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5 Observations: Konecny, Hayes Spark Flyers’ Stunning Outburst in Win



Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers right winger Travis Konecny celebrates after scoring his 20th goal against Arizona on Thursday. Photo: AP.

It was another Throwback Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center, and the Philadelphia Flyers paid homage to their stars of the ’90s.

Eric Lindros was in town and banged the drum to start a “Let’s Go Flyers” chant before the game.

Then the Flyers imitated some of Lindros’ offensively charged teams.

Playing their first home game since Dec. 20, they got five second-period goals — five! — and trounced Arizona, 6-2.

It was their highest goal output this season, and it gave the Flyers (15-17-7) four straight victories for the first time in two years.

Goalie Carter Hart called it one of the Flyers best all-around games of the season.

Arizona coach Andre Tourigny had a different view.

“That’s probably the worst game we’ve played in two years,” he said after the Coyotes (13-19-5) lost their 11th straight road contest.

Here are five quick observations

1. Travis Konecny reached the 20-goal mark on a night he was somehow snubbed from the All-Star team.

Can someone please explain how Konecny was bypassed (so far) for the Metro Division All-Star team?

Didn’t think so.

The voting was done by the NHL hockey operations department.

No offense to Kevin Hayes, who is having a quality season and was named to the team, but Konecny has been the Flyers’ best forward.

Konecny (three points) scored his 20th goal Thursday and is on pace for 42 goals. His career high is 24. He leads the Flyers in goals and points (40).

Hayes (three points), a first-time All-Star, has 10 goals and 35 points in five more games than his teammate.

Two other skaters will be added to the team through a vote by  fans.

In recent franchise history, Konecny joined Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter as Flyers who have scored 20 goals in their first 33 games or fewer.

2. Flyers had their most explosive period since 2019.

Konecny (goal, two assists), Hayes (goal, two assists) and Morgan Frost (three assists) each had three points as the Philadelphia Flyers erupted for five second-period goals. Frost finished with four assists.

Ivan Provorov (first in 26 games), Wade Allison (first in nine games) and Joel Farabee (third in six games) also scored second-period goals for Philly.

That’s the most goals they have scored in a period since a five-goal, third-period outburst in a 6-1 win over visiting Toronto on Dec. 3, 2019. The Flyers’ third-period scorers that night were Claude Giroux, Konecny, Farabee, Shayne Gostisbehere (who opposed them last night), and James van Riemsdyk.

3. Carter Hart looked somewhat rusty in his return

Hart, who played his first game since suffering a concussion on Dec. 23 against Carolina, allowed two goals on the Coyotes’ first six shots.

Arizona took a 1-0 ;lead as Michael Carcone chipped the puck around Rasmus Ristolainen and went in alone before putting a shot off Hart and into the net. Hart will also want the second goal back.

4. The offense has awakened.

With Thursday’s outburst, the Flyers have scored four or more goals in five straight games — a positive sign for a team that has scuffled for offense most of the season because of the absence of Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson.

5. Give props to former Flyer Shayne Gostisbehere.

The 29-year-old defenseman played in his 500th career game and, fittingly, it was played at the Wells Fargo Center, where he jump-started his career.

Injuries have slowed him down in some seasons, but he has thrived in Arizona. Now in his second year with the Coyotes, Gostisbehere entered the night with nine goals — the fourth-most by an NHL defenseman.

Gostisbehere had an “even” plus-minus rating Thursday, playing a game-high 23:29 and taking two shots.


Van Riemsdyk closed the scoring late in the game, with Frost collecting his fourth assist of the night on the tally.  … Cam York had his seventh assist in eight games. … Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier had a pair of goals as Team USA defeated Sweden in overtime, 8-7, to capture the bronze medal Thursday in the World Juniors. Canada won the title with a 3-2 OT victory over Czechia. Connor Bedard, 17, who had 23 points in the tourney, was named the WJC MVP. … The Coyotes used 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … The Flyers host powerful Toronto on Sunday night.

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