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Flyers Takeaways: Playoff Hopes Grow Without Sean Couturier



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Scott Laughton scored a crucial third period goal to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a massive win on Tuesday night. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers, in desperate need of a win in the midst of their gauntlet of a schedule, got exactly what the doctor ordered when they defeated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.

The difficulty of this test only increased when Flyers head coach John Tortorella yanked captain Sean Couturier from the lineup on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, Tortorella’s gamble paid off in spades, at least for one night.

Frost, Tippett, and York step up for Flyers

As long as Morgan Frost, Owen Tippett, and Cam York are in the Flyers lineup, the team has a chance to win every night. These three have been playing out of their minds lately, and it’s been a huge benefit to the Flyers’ rebuild effort thus far.

Tippett’s 25th goal of the season gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game, assisted by York and Frost. Frost’s 12th goal of the season would later give the Flyers a 3-0 lead in the second period, giving Philadelphia what would ultimately be an insurmountable lead to the visiting Leafs.

York, in addition to his assist, chewed up 26:08 of ice time, helping lock down superstars William Nylander and Auston Matthews, who had quiet nights at 5-on-5.

Ersson bounces back

Perhaps unfairly, questions had been asked of Sam Ersson, his ability to handle tough games, and his ability to shake off rocky starts. Ersson answered those questions for the Flyers tonight.

Ersson was working on a shutout until 1:13 into the third period, when Nylander cashed in on a power play chance from the left circle. Tyler Bertuzzi tucked home a tap-in under Ryan Poehling and Travis Sanheim’s noses nine minutes later, and Toronto captain John Tavares converted in tight with 2:10 remaining.

In short, there wasn’t a whole lot Ersson could have done on the goals that did get by him. By self-admission, it wasn’t his best effort with the goalposts doing some heavy lfiting at times, but only the goals that go in the net are the ones that count.

Ultimately, the 24-year-old finished with 27 saves on 30 shots and helped the Flyers collect a massive win at home.

Attard, Ginning prove capable for Flyers

They didn’t play a ton, but Ronnie Attard and Adam Ginning aided the Flyers’ much more concerted defensive effort on Tuesday night. Attard picked up the lone assist on Frost’s goal, and finished with a respectable 14:07 of ice time.

Tortorella said Attard is still a bit of a “gambler” with the puck on his stick, but lauded the youngster’s overall play in a high-pressure game.

The same held true for Ginning, who “just plays”. The 24-year-old has been up and down as an emergency call-up since making his season debut against Florida last week, but hasn’t missed a beat despite the quick turnarounds. Ginning’s physicality and urgency in his own end stood out to me in his limited minutes.

The Flyers are off on Wednesday and will head down to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Thursday night on the heels of a crucial statement game here in Philadelphia.

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