback Thursday Night.

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