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Nylander Scores Overtime Winner But Flyers’ Late Comeback Salvages a Point

(Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 4-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs. William Nylander scored the overtime winner just 56 seconds in but the Flyers salvaged at least one point with a late comeback.

Travis Sanheim opened the scoring with a shorthanded tally in the first period before Auston Matthews completed a natural hat trick in less than 8 minutes of game time in the back-half of the second period.

Garnet Hathaway and Travis Konecny then scored within 61 seconds of each other to force overtime before a bad line change allowed Nylander to walk in unmarked against Samuel Ersson. Ilya Samsonov earned his 11th win of the season with a strong effort in goal with 29 saves being made, while Ersson took the overtime defeat with 24 stops to his name.

The Flyers looked to kickstart Sean Couturier’s first game as captain with their 5th straight victory as they traveled north of the border to face off against the Maple Leafs. After stumbling into the All-Star break with 5 straight defeats, the Flyers came out rejuvenated and took down their next 4 opponents, including a perfect 3-0-0 homestand. The big news heading into tonight’s game was of course Couturier being named the franchise’s 20th captain as well as Travis Konecny joining Scott Laughton as the alternates.

With Rasmus Ristolainen sidelined for at least 2-3 weeks, the Flyers stuck to their 11 forwards and 7 defensemen but brought back Nicolas Deslauriers in lieu of Olle Lycksell. Samuel Ersson earned his 2nd consecutive start, looking to improve on his 15-9-3 record, 2.49 GAA, and .901 SV%.

As for the Leafs, they entered tonight having gone through an uncharacteristically middling season despite their 27-16-8 record. They have gone 6-6-1 in their last 13 games and 12-10-3 in their last 25 games. They have won 5 of their last 7 games however and will have Mitch Marner and John Tavares back in the lineup.

Auston Matthews continues to pace the league with 42 goals, William Nylander sits atop their leaderboard with 66 points, and Morgan Rielly who is 4th on the club in points with 43 will be sitting out his 2nd of 5 games due to a suspension. Ilya Samsonov earned the start, looking to improve on his 10-4-6 record, 3.26 GAA, and .880 SV%.


The Toronto Maple Leafs received the first power play of the game after Sean Walker was nabbed for delay of game at the 5:59 mark. The battle of the 2nd-ranked penalty kill versus the 4th-ranked power play went the Flyers way with Travis Sanheim opening the scoring with a shorthanded tally – the club’s league-leading 13th of the season.

Travis Konecny jumped on a breakaway but hit the post, however the Flyers got their own rebound with a strong forecheck before Scott Laughton found a streaking Sanheim in the slot for his 5th of the season at the 7:42 mark.

The period came to a close with the Flyers taking a 1-0 lead into the intermission as well as an 10-8 edge in shots. Nick Seeler and Bobby McMann were each handed coincidental minors at the end of the period.


At the 3:21 mark of the second period, Jake McCabe was assessed a hooking minor, sending the Flyers on their first power play of the night. The Flyers were in the offensive zone for nearly the entirety of the 2 minutes, fired 2 shots on goal, and had at least 5-6 shots blocked or missing the net, including 3 chances from Owen Tippett alone.

The Maple Leafs tied things up with 8:42 remaining in the period after they caught the Flyers napping after an icing call and a bad line change. Auston Matthews extended his league leading goal total to 43 after Mitch Marner found him streaking past the defense before he ripped a hard shot past Samuel Ersson’s glove-hand.

The Maple Leafs then hopped on their second power play of the game after Tippett was nailed for an interference minor with 7:08 remaining. A very dangerous power play connected after the very dangerous Matthews ripped a hard one-timer from the face-off dot for his 2nd of the period at the 14:20 mark.

Matthews then completed the natural hat-trick after the Flyers failed to clear the puck out of the zone with just 65 seconds remaining in the period. The 45-goal scorer ripped another shot past the glove of Ersson, completing his natural hat trick in a span of 7:49.

After a very strong start to the game that saw the Flyers control the tempo for about 30 minutes, the Maple Leafs stormed back with Matthews and their core doing the most – if not all – of the damage. The Flyers went fully dormant in the latter half of the period and the pure skill of Toronto took over.


After Simon Benoit drilled Cam York along the boards, Nicolas Deslauriers came to his teammate’s defense and dropped the gloves with the former and was assessed the extra minor for instigating at the 4:24 mark. Konecny and Mark Giordano were then each assessed coincidental minors with 7 seconds remaining in the Deslauriers instigator.

With 8:45 remaining in regulation, Noah Gregor was called for a roughing minor against Sanheim deep in the Flyers end. Unfortunately, the league’s worst road power play (connecting at 7%) couldn’t take advantage of the golden opportunity to claw their way back into the game.

Fortunately, that never seems to deter their momentum as Garnet Hathaway chipped away at a rebound opportunity and fired one through the five-hole of Ilya Samsonov for his 5th of the season with 5:46 left to play.

The Flyers were able to score in large part because of yet another strong forechecking shift culminated by Seeler keeping the puck in the zone and then firing a bomb from the point to get the rebound.

The Maple Leafs were then assessed another penalty with Tyler Bertuzzi being nabbed for tripping with 5:21 left to play. This time around, it only took the Flyers 36 seconds to score on the power play as Konecny was able to corral the loose puck before firing it past Samsonov for his 26th of the season – snapping an 0-for-15 rut with the extra man.

It was a far better showing in the third period as the Flyers rallied from being down 3-1 to force overtime with 2 goals in the final 5 minutes. Through 60 minutes, the Flyers held a 32-27 shot advantage.


The Maple Leafs controlled the puck within the first 56 seconds of overtime and left the building with 2 points as William Nylander deposited a shot through the five-hole after the Flyers late change allowed the Swedish phenom to be left all alone.


The Flyers will take their talents to MetLife Stadium as they face off against the New Jersey Devils in their Stadium Series tilt Saturday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP).

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