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Flyers Turn Out One of Worst Games of Year and Fall 6-2 to Seattle, Konecny Snaps Drought to Set Career-High

(Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers stumbled out the blocks and were never able to recover as the Seattle Kraken engulfed the Orange and Black by a score of 6-2. The Kraken opened the scoring only 3 minutes into the game when Jared McCann stripped the puck off of Kevin Hayes’ stick while shorthanded. That was just the beginning as Yanni Gourde doubled their lead near the end of the first period before they scored 3 more goals in the second period in a span of 8 minutes and 51 seconds.

Carter Hart – 4 goals on 19 shots – was pulled after Oliver Bjorkstrand buried his breakaway to make it 4-0 only for the Kraken to get on top of Samuel Ersson – 2 goals on 11 shots – in short order with a power play marker. Travis Konecny scored 2 goals in the third period, not only snapping his 13-game goalless drought, but also breaking his career-high in goals. The Flyers ended the first period with 1 shot on goal, were outshot 30-19 in the game and figuring in their last game against Seattle, had been held to 37 shots in their last 2 games. They’ve now lost 3 straight games and 7 of their last 9.

After a 4-day hiatus, the Philadelphia Flyers returned to the ice against the same Seattle Kraken that defeated them on Super Bowl Sunday. This is the first stop of a 4-game road trip on the West Coast in 6 days, playing the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, Calgary Flames on Monday, and the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Samuel Ersson was called ahead of the road trip and was named as Carter Hart’s backup.

The Flyers tweaked their lineup a little bit with Kevin Hayes on the line wing with Noah Cates and Owen Tippett, James van Riemsdyk was on the left wing with Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee was on the left wing with Scott Laughton and Wade Allison, and the fourth line was comprised of Nicolas Deslauriers, Patrick Brown, and Kieffer Bellows. The defense remained the same with Nick Seeler and Tony DeAngelo still patrolling the third pair.

The Seattle Kraken had played one game in the meantime as they finished their 5-game road trip with a shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets. They finished the road trip with 4 losses as their sole victory came against the Flyers in a very mundane affair. Philipp Grubauer got the start against the Flyers again after making 18 saves on 21 shots the last time they played, facing Carter Hart this time after Felix Sandström got the nod on Sunday. Former Flyer Martin Jones, who is 23-9-3 on the season, started their last game against the Jets so he avoided another start against his former team.


Similar to last game, the Philadelphia Flyers found themselves on an early power play after Ryan Donato was called for a tripping minor 2:27 into the game. Unlike their first power play on Sunday, the Flyers gave up an early shorthanded goal to Jared McCann after he pickpocketed Kevin Hayes, went off to the races on an odd-man rush with Tony DeAngelo the only Flyer back, and decided to shoot it as he ripped a snapshot glove-side over Carter Hart. Hayes had an identical shot blocked by McCann moments before he stripped him for the early goal at the 3:01 mark for his 26th of the season and the Kraken’s 3rd shorthanded tally of the year.

With 14:09 left in the first period, Wade Allison was called for a tripping minor, sending the 23rd-ranked power play on the ice for a chance to double their lead very early on in the game. The Flyers’ penalty kill has improved over the last few weeks as they were now nearing the middle of the league with their 18th-ranked kill. Allison’s minor was only their 4th minor penalty in their last 3 games and they looked a little rusty with the Kraken zipping passes all over the zone and firing shots at will as they registered 5 with the man advantage as they held an early 8-0 shot edge heading into the first commercial break at the 8:59 mark.

With the Flyers still without a shot on goal at the 13:25 mark of the first period, Nicolas Deslauriers did what he does best and dropped the gloves with the heaviest player in the National Hockey League in Jamie Oleksiak. It was Deslauriers’ NHL-leading 11th fighting major of the season and it seemed like the enforcer hurt his hand during the bout as he was in considerable pain while in the penalty box.

17 seconds later, the Flyers officially registered their first shot on goal from Joel Farabee along the boards, just trying to get the puck towards the net but the Kraken corralled the rebound and almost jumpstarted Jaden Schwartz on a breakaway before he tried a spin-o-rama move on Travis Sanheim. With a delayed penalty, the Kraken continued their strong puck possession game and eventually doubled their lead after Yanni Gourde deflected a Justin Schultz point-shot at the 14:39 mark of the period for his 7th of the season, snapping a 14-game goalless drought.

The Flyers were given a shot on goal with 58 seconds left in the first period when Scott Laughton was all alone on the wing and decided to rip a slap-shot that initially looked to have been blocked by the stick of Carson Soucy. The period ended with the Kraken up 2-0 on the scoreboard, they held a 12-1 shot advantage, and had now held the Flyers to 20 shots in the last 4 periods. The Flyers had more icings (3) than shots (1) and went almost 14 minutes without their first shot just to go 5+ minutes in between their next crack at the net. After they returned to the ice for the second period, Laughton’s shot was taken back so the Flyers only had 1 after all instead of 2.


Starting the second period the Flyers started with Noah Cates, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Owen Tippett and Tortorella blended up the lines after a disappointing period. Joel Farabee, Kieffer Bellows, and Scott Laughton were the second line out, followed by Patrick Brown, Travis Konecny, and James van Riemsdyk, leaving Kevin Hayes, Morgan Frost, and Wade Allison as the final trio. It worked to some degree as the Flyers had 2 chances off the rush with the first coming from Tippett whose slap-shot was swallowed up by Grubauer and then Sanheim’s snap-shot was shouldered aside. Sanheim had another scoring chance when his point-shot travelled through a maze of bodies with van Riemsdyk and Brown patrolling in front of Grubauer with the Flyers firing 4 shots in the first 3.5 minutes – 3 of them coming from Sanheim. That was all she wrote for the Flyers for the following 14 minutes.

4:21 into the second period, Laughton was called for a hooking minor and after making a huge stop on Jaden Schwartz in the slot, on the very next shift, Justin Schultz’s point shot beat Hart low glove-side with Gourde parked in front of the net as a heavy screen yet again. The goal came at the 5:52 mark of the second period, was Schultz’s second point of the game and 6th goal of the season.

With the Flyers looking absolutely abysmal and the Kraken commanding the game, Oliver Bjorkstrand was set up on a breakaway after Kieffer Bellows turned it over at the blue-line. Bellows tried firing a shot with several Kraken jerseys and sticks surrounding him, his shot attempt was eventually deflected by the long stick of Oleksiak, Gourde corralled the loose puck and sent a backhand pass through the middle to a streaking Bjorkstrand who made no mistake on the breakaway. Unfortunately, that ended the night for Carter Hart who allowed 4 goals on 19 shots at the 11:27 mark of the second period.

Then with 6:51 remaining in the period, Patrick Brown was called for a tripping minor and the Kraken added yet another goal 1:34 into the power play from the stick of Yanni Gourde. The former Tampa Bay Lightning forward had entered tonight’s game with a 14-game goalless drought and had only recorded 3 points in his last 10 games, but through 2 periods of play he matched that with 2 goals and an assist. It was tic-tac-toe brilliance from Jordan Eberle who walked the line from the side of the net, all the way around, before feeding Schwartz who one-touched it to Gourde in the slot who beat Samuel Ersson with a top-shelf snipe.

The Flyers ended up outshooting the Kraken in the second period by a slim margin of 9-8 as they started to actually get their feet involved and fired 12 shots towards Grubauer but only 4 of them found him. This might’ve been the worst 40 minutes played in succession so far this season, they looked disinterested, flat-footed, lost, disoriented, off-course, gone astray and any other synonym in the book. They left Carter Hart on an island to fend for himself and didn’t do much to help out Samuel Ersson either as they have now been held to 28 shots in the past 5 periods against the Kraken.


Travis Konecny, who was the only Flyer that had any jump tonight, finally ended his 13-game goalless drought 14 seconds into the third period after he deflected a Noah Cates point shot for his career-high 25th goal.

With the period quickly rolling, we fast forward nearly 10 minutes later when Konecny turned it over in the offensive zone on a muffed pass at the blue-line that was taken by Matty Beniers, who came down the wing and beat Ersson under the glove-hand. Ivan Provorov tried to get back in time but Beniers has too much speed to his name and buried the shot to end his 10-game goalless drought at the 10:37 mark of the third period for his 18th of the season.

Konecny’s third period continued with another goal after he hounded on top of a missed shot from Noah Cates for his 26th goal of the season and second of the period. Cates’ turn-around shot from the slot missed the net but Konecny was already below the goal-line so he was able to jump on the puck as it bounced into the crease area with Grubauer unable to locate the puck.

That was all she wrote for this rendition of Flyers After Dark, with the visiting team heading to Vancouver for their tilt on Saturday night looking to avenge a very disappointing loss.

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