Flyers analysis

Hart's return delayed by illness, Flyers break slump in win over Ducks

Ersson had a career-high 35 saves for the Flyers

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The Flyers simplified their approach early and found the scoring touch late to pick up a 6-3 win Friday night over the Ducks in Anaheim, California.

Eleven different Flyers recorded at least a point at Honda Center, with four enjoying multi-point performances.

John Tortorella's club badly needed a night like this offensively.

After scoring just one goal over their previous two games, the Flyers (6-7-1) got markers from Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson and Louie Belpedio only 22:33 minutes into Friday night's action.

In the third period, Travis Sanheim scored the Flyers' fourth goal with a beautiful move and finish just outside the crease. Owen Tippett iced the game with some dazzle of his own and then an empty-netter for a two-goal night.

Leo Carlsson, the 2023 second overall draft pick, delivered a hat trick for the Ducks (7-6-0).

But the Flyers led for 55-plus minutes and never trailed.

The club split its two-game regular-season series with Anaheim. The Ducks handed the Flyers a 7-4 loss in Philadelphia almost two weeks ago.

• Sanheim was excellent all night.

The 27-year-old defenseman finished with three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-4 rating.

Just as important as the offensive production, he made some strong, physical plays defensively and had four blocked shots.

Sanheim is the Flyers' leading scorer through 14 games. He has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) and has played 25:49 minutes per game.

"There’s more opportunity, I want to take advantage of that this season," Sanheim said after a stressful but impactful offseason. "I think that was one of the main things in the summer, that you see opportunity and it makes you excited. For the first time probably in my career, some different spots are available. I want to take advantage of that."

• Tortorella told reporters at morning skate in Anaheim that Carter Hart was unavailable because of an illness.

The good news is that the 25-year-old was slated to return from his mid-body injury. Both Tortorella and Hart confirmed to reporters the day before at practice that the netminder was cleared to start against the Ducks.

As Hart had to miss his fourth straight game, Samuel Ersson started in net and finished as the game's first star.

The 24-year-old was very good in converting a career-high 35 saves.

He was crucial in the opening four and a half minutes of the game. Ersson allowed his team to get settled in, making four saves before the Flyers registered a shot on goal and Couturier scored.

With the Flyers holding a 3-0 lead in the second period, Anaheim cracked Ersson when Carlsson scored a power play marker.

The goal came with 6:45 minutes left in the middle stanza. The Flyers played with fire by giving the Ducks two more power plays before second intermission. Fortunately for the Flyers, their penalty kill came up big to keep Anaheim at bay.

Early in the third period, Ersson saw Carlsson again on the power play but robbed him this time. The 18-year-old, a Swedish product like Ersson, was able to give the Flyers' goaltender some credit for the highlight-reel stop.

Carlsson still scored two more in the third — one at even strength, the other at 6-on-4 — but the Flyers had a three-goal cushion each time.

Ducks netminder Lukas Dostal faced 35 shots from the Flyers and stopped 30 of them.

• Travis Konecny didn't have a point and the Flyers scored six goals and won by three.

Getting contributions elsewhere was a positive sign for the Flyers.

Joel Farabee, who picked up two assists, has 12 points (six goals, six assists) and a plus-8 mark through 14 games.

• Couturier and Atkinson looked like veterans that knew exactly what to do when a team is fighting it offensively.

They scored the Flyers' first two goals, both right by the net. It set the tone and relieved some pressure.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 3 and is now 4 for 48 on the season.

But it didn't matter in this one.

• Morgan Frost was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday for the seventh time. He had an assist and won 12 of 16 faceoffs.

• The Flyers are right back it Saturday when they head to Los Angeles for a matchup with the Kings (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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