A spectacular first-period stop on Jordan Eberle set the tone on Monday night. The Philadelphia Flyers earned their first win of 2021-22 with a 6-1 rout of the expansion Seattle Kraken in front of 17,727 fans at Wells Fargo Center.
With nearly 4,000 travel miles already under their belt, the Kraken came into Monday’s game with a 1-1-1 record — and all three games decided by one-goal margins. The well-rested Flyers haven’t left home since closing out their preseason against Washington on Oct. 8. In their only regular-season action to date, they salvaged a point with two late goals before falling 5-4 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks last Friday.
The Hart Show
In his first start of the year on Friday, Hart was inconsistent — razor-sharp while staring down six Vancouver shots in 3-on-3 overtime but shaky during the second period, where he gave up four goals on 13 shots.
Seattle came out strong on Monday night and the 23-year-old proved up to the task, making five saves before robbing a seemingly wide-open Eberle.
CARTER HART SAID NOPE pic.twitter.com/SfNV9Sp8n7
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 18, 2021
“In our start, we made two major mistakes, and we got two big saves right off the hop,” said coach Alain Vigneault after the game. “A breakaway, a tip, and not two but three great saves.
“And then the one where Carter just threw himself. I mean, that’s basically the difference of whether they score and they get a little confidence and a little more energy.”
Instead, it was the Flyers who got a boost. Less than a minute after Hart’s heroics, Claude Giroux opened the scoring with his second of the season. Travis Konecny and Derick Brassard followed suit and when the horn sounded at the end of the opening frame, the Flyers skated off with a 3-0 lead and a 16-8 advantage on the shot clock.
Ep 12: Biting, Montreal, COVID, and Penguins Sale Updateby Full Press Coverage on December 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm
Mike, Jim, and Chris […]
Standing Up For Each Other
The more lopsided the score became, the more the physicality ramped up. By games end, a total of 86 penalty minutes had been assessed, including 25 to Nate Thompson. He earned a 10-minute misconduct for his role in a second-period scrum, then logged a fighting major and another misconduct in the third, when he took Nathan Bastian to school.
Nate Thompson with an absolute beat down of Nathan Bastian pic.twitter.com/3RdVKqC8dw
— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) October 19, 2021
The fight was a response to Bastian going after captain Claude Giroux earlier in the game. Seventh defenseman Nick Seeler, replacing injured Rasmus Ristolainen in the lineup for the second-straight game, also stepped up in a big way. He went toe-to-toe with 6’7″ Jamie Oleksiak.
Nick Seeler, welcome to Philly.
First scrap as a Flyer 👊 pic.twitter.com/5IkyXkVJCH
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 19, 2021
“Any team that has success in this league has got that ‘I’ve got your back’ mentality,” Vigneault said. “There’s no doubt that everyone had their back, from Seels doing what he had to do, to Tommer. That’s a tight-knit group and that’s what you need, to have success.”
“I was just saying to Seels on the way in that I’ve never heard the building that loud in a long time,” added Konecny. “I don’t expect anything less coming from our fans — the emotion of just being back in Philly, and they love us getting into it with the other team. He did a great job. Tommer did a great job. You can hear that atmosphere in the rink and on the bench. It was an awesome night.”
Seeler was nonplussed by the fisticuffs.
“He was sticking up for his teammate, which I understand and respect,” he said of Oleksiak. “I didn’t want to back down, and he’s a big boy so it was a good scrap. It was fun.”
Ristolainen Close To Return
After watching the first two games from the press box due to an upper-body injury, offseason acquisition Rasmus Ristolainen skated in his projected spot with Travis Sanheim at practice on Tuesday. When asked if he’d make his Flyers debut on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, he smiled and told the media “Yeah, I think so,”
After sorting through his visa issues, waiver pickup Zack MacEwen also joined the team on the ice on Tuesday, but Vigneault said he’ll make a game-day decision on Wednesday about whether the big winger will suit up. Patrick Brown, another waiver acquisition, remains in Covid-19 protocol.
The Flyers struggled badly against Boston last season, outscored 32-20 while carving out a 2-4-2 record. Hart, in particular, had a tough time against the Bruins — 0-3-2, with 23 goals allowed and a .849 save percentage. That may be part of the reason why Martin Jones will make his regular-season debut in orange and black against the Bruins on Wednesday.
The Flyers will close out their homestand Saturday against another tough opponent, the Florida Panthers, then hit the road for three games in Western Canada next week.