Following the leaguewide holiday break, the Flyers returned to action Thursday against the Sharks and started their west coast road trip off on an impressive note.
The Flyers pulled off a 4-3 comeback victory against the Sharks in overtime. This marks the first overtime win of the season for the club.
This was the second and final matchup between the Flyers and Sharks for the 2022-23 season. Their first meeting dates back to Oct. 23, when Sharks' James Reimer shut out the Flyers in Philly.
Heading into this game, both teams found themselves in very similar situations. The Flyers and Sharks are sitting seventh in their respected divisions, and prior to tonight's game, were 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.
Samuel Ersson got the start in net for the Flyers. This was only his second career NHL start - his last being just before the break against the Hurricanes. He allowed five goals before Carter Hart relieved him. Due to an upper-body injury for Hart, Ersson finished off the game and finished with 25 saves on 30 shots.
Hart, while on Injured Reserve, did travel with the team. He could be activated as early as this weekend.
Thomas Hertl opened the scoring nearing the midway point of the first period. Erik Karlsson tallied an assist on the goal, which extended his point streak to 11 games. He is now tied for the longest point streak by a defensemen in the league during the current season.
It took less than a minute before that was all tossed to the wayside thanks to none other than Travis Konecny.
- Konecny continues to show up
Say what you want about it being a frustrating season, but it has nothing to do with Konecny.
He scored the Flyers' first goal of the evening - but based on his performance leading up to it - it shouldn't have come as a surprise. Between a breakaway in the opening minutes to a heck of a pass to Tony DeAngelo that led to a shot on goal - he set the tone for his performance for the night.
Konecny was the most consistent player in the opening 20 minutes and was ultimately rewarded with his 16th goal of the season. Credit DeAngelo with the assist.
Jump ahead to the final three minutes of regulation, where Konecny once again finds the back of the net.
He does not stop scoring and it is a joy to watch.
His two-point night marks the fourth consecutive multi-point game for Konecny. Sean Couturier was the last Flyer to do so, in 2019.
- Redemption for Ersson
After coming off of a rocky performance against the Hurricanes (the majority of it not even being his fault), Ersson seemed to have found some element of comfort to his game against the Sharks.
His most notable moments came in the winding minutes of the second period, when the Sharks went to the power play. Travis Sanheim was called for interference and San Jose immediately flipped a switch to create the most intense sequence of the evening.
Yes, we've now only seen two games from Ersson. Two games that are impossible to compare due to the level of talent on each opposing team. However, a win in any capacity when you're a young goalie in the league, is going to help when it comes to confidence.
The biggest question for his development will be how quickly he adapts to the speed of the NHL. With flashes of it tonight, he doesn't seem too far away.
- Appreciating the good
Sometimes you need to take a moment to simply appreciate a complete play. Let's do that with Owen Tippett's goal in the third period.
Nick Seeler fed the puck to James van Riemsdyk behind the Sharks' net, who quickly found Tippett for the goal. The movement of the three, placement of the pass and zero hesitation from Tippett makes for a great goal.
When you think of hot and cold streaks in this league, James van Riemsdyk is easily one of the biggest culprits. With an assist on Tippett's goal, he's now tallied a point in six of his last eight games.
- A big, much needed overtime win
Prior to tonight, the Flyers were 0-7 this season when they went to overtime.
This game could've gone either way through two periods. When Kevin Labanc scored in the opening minute of the third period to give the Sharks a two-goal lead, that could've been the momentum killer. But it wasn't.
Not only was it great to see the Flyers force overtime, there was no sense of settlement until the game went final. They fought their way back in the third period and took the win right from under the Sharks' noses.
DeAngelo scored the game-winning goal and wrapped up the night with three points.
- Next up
Tonight's win was the first stop on the annual west coast road trip. They still have to face the Kings (12/31), Ducks (1/2) and Coyotes (1/5).
With their win tonight, the Flyers head to Los Angeles and will look to win consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 5-8.