Flyers’ comeback bid falls short in OT, two players banged up

Flyers’ comeback bid falls short in OT, two players banged up originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers couldn’t quite overcome an Auston Matthews onslaught Thursday night as they suffered a 4-3 overtime loss at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

With third-period goals from Garnet Hathaway and Travis Konecny, the Flyers erased a 3-1 deficit to force OT.

But William Nylander thwarted the Flyers‘ rally with the game-winner only 54 seconds into the bonus session.

The Flyers looked like they were in line for a regulation loss when Matthews erupted during the second period. In a span of 7:49 minutes, the Maple Leafs‘ superstar flipped the game upside down with a hat trick.

After holding a 1-0 lead over halfway through the game, the Flyers were suddenly down by two goals before the third period started. Matthews entered the game on pace for 68 markers this season. His three goals were Nos. 43, 44 and 45.

The Flyers (29-19-7) saw their four-game winning streak come to an end. But considering the third-period circumstances, they’ll certainly take having a five-game point streak going into the 2024 Stadium Series.

With 27 games left, John Tortorella’s club holds a playoff spot, sitting in third place of the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are seven points up on the fourth-place Devils, who they meet outdoors Saturday.

The Flyers are 0-6-1 and have been outscored 33-15 in their last seven matchups with the Maple Leafs (28-16-8).

They’re really getting tested by the Atlantic Division down the stretch. They have eight games remaining against the Panthers, Bruins, Lightning and Maple Leafs, the top four teams in the Atlantic. So far, the Flyers are 1-2-1 against those clubs.

• For the first time after the extended break, Samuel Ersson suffered a loss.

He made 24 saves on 28 shots.

Matthews was a pretty unstoppable force in the second period. Toronto took advantage of a bad line change by the Flyers on Matthews’ first goal. The 26-year-old center’s go-ahead marker came on a power play blast from the circle.

He brought the hats down on an impressive wrist shot with 1:05 minutes left in the middle stanza.

Nylander won the game when he snuck behind the Flyers’ coverage for a good look.

Maple Leafs netminder Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 of the Flyers’ 32 shots.

Hathaway scored a greasy goal with 5:46 minutes left in regulation, just about a minute before Konecny tied the game on the Flyers’ power play.

• In his first game as the Flyers’ captain, Sean Couturier played a season-low 12:53 minutes.

The 31-year-old center appeared to be slashed in his left leg by Tyler Bertuzzi midway through the third period. He was hobbled as he went to the bench.

Couturier took another shift but didn’t play the final six minutes of regulation or in overtime.

Via ESPN+, rewatched the third-period slash on Sean Couturier.

You can hear/see him in pain. Appeared to be to his left leg.

He took another shift but didn’t play final six minutes of regulation or in overtime.

— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 16, 2024

Cam York was forced to exit 4:24 minutes into the third period when he took a big hit from Simon Benoit along the back boards.

Nicolas Deslauriers quickly came to York’s defense by dropping the gloves with Benoit.

York was able to skate off under his own power but did not return to the game.

The Flyers have a 2 p.m. ET outdoor practice Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We should know more then on the statuses of Couturier and York.

• The Flyers struck first with their league-leading 13th shorthanded goal.

Travis Sanheim scored on a beautiful move in the first period after taking a pass from Scott Laughton.

Playing amid trade buzz, Laughton has been very good in the five games out the bye week and All-Star break. He also leads the NHL in shorthanded scoring over the last two seasons with 13 points (four goals, nine assists).

Owen Tippett and Jamie Drysdale both played after missing practice Wednesday for maintenance reasons.

As expected, Tyson Foerster (lower body) and Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body) were unavailable. More on their statuses here.

Tortorella went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

• The Flyers meet New Jersey under the MetLife Stadium lights Saturday (8 p.m. ET/ABC).

The game can be live streamed here on ESPN+.

The league will host a fan festival in parking lot G of MetLife Stadium from 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET.

For Flyers fans going to the Stadium Series on Saturday, there is a fan festival in MetLife Stadium parking lot G from 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET.

There will be live music and the Stanley Cup will be on hand for photo opportunities.

More details below.

— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 16, 2024

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