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Drysdale’s First Point; Flyers defeat Canadiens, 3-2 in Shootout

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Philadelphia Flyers
Jamie Drysdale recorded his first Philadelphia Flyers point against the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2 in the shootout, in Jamie Drysdale’s first game as a Flyer on Wednesday night.

Newcomer Jamie Drysdale was the receipient of raucous applause from the Wells Fargo Center crowd after being announced as a starter Wednesday night, and then drew more cheers on each of his first two puck touches. Unfortunately, the Flyers found themselves down 1-0 less than a minute later thanks to a Sean Monahan deflection on a long-range Justin Barron shot. An embarrassing penalty called on Tyson Foerster from a linesman that was 100 feet away from the play sent the Flyers to the kill midway through the first period.

Ryan Poehling had a short-handed breakaway opportunity denied by Cole Caufield, who stick-lifted him on the backcheck to prevent a shot attempt. Barring that break from Poehling, the Flyers had no momentum thanks to that phantom penalty call. Immediately after, David Savard scored on a wacky bounce off Morgan Frost, giving the Canadiens a 2-0 lead and two goals on two shots. With under four minutes to go in the opening frame, Sean Couturier faked a shot and threw a pass towards Travis Konecny at the far post. That pass hit a skate and bounced to Owen Tippett, who promptly deposited into the open net to bring the Flyers within one.

Sam Ersson made his first save of the night with 18:26 left in the second, and wound up making two more inside the next three minutes of action. This just goes to show that even with the Flyers well in control of the game, they had very few bounces go their way. That continued to ring true when Tippett rung iron off the inside post with his shot bouncing out and away. With just over 11 minutes to go in the second, the Flyers bucked that trend Morgan Frost scored a power play goal from the left circle after receiving a pass from Drysdale from the point. On the goal Drysdale recorded his first point – a primary assist – as a Flyer. When his assist was read out, No. 9 received yet another huge cheer from the Flyers faithful.

Suddenly, after falling behind two goals off two fluke bounces, the Flyers pulled themselves back even in no time. The Habs, again, had another unproductive period offensively; they finished the second with eight total shots on goal.

The Canadiens started the third period much faster, opening with a 2-on-1 that ended with a missed shot and then a Josh Anderson power move that Ersson kept out of the net. The visitors had the greater share of scoring chances in the final frame, though it generally had the feel of two teams waffling around for the last 10 minutes trying to safely come away with a point. Tippett hit the post again with just over nine minutes to play, with the chance coming off a broken play in the zone. Couturier also had a broken play bounce his way but Cayden Primeau was square to the chance for a comfortable save.

The Flyers had a broken play of their own with four minutes to go as Anderson got loose to go 1-on-1 with Ersson, but the Swede came up with a massive pad stop to preserve the tie. That key save would be enough to send the game to overtime… again. If there’s a record for overtime games played by one goalie in a season, I’m sure Ersson is pretty close if he doesn’t have it already.

Drysdale impressed in the extra frame, laying a sweet pass onto Frost’s stick through traffic to create a break, but Primeau came up with the tough stop. The former Duck also broke up a 1-on-1 early in the overtime and had a few decent scoring chances of his own. Scott Laughton and Anderson traded Grade-A scoring chances, but no dice. To the shootout they went.

Couturier scored on his first shot, and Nick Suzuki and Travis Konecny both missed. Cole Caufield came up empty-handed, as did Bobby Brink. Jesse Ylonen missed, giving the Flyers a 3-2 win.

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