Konecny-less Flyers lose 6th straight in shootout heartbreaker vs. Habs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Flyers were seconds away from snapping their losing streak Saturday night.
And then Cole Caufield happened.
The budding Canadiens star beat Carter Hart with just 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Then, following a scoreless OT, Nick Suzuki tallied the only goal of the shootout to complete an improbable 5-4 Canadiens comeback victory at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The heartbreaking defeat for the Flyers extended their losing skid to six games (0-4-2). John Tortorella’s club has conceded at least four goals in each of the six losses.
Adding injury to insult, the Flyers saw yet another forward go down one game after losing leading scorer Travis Konecny. In a scary scene early in the third period, Scott Laughton exited following a big hit from Kaiden Guhle.
Tortorella didn’t have an update on the assistant captain’s status postgame.
Hart and Co. turned aside several shot attempts in what were hectic moments leading up to Caufield’s tying goal, but the Flyers couldn’t clear the puck against six Montreal skaters. After Zack MacEwen‘s stick broke, Suzuki sent the puck cross-ice to Caufield, whose one-timer beat a sliding Hart.
It was Caufield’s second goal of the night and 11th of the season. The 21-year-old winger also chipped in an assist.
After being moved down to the third line, Kevin Hayes scored what nearly proved to be the game-winning goal in the third. A Nick Seeler shot was blocked by Jake Evans and the puck fell right to Hayes, who fired it past Jake Allen.
Hayes has now tallied at least one point in five straight games.
Tortorella bumped up Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee to the first line, and Tippett responded with a standout performance. The former 10th overall pick tallied two goals and six shots on net in a season-high 21:06 of ice time.
Tippett’s first goal came in the game’s opening minutes, as he sniped one past Allen on the rush, and his second score was highlight-reel material.
Tippett, who entered the game with five faceoff attempts on the season, scored right from a second-period draw to even the score at 3-3.
Just 39 seconds in, Travis Sanheim cut to the front of the net and deposited a nice backhand feed from Laughton for his first goal in the 2022-23 campaign. Sanheim picked up an assist on Tippett’s first goal as well.
While it took less than three minutes for the Flyers to grab a 2-0 lead, they weren’t able to protect that advantage through the end of the first period. Christian Dvorak pushed home a loose puck in the crease moments after Tippett’s first goal and Caufield blasted home a slap shot on a five-on-three power play late in the period.
In the Flyers’ last five games, opposing teams are 8-for-14 on the power play. The Flyers, meanwhile, are 2-for-19 on the man advantage over that same stretch after failing to score on any of their four opportunities versus Montreal.
The Canadiens scored a third unanswered goal in the second period when Suzuki set up Mike Matheson, who was making his Habs debut, in the high slot with a slick spinning backhand pass.
Hart wound up stopping 28 of the 32 shots he faced, including four of five on the power play.
It goes without saying, but Konecny being sidelined for an extended stretch would be a huge blow to a Flyers forward group that’s already down Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk, Cam Atkinson, Wade Allison and now potentially Laughton.
Konecny had played in all 17 of the Flyers’ games entering Saturday, leading the team in goals (7) and points (19).
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Source: Yahoo Sports