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Wrap: Flyers Top Seattle, 3-2; Phantoms Top Bridgeport in Shootout

February 11, 2024, 4:13 AM ET [269 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Wrap: Flyers Top Seattle, 3-2

The Philadelphia Flyers skated to a well-deserved 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday evening. Only outstanding goaltending by Seattle's Joey Daccord (35 saves on 38 shots) prevented a potential blowout.

Unlike Thursday's 4-1 home win against the Winnipeg Jets, where the Flyers jumped out to a four-goal lead by early in the second period and then got severely outplayed over the final 37 minutes, Philly showed strong attention to detail throughout Saturday's game. The Flyers dominated the first and third periods, staging a very strong closeout once they retook the lead in the final frame. The second period was Seattle's best, but Philly kept it scoreless and made a good push late in the frame.

Special teams played a major role in the victory for the Flyers. Philly went 1-for-4 on the power play, and 3-for-3 on the PK with the team's 12th shorthanded goal of the season (tops in the NHL). Scott Laughton (power play. 6th goal of the season) and Ryan Poehling (shorthanded goal, 7th) provided the first two goal for Philadelphia. Sean Couturier (11th) netted the game-winning goal at even strength in the third period. Poehling has scored shorthanded goals in back-to-back games and has three for the season overall.

Cal Petersen earned his second NHL win of the season, stopping 17 of 19 shots. His best work came during the second period, which saw Seattle slightly outplay the Flyers, but Philadelphia took a 2-1 lead into the final period. Tomas Tatar (7th) and Jared McCann (21st) scored for the Kraken.

For an in-depth period-by-period synopsis, analysis, stats, highlights and more, see the Postgame 5 on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com: Click here.

The Flyers (28-19-6) will have a complete off-day on Sunday after winning three straight games exiting the All-Star break. Seattle (21-20-10) had not played since January 30, and looked rusty in the opening period of their first game since the All-Star break. For Seattle, Saturday's game marked the start a four-games-in-six-nights road trip.

On Monday evening, the Flyers will host the Arizona Coyotes (23-23-4). Subsequently, the Flyers are on the road to play the Toronto Maple Leafs (26-16-8) on Thursday and the New Jersey Devils (25-21-4) in the Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, two nights later.  

********

Phantoms Top Bridgeport in a Shootout, 2-1 (2-1)

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (20-18-7) won their second straight game since exiting the AHL All-Star break. Both wins came via shootout. On Friday, the Phantoms earned a 5-4 (2-1) home shootout win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins after they were unable to protect a two-goal lead in the third period. On Saturday, Lehigh Valley skated off with a 2-1 (2-1) road win over the last-place Bridgeport Islanders (13-26-6).

In the latter game, play was scoreless entering the third period. At 7:36, a Jacob Gaucher power play goal (7th), assisted by J.R. Avon and Ethan Samson, gave Lehigh Valley a short-lived lead. The Islanders drew even on a Karson Kuhlman tally (at 8:28). Otto Koivula and Tyce Thompson assisted for Bridgeport.

After a scoreless 3-on-3 overtime, the game went to a shootout. In the ensuing skills competition, Avon and Kuhlman traded off successful attempts. Avon, who also converted his first-round shootout attempt against the Baby Pens on Friday, is now an AHL-leading 4-for-5 on shootout attempts this season. Neither team scored in the second round. In round three, Wade Allison finished off what proved to be the winning goal.

Winning goalie Parker Gahagen stopped 34 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime before going 2-for-3 in the shootout. In a losing cause, Henrik Tikkanen made 31 saves on 32 shots for Bridgeport in regulation and sudden death before going 1-for-3 in the shootout. (Note: on Friday, Felix Sandström stopped 19 of 23 shots in regulation and OT before going 3-for-4 in the shootout against W-B/S).

With the back-to-back shootout wins, the Phantoms are two points behind the Springfield Thunderbirds (22-19-5) for sixth place (playoff position) in the Atlantic Division. Lehigh Valley holds one game in hand, but Springfield owns a 15-13 tiebreaker edge in regulation wins. The Phantoms are now off until next Saturday, when they host the North Division leading Syracuse Crunch (26-14-5) at the PPL Center.

The Phantoms' starting lineup on Saturday (note the 11F/7D arrangement) was as follows:

20 Cooper Marody - 22 Rhett Gardner - 23 Bobby Brink
16 J.R. Avon - 56 Jacob Gaucher - 27 Samu Tuomaala
13 Brendan Furry - 91 Elliot Desnoyers - 19 Wade Allison
10 Evan Polei - 24 Adam Brooks - (rotation)

6 Emil Andrae - 12 Ronnie Attard
37 Adam Ginning - 2 Helge Grans
98 Victor Mete - 5 Ethan Samson
3 Adam Karashik

31 Parker Gahagen
[32 Felix Sandström]

During Friday's game against the Baby Pens, Allison (10th) opened the scoring in the first period. After Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded with quick back-to-back goals on a power play and at even strength, Lehigh Valley trailed 2-1 entering the second period.

In the second period, closely spaced goals at 4:06 by Gardner (PPG, 4th), Furry (3rd) at 5:14, and Avon (9th) at 5:58 turned Lehigh Valley's one-goal deficit into a 4-2 lead. However, in the third period, tallies by Alex Nylander (14th) and Ty Smith (8th) forged a 4-4 deadlock by the time the frame was 8:43 old.

After a scoreless OT, Avon (1st round) and Matt Brown (GWG in fourth round) scored in the shootout. Lukas Svejkovsky scored for the Penguins in the second round.

In regulation, Brooks contributed two assists. Andrae (20th assist of the season), Bobby Brink (2nd since being loaned back to the Phantoms), Elliot Desnoyers, Allison (two-point game) and Polei chipped in one helper apiece.

Lehigh Valley's starting lineup in Friday's game was as follows:

Marody - Gardner - Brink
Brown - Gaucher - Tuomaala
Furry - Desnoyers - Allison
Polei - Brooks - Avon

Andrae - Attard
Ginning - Grans
Mete - Samson

Sandström
[Gahagen]
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