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Flyers Takeaways: ‘Rat’ Konecny, Ersson Inspire 4-1 Win over Jets

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Travis Konecny scored a Gordie Howe hat trick for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. (Photo: AP)

Who said the Philadelphia Flyers needed to trade for a goaltender?

Super Sam Ersson

Sam Ersson has been nothing short of excellent over his last two starts for the Flyers, stopping 48 of the last 50 shots he’s faced. Oh, and not to mention those two starts came against the Winnipeg Jets and the Florida Panthers; two juggernauts who are third and eighth in the NHL, respectively.

Ersson faced more than his fair share of work of Thursday night. The Flyers, who out-attempted the Jets 21-10 at 5-on-5 in the first period, were out-attempted 42-15 by the Jets over the final two periods.

“They’re going to create their chances,” Ersson said of the Jets. “When they’re down by three or four, they’re going to take a little more chances of their own.”

After such a dominant first period, though, the Flyers were asking a lot of the 24-year-old rookie with their sloppy play to close the game out.

“I think you have to stay ready. The way we’ve been playing this year, we’re so good at not allowing a lot of shots because we’re making it difficult for them to find puck lanes to our net,” Ersson said. “Obviously, it’s my job to always be ready. They’re going to get their chances.”

Travis Konecny sparks Flyers

Konecny will go down as the Gordie Howe hat trick hero, for the second time in his career, but to him, it was just another day in the office. He scored, assisted, and fought in the first period, all within 4:08.

“We got out of there,” Konecny said of the game, clearly not enthused about how the final 40 minutes went. As you might expect, there were some positives from the Flyers’ 4-1 win over Winnipeg. Konecny’s fight was one of them.

“I think he caught me and I thought it was intentional,” the 26-year-old recalled. “Maybe the right guy at the right time. I just thought maybe I had a chance.”

Neal Pionk is listed at 6-foot, 190 lbs, while Konecny is listed at 5-foot-10, 192 lbs. Konecny’s analysis would be spot-on.

“A little bit of a rat,” as Scott Laughton would describe.

Dylan Samberg took a shot at the Flyers’ net at the end of the second period,  and rest assured Konecny and Co. made their thoughts known with a good old fashioned scrum after the horn.

“I know it’s not intentional,” Konecny said. “It’s just more of a ‘set the tone’, like we’re not going to let that slide. You never know when one of those pucks deflects, hits somebody. Maybe Erss has to try on something like that when there’s no need to.”

Flyers want more complete performance

Konecny, Laughton, and John Tortorella all indicated that the Flyers’ performance needed to be better in different ways. Tortorella did so with a classic one-minute press conference complete with one-word answers, rhetorical questions, and other wise quips to deflect attention away from his players.

“I thought we had really, really good jump,” Laughton assessed. “Kind of fell back there in the second and third, and let ’em play, make plays through us, and Erssy was great for us tonight – again.”

“Ww got to find a way to kind of close out games better, be better in front of him where we’re not giving up that many opportunities,” Laughton continued. “I thought our spacing was a little off. We got to dial it in when we’re up and figure it out.”

Tyson Foerster, Konecny, and Morgan Frost scored the Flyers’ first three goals in the first period, and Ryan Poehling added the fourth on the penalty kill in the second period. Kyle Connor pulled one back for the Jets late in the third period, but the game was already well in hand for Philadelphia.

The Flyers host the Seattle Kraken at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

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