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Flyers Takeaways: Carrying Momentum Into Massive Weekend Stretch



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Sam Ersson made 30 saves on 33 shots for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo: AP)

You can’t win them all, right? Digging their heels in at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., the Philadelphia Flyers escaped with a point, losing 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime.

If the playoffs started today, these two teams would face each other in the first round. Despite a slower, evenly-matched start in the first period, the Flyers opened things up in the second, offensively and defensively, good and bad.

Flyers still getting complementary offense

After Jordan Martinook scored from the high slot on a 3-on-2 to give Carolina a 1-0 lead, Scott Laughton answered for the Flyers just 25 seconds later. Laughton, who scored his 12th goal of the season, beat Frederik Andersen under the glove on a breakaway to tie it up.

The 29-year-old had a strong end to February, but his production has waned in the latter stages of March. Laughton now has goals in consecutive games after going on a five-game point drought from March 7 to March 16.

Joel Farabee’s assist gives him his first assist since Feb. 27, while Bobby Brink’s secondary assist gave him his first assist since Dec. 28. All three of these guys are players the Flyers need to be facilitating offense down the stretch.

Konecny steps up for the Flyers

After Jalen Chatfield restored Carolina’s one-goal lead midway through the second period, the Flyers needed to find a way to produce another goal against a notoriously staunch defensive team. Travis Konecny, who hasn’t scored a goal since Feb. 21, answered the bell.

Owen Tippett fanned on a shot that led to a goal against Toronto on Tuesday night and did the same here. Executing a one-two with Konecny, Tippett motored down low into the crease before his failed shot attempt landed between the wickets of Morgan Frost.

Frost alertly played the puck between his legs to Konecny behind the net, and Konecny promptly wrapped around to the front of the net to deposit the puck for an easy goal.

“This group continues to give ourselves a chance in games,” Konecny assessed. “We just need to stick around, if we’re up or down, and stay in the fight.”

Konecny’s 28th goal of the season would ultimately buy the Flyers one point as they trudged into overtime in Carolina.

Ersson stands tall again

Despite Seth Jarvis ending the game on a 2-on-1 with Brent Burns, Sam Ersson again performed admirably for the Flyers. Any concerns about his durability and performances under pressure should swiftly be dismissed after his 30-save effort against a high-powered Carolina team on Thursday night.

Ersson is already playing behind a depleted defense corps and one that just played 23-year-old Cam York for a career-high 29:01 ice time. Travis Sanheim was a distant second, clocking in with 26:31 despite playing just 51 seconds on the penalty kill.

Of games he’s completed from start to finish in the last two weeks, Ersson has faced 30, 29, 30, and now 33 shots on goal. The 24-year-old has been busy lately and has managed to add wins against Florida, Toronto, and San Jose to his name during that time.

As long as Ersson can remain consistent, there should be no questions about his ability to perform going forward. Now, the Flyers must carry some momentum into this weekend stretch that features rematches with the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center.

Oh, and they’ll have to do it on a back-to-back.

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