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Flyers Send 2 Impressive Prospects Back to Lehigh Valley

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Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia Flyers
Right winger Tyson Foerster had seven points in eight games with the Flyers, but was sent to the Phantoms. Photo: AP.

Earlier in the week, Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella outlined the plans for right winger Tyson Foerster and defenseman Egor Zamula, saying he expected both to be sent back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday.

That plan didn’t change.

Strong performances by both of them — especially Foerster — didn’t alter their fate. After a workmanlike 3-0 win over Detroit on Saturday, Tortorella said both players were heading to the Phantoms.

The Flyers want both of them to benefit from the Phantoms’ push to the playoffs.

Foerster opened eyes during his first taste of the NHL, collecting seven points (three goals, four assists) over eight games.

As the Flyers increased their point streak to five games (4-0-1) on Saturday, Foerster contributed an empty-net goal to ice their third straight victory.

Foerster, 21, extended his point streak to five games, during which he has three goals and and four assists. It is the longest active point streak by an NHL rookie, and tied for the fourth-longest by a first-year player this season.

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Since making his NHL debut on March 9, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound right winger ranks second among NHL rookies in points.

In other words, he was not awed by the next level, and Tortorella said he was especially impressed by his poise with the puck. Foerster, who owns perhaps the hardest shot in the organization, also had a knack for important blocked shots.

“I think he has played really good,” Tortorella said after the Flyers’ latest victory. “That’s how we keep their motivation — telling them how well they’re playing. And he has.”

Ditto Zamula in his latest stint with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The slender 6-3 defenseman had a team-leading three blocked shots Saturday, and he had two points and a plus-1 rating after being recalled earlier in the week and playing three games, all wins.

Zamula, who turns 23 on Thursday, and Foerster will be rejoining a Phantoms team that rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory Saturday night over the host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Adam Brooks scored in overtime for the win. Artem Anisimov, who scored his 17th goal to tie the game in the third period, set up the winning tally.

Defenseman Emil Andrae made his AHL debut and had a secondary assist on Anisimov’s power-play goal.

With nine games remaining, Lehigh Valley’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 13 points. Every point registered by the Phantoms or not gained by Hartford will reduce the magic number.

Breakaways

Sam Ersson, who stopped 19 of 21 shots, became the fifth Lehigh Valley goalie to win 20 games in a season, and the first since Dustin Tokarski in 2017-18. … The Phantoms improved to 18-6-6 in one-goal decisions. … Bobby Brink had the primary assist on Anisimov’s goal. … The Flyers (68 points, NHL’s seventh-worst record) host Montreal (64 points, fifth-worst) on Tuesday. … Joel Farabee has a five-game points streak (4-1), matching his career high. … Carter Hart has a four-game winning streak, during which he has a 2.20 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

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