The Kids Are All Right: Allison, Ersson lead Flyers to 4-3 win over Flames
CALGARY — Wade Allison scored the game-winner and fellow rookie Samuel Ersson made 33 saves to maintain his perfect record as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Monday afternoon.
Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo each had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia (23-25-10). Nicolas Deslauries also scored as the Flyers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane had a goal an assist each for Calgary (26-20-11) while Tyler Toffoli notched his team-leading 23rd.
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.
Ersson, 23, is the eighth goaltender in NHL history to start his career 6-0-0. He joins Martin Jones (8-0-0), Viktor Fasth (8-0-0), Bob Froese (8-0-0), Wayne Thomas (7-0-0), Frederik Andersen (6-0-0), Ken Dryden (6-0-0) and Frank McCool (6-0-0).
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.
Blake Coleman nearly tied it with four minutes left but on a breakaway, but his shot through Ersson's pads on a deke went off the post.
Calgary had plenty of dangerous chances in a first period in which they outshot the visitors 12-10, but couldn't beat Ersson, who was making his first start since Jan. 17.
While the game was scoreless, he stopped Backlund from the slot, stabbed out his blocker to deny Jakob Pelletier's dangerous one-timer, robbed Mangiapane from the slot on a power play, and sprawled across the crease to deny Jonathan Huberdeau after he was set up by Nazem Kadri on a 2-on-0.
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 centre and seconds later on a 2-on-1, his centring 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 centre on the Flames No. 1 line after missing last game due to the birth of his first child, a boy. Adam Ruzicka, his replacement last game, stayed in the line-up, dropping down to centre the fourth line.
With Michael Stone spotted wearing a walking boot and entering the Saddledome on crutches, Dennis Gilbert drew into the Flames line-up on the third D pairing with Nikita Zadorov and made his presence felt immediately with a heavy hit on Deslauriers followed up by a fight with Nick Seeler.
Flyers: Wrap up a four-game road trip against Edmonton on Tuesday.
Flames: Hit the road for their next three games starting Wednesday in Arizona.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2023.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press