No Hart, but Flyers spark their scoring by committee, roll the reeling Blues

Share

After scoring just four goals over their previous three games, the Flyers flexed some offensive muscle Tuesday night in a 5-1 win over the Blues at the Wells Fargo Center.

Wade Allison, Travis Konecny, Noah Cates, Lukas Sedlak and Owen Tippett all found the back of the net for the Flyers.

In the third period, Sedlak answered St. Louis' only goal just 1:22 minutes after Ryan O'Reilly gave the Blues some life.

Tippett punctuated the scoring late.

The Flyers (7-3-2) were without Carter Hart, who was slated to start but missed the game because of an illness.

Eleven Flyers finished with at least a point. Konecny, Cates and Tippett had two-point performances.

"Lots of things to work on, but the past couple of games, I think it has probably been, out of all of the games in the first dozen, probably two of our games where we've played as a team," John Tortorella said. "And haven't depended on just one or two guys, especially our goaltenders. Maybe we're taking steps in the right direction."

The Blues (3-8-0) are reeling, having lost eight straight, all in regulation. Pressure is mounting for former Flyers head coach Craig Berube.

Despite being an it's-about-us type of coach, Tortorella admitted a point of emphasis in his club's pregame meeting would be not underestimating the Blues. The Flyers are not in a position to underestimate teams, especially one that has made the playoffs the past four seasons and won the 2019 Stanley Cup.

"This is a really good St. Louis team," the Flyers' head coach said in the morning. "Craig Berube's a really good coach. They're a hard team."

The Blues couldn't get right in Philadelphia after playing the night before in Boston.

• The Flyers' scoring concerns had started to come into focus through the past three games. Their last matchup, they edged the Senators, 2-1, to halt a three-game skid.

"It's a dogfight for us every night because we're just not going to fill the net," Tortorella said Monday. "I appreciate how they all handled themselves — scrapping, biting, doing everything they could.

"We're just not deep in offensively skilled guys. Let's be honest about it."

They got things going offensively Tuesday night. They had three goals by second intermission. All three came in the middle frame.

Cates scored a backbreaking goal at 4-on-4 with three seconds left in the period. Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton set it up with great pressure.

Allison was rewarded for going to the net and working hard around the paint to hand the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Konecny added to it with a deceptive shot.

This was one of the Flyers' better offensive games this season and a lot of it was driven by hard work. It's cliché, but playing hard has kept them in games.

"Guys are starting to have a little bit of a belief in the room," Laughton said Monday. "The way we go together, it might not always be pretty, but it's a complete 180 I think from the last couple of years where it's been a ton different."

• Felix Sandstrom had been in tough spots, which is the job of a backup. His first three outings all came in the second game of a back-to-back set. In that second game, a team's skaters can be a little more tired in front of the goalie.

"He's such a good guy," Konecny said of Sandstrom. "The games before, he was standing on his head for us and we just couldn't get it done for him. So it was nice to finally get it done."

The 25-year-old Swedish native came through in Hart's stead Tuesday, picking up the first win of his career. He stopped 27 of the Blues' 28 shots.

"It was fun to see the guys," Sandstrom said of the locker room after the win. "Fun that they cheered for me. They battled hard for me, so I'm really happy with the team here."

St. Louis backup netminder Thomas Greiss made 30 saves on the Flyers' 35 shots.

• Tippett has been really, really good since coming back from his head injury. The 23-year-old looks like one of the Flyers' better forwards.

"There's not a lot of players like him," Konecny said. "He can move, he can handle the puck, he can shoot the puck really well. He's just going to keep working on his game, I think we just keep pumping him with confidence. He's such a good player, he's so effective for us. He showed that tonight."

• After being a healthy scratch in Ottawa, Ontario, Rasmus Ristolainen was back in the lineup.

Tortorella was honest about the bruising defenseman's play and expectations.

"Well, he just hasn't met them," he said Monday. "I think he needs to play better. I'm not going to go that much deeper into it. I don't think he has played well enough. ... Everything about his game, I think he needs to be better."

Ristolainen was much better. He blocked two big shots on one shift in the first period.

How painful was that sequence?

"Felt great," Ristolainen said. "Gets the blood going."

He finished with three hits, three blocked shots and a plus-2 rating.

The 28-year-old is only five games into his season after coming back from a lower-body injury. Some patience should be required.

• Nick Seeler and Zack MacEwen both dropped the gloves with a Blue in a 51-second span early during the first period.

Seeler landed legit punches on former Flyer Brayden Schenn.

The MacEwen vs. Robert Bortuzzo bout was a draw. Both players lost their balance and tackled each other to the ice.

• For the first time this season, the Flyers wore their 2022-23 Reverse Retro jersey and, yes, rocked those Cooperalls in warmups.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Wednesday in Voorhees, New Jersey before heading to Columbus, Ohio for a matchup Thursday with the Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Tortorella's previous head coaching gig was with Columbus. He led the Blue Jackets for parts of six seasons from 2015 to 2021.

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Contact Us