In potential playoff preview, Flyers suffer OT loss but have plenty to like

In potential playoff preview, Flyers suffer OT loss but have plenty to like originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers stomached a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday night to the Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

But they’ll be happy to come home with a crucial point in their playoff push.

Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny found the back of the net for the Flyers.

Konecny snapped a six-game goal-scoring slump to knot the score midway through the third period. The Flyers outshot the Hurricanes 16-7 in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Laughton drew the Flyers even in the second period 25 seconds after Jordan Martinook opened the scoring.

Seth Jarvis finished a 2-on-1 rush to win it in OT for Carolina.

With that, the Flyers (35-26-9) failed to win consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 6-12, when they ripped off four straight.

Sean Couturier was a healthy scratch for a second straight game, along with Cam Atkinson, Denis Gurianov and Marc Staal.

“It’s tough,” the Flyers’ captain said Tuesday. “I feel I’ve been putting the work in for a while, I know I’ve been struggling, trying to work on my game. Definitely frustrated with the way I’ve been treated around, I guess, lately. It is what it is.”

John Tortorella’s club is 1-2-1 in this grueling seven-game stretch against contenders. It has the Bruins, Panthers and Rangers remaining.

The Flyers went 1-2-1 against the Hurricanes (44-20-6) in their four-game regular-season series. The clubs could have another series starting next month in the playoffs. If the regular season ended today, the Flyers would square off with Carolina in the first round.

The Hurricanes are on quite a run, going 27-7-2 over their last 36 games.

• Tortorella and company aren’t going to celebrate a loss, but the Flyers have to be pleased with how they played, especially in the third period to force overtime. The Hurricanes are one of the hottest teams in the league, they added at the trade deadline and they’re awfully tough to beat at PNC Arena.

For the Flyers to get the better of them in the final stanza and grab a point was huge. The Flyers are 6-7-3 over their last 16 games, but they just need to stay afloat and be competitive through this daunting stretch.

They’ve held down third place since the end of January. With 12 games to go, they’re four points up on the Capitals, who have played two fewer games. They’re six ahead of the Islanders.

The Flyers entered Thursday with a 77.8 percent chance to make the postseason, according to’s probabilities report.

Samuel Ersson did his job, converting 30 saves on 33 shots.

For a second straight start, the 24-year-old rookie gave the Flyers a very good chance to win.

Jalen Chatfield blasted one past Ersson a little over midway through the second period to put the Hurricanes back in front, 2-1.

With under four minutes remaining in the first period, Erik Johnson made a heads-up play to keep the game scoreless. The Flyers’ trade acquisition cut off Martin Necas‘ wraparound attempt by sprawling in front of the left post.

Johnson, Ronnie Attard and Adam Ginning were all a plus-1. Key minutes for the Flyers’ thinned back end.

The Flyers blocked 27 shots after racking up 36 in their 4-3 win Tuesday over the Maple Leafs.

Carolina netminder Frederik Andersen stopped 30 of the Flyers’ 32 shots.

The Flyers’ last-ranked power play went 0 for 3 with a couple of big missed opportunities.

Before Konecny’s equalizer, the Flyers had a chance to tie the game earlier in the third period. They also saw 1:19 minutes of a 5-on-3 in the first period but came up empty.

• Tortorella had to love Bobby Brink‘s assist on Laughton’s game-tying 1-1 goal. The rookie winger made a strong play along the boards to win a puck battle and spring the Flyers in transition.

• The Flyers have a back-to-back set at home this weekend as they welcome the Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Panthers on Sunday (6 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

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