Flyers Notebook: In Loss, Some Positives, Especially 4th Line
The Philadelphia Flyers blew a late 3-2 lead and dropped a 4-3 overtime decision Saturday to visiting Carolina. Still, there were a handful of positives for the losers.
‘I thought we played two good periods, the second and third third,” said coach John Tortorella, whose 5-2-1 Flyers are in a first-place tie with the Hurricanes in the Metro said. “I thought it was the best two periods we’ve played in quite a while.”
They battled back from a 2-0 deficit. Again.
And they did it by getting offense from unexpected sources. Nick Deslauriers, Owen Tippett, and Wade Allison — three players who had combined for one goal entering Saturday — scored for the Flyers.
The fourth line had a tenacious forecheck and a productive night.
Raise your hand if you expected the fourth unit — Lukas Sedlak centering Deslauriers and Allison — combining for two goals and four assists against the defensive-minded Hurricanes.
Didn’t think so.
“We need to get goals by committee; they help us out,” Tortorella said.
“We’re having fun out there,” Allison said. “We’re working hard. We kind of know where each other is going to be, so it’s been good.”
Sedlak had two points, compiled a plus-2 rating, and won 75% (6 of 8) of his faceoffs. He was a waiver-wire pick up from Colorado, and played for Tortorella in Columbus.
“You see all the best teams in the NHL have a fourth line that can score goals, too,” said Sedlak, who had a pair of assists. “It’s not just grinders and fighters anymore.”
Speaking of which …
Nick Desaluriers had his best game in a young tenure as a Flyer.
Known for his fighting and physical play, Deslauriers had a goal, an assist, four hits, and a plus-2 rating.
“We had some good shifts,” Deslauriers said. “I don’t think we spent a lot of time in our D-zone. We had the puck more often.”
The Flyers allowed the first goal for the seventh time in eight games.
Even worse, they fell into a 2-0 hole for the fifth time.
Playing catch-up has a way of wearing a team down, and the Flyers were thoroughly dominated in the overtime.
The Flyers also continued to get outshot. This time, it was 38-29. The previous game, Florida had a 51-22 domination.
Philly has been outshot in six of eight games.
Joel Farabee had a rare off night.
The top-line left winger was minus-3 and did not have a shot while playing 19:45.
Carter Hart (5-0-1) is tied for second in the NHL in wins; he is sixth in save percentage (.938) and 10th in GAA (2.31). … The Flyers play the Rangers in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.