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Flyers’ John Tortorella On Win vs Penguins: ‘We’ve got balls’

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Philadelphia Flyers, John Tortorella
Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella was loving the team's win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers came into this road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins winless in games that they’ve allowed the first goal. They also came in with a power play that was 1-for-29 away from home this season.

Not only did the Flyers defeat the Penguins, 4-3, in the shootout at PPG Paints Arena, but they scored an all-important power play goal for their third tally of the game. It was Tyson Foerster who scored it, and it was also Tyson Foerster who assisted Owen Tippett’s game-tying goal in the second period to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flyers‘ win over the Penguins was a gutsy one, and the team knows it. Head coach John Tortorella would be the first one to say it.

“We win the game because we’ve got balls. We do,” Tortorella said. “We do stupid stuff. We don’t make plays sometimes. [We] lose sight of certain momentums in the game, a number of things we have to work on and try to get consistent at. But one thing we do have is balls.”

Flyers Win Momentum Battle

Tortorella is right. This is a game that the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t look like they were winning, and it was a game they haven’t won all season. Indeed, momentum swings were going to be a challenge for this young Flyers team, but it was veteran forward Scott Laughton’s short-handed goal that shifted the tides for good.

“I almost blacked out,” Laughton said of his goal.

For all his experience, this was a big moment for Laughton, too. The 29-year-old had scored just one goal on 55 shots this year, with another 12 goalless games having passed since then. Laughton has also had some penalty trouble in the last two weeks, and is averaging over 3 minutes less ice time from last season.

It didn’t matter on Saturday night. The Flyers were winning that game.

Tortorella went with the hot hand with Foerster in the shootout. Sean Couturier used his new signature pivot move on Tristan Jarry. The Philadelphia Flyers’ leading goal-scorer Travis Konecny shot last to try to seal the deal. It didn’t all work out, to that end, but it was Sam Ersson who picked the team up when they needed it.

That kind of effort was present at both ends of the ice on Saturday night.

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