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Resilient Flyers Come Back, Score Thrice in Third, Secure 5-3 Victory Against Coyotes

(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers mounted three comebacks before finally claiming their first lead of the game midway through the third en route to their 4th straight victory as they defeated the Arizona Coyotes, 5-3.

Matt Dumba scored the game’s opening goal late in the first period before Morgan Frost’s penalty shot tied things up in the second period. The middle frame saw each team score twice with Matias Maccelli, Travis Konecny, and Alex Kerfoot all lighting the lamp. Down 3-2 heading into the final frame, Jamie Drysdale tied things up before Scott Laughton claimed the eventual game-winner about four minutes later. Owen Tippett secured the empty-netter as the Flyers finished the homestand at a perfect 3-0-0.

Samuel Ersson made 20 saves en route to his 15th win of the season, Karel Vejmelka made 30 stops, and Konecny earned himself 3 points, including his 25th goal of the season.

Looking to extend their winning streak to 4 games, the Flyers welcomed the Coyotes within the confines of the Wells Fargo Center in the final game of their 3-game homestand. After slumping their way into the All-Star break with 5 consecutive losses, the Flyers came back rejuvenated and have defeated the Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, and the Seattle Kraken.

Tyson Foerster was ruled out with a lower-body injury while Rasmus Ristolainen was out of the lineup with an upper-body injury. Olle Lycksell found his way back into the lineup after battling with an illness and both Egor Zamula and Marc Staal were both going to be utilized with the Flyers reverting to the 11/7 formation. Samuel Ersson received the nod, looking for his 15th win of the season.

As for the Coyotes, they sat in 7th place in the Central Division behind just the Chicago Blackhawks with a 23-23-4 record and entered tonight’s game on a 5-game losing streak. Clayton Keller paced the club in goals, assists, and points with 21, 27, and 48, respectively. Matias Maccelli was second with 26 assists and 33 points, Nick Schmaltz was third with 31 points, and Lawson Crouse and Alex Kerfoot were tied for fourth with 29 points. Karel Vejmelka earned the start, looking to improve on his 6-11-2 record, .897 SV%, and 3.33 GAA.


The Flyers were assessed the first penalty of the game after Olle Lycksell was handed an interference minor at the 2:54 mark. Right as Lycksell’s minor expired, Garnet Hathaway was sent to the box for a tripping minor. The Flyers successfully killed both minors while allowing just one shot on goal.

At the 7:47 mark of the period, Owen Tippett was taken down at the end of his breakaway attempt by Travis Dermott, which the referees ruled to have been a holding minor. The Flyers recorded just one shot on goal.

Matt Dumba got the Coyotes on the board with a blast from the point with 3:34 remaining in the period for his third goal of the season. The Flyers failed to corral Samuel Ersson’s rebound, which allowed the Coyotes to regain control, drop it back to the point, and Dumba ripped home the one-timer through traffic.

The Flyers started the game with a lot more gumption but looked to have taken their foot off the pedal in the latter half with just one shot on goal to their name in that span. The Coyotes entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead and an 8-7 edge in shots.


At the 2:16 mark of the period, the Flyers looked to have tied the game after Travis Sanheim danced his way into the blue paint and deposited his shot past Karel Vejmelka. However upon further review the puck escaped the zone before Sanheim’s finish, overturning the on-ice call.

With the Flyers continuing to apply pressure, Morgan Frost was awarded a penalty shot after being disrupted on his breakaway attempt at the 4:23 mark. Frost walked in, slowed down, and patiently waited before firing a shot past Vejmelka’s blocker for the tying goal.

Frost was then tripped up by Sean Durzi as he entered the offensive zone with 14:06 remaining in the period for their second power play of the game. However just 2 seconds into the man advantage, Sanheim was called for a high sticking minor off the faceoff.

With 12:03 left and the Sanheim minor just expiring, Maccelli bounced a puck from behind the net off of Ersson to reclaim the lead for the Coyotes. It was a goal that the young goaltender would love to have back as the sophomore banked it off his unsuspecting backside.

Then 44 seconds later, the Coyotes hopped on another power play with Cam York heading off for a cross-checking minor. The parade to the box continued as the Coyotes’ brief power play only lasted 21 seconds with Jason Zucker heading to the box for interfering with Sean Walker.

While on the 4-on-4, the Flyers connected to tie the game at 2 thanks to Travis Konecny’s 25th of the season. Scott Laughton jumped on the Coyotes defender who lost his stick, found himself on an odd-man rush with Konecny, and then fed the team’s leading scorer for the one-timer with 10:05 left.

With 5:58 left, Alex Kerfoot reclaimed the lead for the Coyotes for the third time tonight after he finished his abbreviated breakaway opportunity thanks in large part to a great feed from Zucker.

Frost got the Flyers back onto the power play after he drew a penalty against Jamie McBain for a tripping minor with 4:05 left to play. With a golden opportunity to tie the game, the Flyers weren’t able to muster much of anything. The Flyers then hopped on another power play with Nick Bjugstad tripping up Sanheim just outside the Flyers zone with 43 ticks remaining.

An eventful and long winding period came to a close with the Coyotes heading into the intermission with a 3-2 lead but the Flyers taking the edge in shots with a 21-17 lead through 40 minutes.


Shortly after Bjugstad’s minor expired, Durzi aired one out into the crowd for a delay of game minor, unfortunately the Flyers had nothing to show for for the 6th time in tonight’s game.

Fortunately, the Flyers don’t rely on their power play for offense so they don’t lose momentum when they go 0-for, and in saying that, with 13:48 left to play in the third, Jamie Drysdale scored his second as a member of the Flyers after his pass attempt deflected off the skate of Dumba and past Vejmelka.

About four minutes after Drysdale’s game-tying goal, Laughton’s redemption tour continued as he gave the Flyers their first lead of the game with his wrap-around attempt. Laughton has now scored goals in back-to-back games and recorded his 2nd point of the night. There was going to be a double-minor penalty assessed to Dumba but because Laughton scored, the Flyers were not only awarded the goal but also two-minute power play.

Ersson was tasked with making several ten-bell stops, including a Zucker net-front opportunity that he was able to glove down with relative ease. With the net empty, the Coyotes threw everything including the kitchen sink and with Ersson making multiple key saves, the Flyers grabbed the rebound, got out of the zone, and Tippett secured the victory with an empty net goal for his 19th of the season with 81 seconds remaining.



The Flyers head north of the border to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night (7:00pm ET, NBCSP).

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