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5 Takeaways: Flyers Beat Wild in Shootout; Tortorella Gets 700th Win

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Carter Hart, Morgan Frost, Philadelphia Flyers
Carter Hart (left) and Morgan Frost celebrate the Flyers' latest win Thursday at the WFC. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers have a four-game point streak for the first time since Dec. 29 to Jan. 5.

Tyson Foerster’s second goal of the season tied Thursday’s game with less than six minutes left, and the Flyers won it in a shootout, 5-4, over visiting Minnesota.

James van Riemsdyk had the only goal in the shootout, during which goalie Carter Hart was perfect.

Philly (27-32-12) is on a goal-scoring spree.

“Pucks are going in for us,” said John Tortorella after notching his 700th career victory. “… When we were losing, we weren’t playing that bad. We just couldn’t find the net. We were scoring two goals” a game.

They have 19 goals over their last four games, going 3-0-1 in that span, beating Buffalo, Florida, and Minnesota, and dropping a heartbreaking overtime decision to Carolina. The Hurricanes tied the game with three-tenths of a second left in regulation.

Owen Tippett was called for hooking 18:26 of the third period. The Wild (41-22-9), who slipped to second place in the Central Division, had 26 seconds of power play time in overtime, but the Flyers killed it.

That proved critical.

Here are five observations:

1.  Rasmus Ristolainen is getting more offensive chances.

Ristolainen wound up at the point on the power play and netted his third goal of the season at 19:37 of the second period to tie the game at 3-3. The big Finn has been getting more power-play time, and he has been getting more points.

2. MInnesota’s Matt Boldy’s first goal was too easy.

Boldy walked the puck to around 13 feet from the net and wristed it past Hart to make it a 2-2 game at 15:41 of the second period. The Flyers’ defense tends to play too much down low and leave that middle area empty.

Shortly after that goal, Marcus Foligno scored to make it a 3-2 game at 18:16 of the second period. Boldy later got his second goal of the game to give his team a 4-3 lead.

3. Noah Cates, Joel Farabee make things happen again.

The Flyers went up 2-1 with a goal by Joel Farabee, his 13th. He got a deflection off a Noah Cates shot. Farabee has scored in four straight. Cates and Cam York got the assists.

Farabee has been going to the net and that’s helped him get back on track this season after being goal-less in 26 straight games.

“A lot of guys are playing well right now,” he said. “I feel like we’re coming out of our zone a lot better than we were, and that’s helping us get our offense going. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going.”

“He’s been around the net. Does it again tonight,” Tortorella said about Farabee. “You want some players to find their way so they can have a good mindset when they leave for the summer.”

4. Flyers still not clearing the crease.

Oskar Sundqvist cycled well in the first period. He passed the puck, went to the net — where he remained untouched — and deflected in a goal to make it a 1-1 at 16:35 of the first period. The Flyers are still having trouble keeping the area in front of their goalie clean.

5. Travis Sanheim is starting to put it together.

Sanheim got the puck going up the ice, eventually making a nice pass to Scott Laughton, who beat Fleury for his 17th goal of the season. That put the Flyers up 1-0 at 12:58 of the first period. Van Riemsdyk and Sanheim get the helpers. It was Sanheim’s 100th career assist.

“Yeah, obviously it starts below our net,” Sanheim said. “I get the puck, use my legs, which is something that I want to do as often as I can, and saw a little bit of ice. It was a chance to join and our winger did a great job chipping that into space for me to skate into it and get it over to Laughts and he buries it.”

Breakaways

Tortorella downplayed his milestone win. Does it mean anything to you? “No,” he responded. … Minnesota was winning 88% on face-offs in the first period, but it managed to take 54% of the draws over the entire game. … Tony DeAngelo had two assists. … Laughton had five shots. … The Flyers had a 34-24 shots advantage. … The Flyers host Detroit on Saturday….Nick Deslauriers tweaked something in warm-ups and was scratched.

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