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5 Observations: Flyers Fall in OT in Vegas Despite Strong Effort

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Noah Cates, Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers center Noah Cates tries to maneuver past Mark Stone in Friday's game in Las Vegas. Photo: AP.

What happens in Vegas, the Philadelphia Flyers hope, carries into Arizona.

They didn’t win Friday — dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to Vegas at T-Mobile Arena — but they played well and salvaged a point against one of the NHL’s better teams.

Jonathan Marchessault scored on a breakaway with 1:39 left in overtime to give the Golden Knights the victory. Kevin Hayes’ turnover led to the breakaway.

But Philly will be a winner Sunday in Arizona if it plays like it did Friday.

The Flyers (9-13-6) lost for the 14th time in their last 16 games. Vegas improved to 20-8-1.

Here are five quick observations:

1. The Flyers played a strong road game.

Philly killed a tripping penalty on Noah Cates with 2:56 left in regulation, helping them earn a point.

The Flyers didn’t allow many power-play chances, and when they did, Carter Hart made a terrific stop on William Karlsson with 1:01 to go.

Vegas finished with a 34-28 shots edge. The Flyers outhit the Golden Knights, 40-23.

2. Scott Laughton gets an early Christmas gift.

Vegas goalie Adin Hill went behind the net and, inexplicably, cleared the puck to Scott Laughton. As Hill skated back to his goal, Laughton whipped a shot from behind the goal line that deflected off the goalie’s stick and into the net.

That ended Laughton’s 16-game goal-less streak and knotted the score at 1-all with 18:13 remaining in the second period.

“I hadn’t had one in a while, so hopefully this kick-starts the offense a little bit for myself and I can help contribute that way,” Laughton said.

3. The Flyers continued to have problems finishing.

Philly entered the night last in the NHL, averaging 2.41 goals per game.

That number dropped.

Joel Farabee was denied by Hill on a two-on-one early in the first period. Late in the first, Hill turned aside a great chance by Morgan Frost, who has just one goal in his last 26 games.

With the game tied at 1-1 and 13:08 left in regulation, Farabee went in on a breakaway but Hill stopped his backhander.

The inability to finish scoring chances is the main reason the Flyers have only one win in the 10 games that were tied heading into the third period.

4. Cam York made a nice season debut for the Flyers.

The 21-year-old defenseman, recalled from the Phantoms on Thursday, was assertive, made some good pinches, set up a two-on-one, and had a solid overall game.

York was on the ice to start the OT, showing the confidence coach John Tortorella has in him.

5. Carter Hart rebounded after helping to give Vegas the early lead.

Hart gave up a bad rebound that William Carrier converted into the game’s first goal with 8:15 left in the first. It marked the 21st time in 28 games that the Flyers allowed the first goal.

Carrier, who turns 28 later this month, controlled the puck next to Rasmus Ristolainen and chipped a rebound over Hart. It was his ninth goal, equaling a career high.

Hart, who made his sixth straight start, rebounded and was excellent the rest of the way, making big stops on Reilly Smith, Paul Cotter, Phil Kessel, Mark Stone, and Carrier. He was especially effective stopping shots with his glove.

During regulation, Hart stopped 32 of 33 shots.

Breakaways

The Flyers’ fourth line — Patrick Brown centering Nick Deslauriers and Lukas Sedlak (seven hits) — had a strong game and created several scoring chances. They combined for six shots. … Zack MacEwen had nine shot attempts (four on goal) and four hits. … Vegas is now 16-3 when scoring the first goal. … Laughton’s goal was his first since Oct. 27. … Vegas’ William Karlsson hit the post with a little over a minute left in the first. … The Flyers are now 3-2 in career games in Vegas. … Vegas had a 21-5 domination in shot attempts over the last 11-plus minutes of the second period. … Kessel played in his 1,011th straight game, an ongoing  NHL record. … The Golden Knights controlled the faceoff circle, winning 61 percent of the draws.

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