Rookies Allison, Ersson lead Flyers to 4-3 win over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Wade Allison scored the game-winner and fellow rookie Samuel Ersson made 32 saves to maintain his perfect record as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Monday.
Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo each had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia. Nicolas Deslauriers also scored as the Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak.
Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane had a goal an assist each for Calgary while Tyler Toffoli notched his team-leading 23rd.
Ersson is the eighth goaltender in NHL history to start his career 6-0-0.
“It’s fun, it’s special, but I’m just trying to make my spot here on the team,” said the 23-year-old Ersson, who was a fifth-round pick of the Flyers in 2018. “Every game is huge for me here. I really have to focus on taking it game by game.”
At the other end, the struggles continue for Jacob Markstrom, who had 18 stops. A finalist last season for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, Markstrom is 15-14-7 record and has not won consecutive starts since mid-December.
Down 3-1 to start the third period, Calgary got it back to even when Toffoli scored from a sharp angle at 4:38 and, less than five minutes later after a stretch of tremendous pressure, Mangiapane rattled in a rebound.
But the Flyers retook the lead at 11:33 on a defensive breakdown when James Van Riemsdyk got free in the slot and set up Allison at the far post for his eighth goal.
“Big goal for us. We were bending a little bit but we didn’t break,” said Flyers coach John Tortorella. “Anytime when you’re up in the third, the tendency is to sit back a little bit or the other team pushes a little bit more. We found a way. We closed it off in the middle of the ice and blocked a lot of shots.”
The Flames remain two points back of Minnesota, which occupies the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. The Wild also hold a game in hand.
“We believe in each other and we’re going to keep grinding and we’re gonna keep giving our best,” said Backlund. “We’re not gonna give up, we’re gonna keep pushing ourselves here to get to where we want to be.”
Philadelphia scored first at 16:59 when Konecny broke down the left wing, cut inside to sidestep the backcheck of Noah Hanifin, and beat Markstrom blocker side from 25 feet out.
The Flyers made it 2-0 at 7:30 of the second when Cam York hopped out of the penalty box to corral a loose puck at center and seconds later on a 2-on-1, his centering pass to Deslauriers was deflected in.
Backlund’s goal less than 90 seconds later cut the deficit to one, but Philadelphia restored its two-goal cushion at 11:31 when DeAngelo’s wrist shot from 40 feet out beat Markstrom over his glove.
Calgary failed to take advantage of a Philadelphia penalty kill that had surrendered three goals on its last five man disadvantages, going 0-for-4 on the power play. The Flyers finished 0-for-1.
Elias Lindholm returned to his spot as center on the Flames No. 1 line after missing last game due to the birth of his first child. Adam Ruzicka, his replacement last game, stayed in the line-up, dropping down to center the fourth line.
Flyers: Finish a four-game road trip at Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Flames: Kick off a three-game road trip at Arizona on Wednesday night.
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