Flyers’ Locker Room: Sam Ersson Reacts to His First NHL Victory
In their first game since returning from the holiday break, the Philadelphia Flyers did what they do best. And that’s being able to battle back to the end.
After going down 3-1 just 52 seconds into the third period, Owen Tippett and Travis Konecny scored to tie the game and send it to overtime. Just 1:10 into the extra frame, Tony DeAngelo gave the Flyers their first overtime victory of the season, 4-3, in San Jose.
More importantly, Sam Ersson responded after a rough debut six nights ago. John Tortorella decided to go back to the young goaltender after being impressed with his third period against Carolina.
And the promising Ersson delivered with 25 saves on 28 shots. He was especially huge on a PK late in the second period. The Flyers were down 2-1 and had given up a power-play goal earlier in the period.
“Big in the second period there, really big part of the game when we were killing the penalty,” John Tortorella said about Ersson’s effort. “We couldn’t clear the puck out three or four times. That’s when he made three or four really big saves.”
One of those important saves came on a chance by Logan Couture from in tight. Ersson flashed the glove to keep the deficit at one goal at that point.
“That’s kind of your job as a goalie, you need to do that,” Ersson said about his big saves on the PK. “Especially now when we come out with the win. I can look back at those saves. Those were big saves in the moment.”
It was especially important to Ersson, 23, that he showed the Flyers the kind of goaltender he can be. And with Carter Hart expected to return this weekend, this game went a long way in showing what Ersson can bring.
‘Needed to respond’
“Definitely a game I needed to respond in. It wasn’t perfect for a stretch, but definitely a big step forward,” Ersson said in regard to the victory. “I think I showed. … coming up big a couple of times, made some big stops. That’s what I need to do. I gotta show that I can help this team and win to fight for playing time.”
First-career win and Player of the Game honors for Samuel Ersson! #PHIvsSJS | #FueledByPhilly pic.twitter.com/UZMv6lDzcJ
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) December 30, 2022
Ersson became the first Flyers’ goaltender to win his second career after after giving up five or more goals in his first game since Brian Boucher in 1999.
So what exactly does Ersson need to do right now to stay in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers?
“More of this,” he said. “More of winning games and showing I can contribute.”