In a must-win game to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday evening. A 20-save shutout by Samuel Ersson, a shorthanded goal by Travis Konecny and 22 blocked shots by Philadelphia keyed the win.

The Flyers played a generally strong first period. However, an uneventful 5-on-3 power play opportunity for Philadelphia stood out in the scoreless frame.

The second period was another tight-checking frame. The Flyers had three prime chances during the period, cashing in finally on a shorthanded goal. Other Grade A chances belonged to Owen Tippett (off a Morgan Frost rebound) and Tyson Foerster (off a Luke Hughes giveaway into the slot).

Scoring his sixth shorthanded goal of the season -- and the team's 16th -- Travis Konecny scored low to the glove side on a breakaway (SHG, 33rd goal of the season) for a 1-0 lead at 10:50 of the second period. Scott Laughton, who sprung TK on the rush with a pass over the middle, got the primary assist. The secondary assist went to Nick Seeler.

For the second straight game, the Flyers staged a strong closeout in the third period. In the waning seconds, the Devils were unable to get goalie Kaapo Kähkönen back to the bench for a second crack at a 6-on-5 attack. In a losing cause, Kähkönen stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal. He did a good job at preventing the Flyers from getting any breathing room on the scoreboard.

The Flyers went 0-for-3 on the power play. The Devils were 0-for-1 with the game-deciding shorthanded goal yielded to Konecny.

Prior to the game, the Flyers held a ceremony honoring Wayne Simmonds' retirement as an active NHL player. After signing a one-day contract on Friday to return to the team where he spent the eight best seasons of his career, Simmonds retired as a Flyer.


71 Tyson Foerster - 25 Ryan Poehling - 11 Travis Konecny
74 Owen Tippett - 48 Morgan Frost - 10 Bobby Brink
27 Noah Cates - 14 Sean Couturier - 19 Garnet Hathaway
86 Joel Farabee- 21 Scott Laughton -89 Cam Atkinson

8 Cam York - 6 Travis Sanheim
24 Nick Seeler - 9 Jamie Drysdale
5 Egor Zamula - 77 Erik Johnson

33 Samuel Ersson
[82 Ivan Fedotov]


Throughout the game, the Flyers did a good job at staying above the puck defensively, being fairly clean on breakouts and clears and keeping shifts short to keep fresh troops on the ice.

On the game-winning shorthanded goal, Laughton took a risk by exiting the defensive zone early and having Seeler retrieve the puck. The game worked out, and Konecny soloed for the breakaway goal after a good feed from Laughton.


1) Ersson was tested by Nico Hischier at 2:47 on the game's first scoring chance for either team. New Jersey generated three of the game's first four shots on goal.

At 6:04, Foerster ripped a shot on net from his favorite spot atop the left circle. Kähkönen made the save. Shots were 3-3.

Ersson stopped Graeme Clarke from 15 feet at 7:40. Through the first 10 minutes of the game, shots were 4-3 Devils.

The Flyers went to the first power play at 10:06 as Erik Haula was called for tripping Nick Seeler as Philly was breaking out of the defensive zone. The Flyers first PP unit controlled the puck and pressured. Philly went on a 5-on-3 for 1:13 as Brendan Smith was called for high-sticking. The opportunity went by the wayside.

With play back at 5-on-5, Poehling blocked a New Jersey point shot. At 16:25, Timo Meier was stopped from the low slot. Shots on goal were 8-5 Flyers.

Sanheim led a rush up ice that created a scrum around the New Jersey net. There was pushing and shoving at the whistle with 1:12 left in the period. Brink had one crack and Frost had two. With 28 seconds left in the frame, Couturier blocked a Shane Bowers shot attempt out of play.

The period ended with another scrum behind the New Jersey net. No penalties were called.

2) First period shots on goal were 11-6 Flyers. Shot attempts were 20-11 Flyers. Scoring chances were 9-5 Flyers. High-danger scoring chances were 4-2 Flyers. Faceoffs were 11-7 Devils. The Flyers blocked six shots.

3) The Devils had a potential odd-man rush at about 4:30 into the second period. Drysdale blocked a pass to kill the threat. Through 5:30, neither team had a shot on goal.

On the next shift, Frost led a rush up ice and backhanded a shot on net. TIppett had a point blank chance off the rebound at the doorstep. Ersson made his first save of the period on a routine shot by Jonas Siegenthaler at 6:42.

At 9:49, the Devils went to their first power play. Atkinson took a holding penalty deep in New Jersey territory. York intercepted the puck and cleared the zone. Shortly thereafter, Laughton sent Konency off for the goal that made it 1-0 at 10:50.
4) Second period shots on goal were 6-5 Flyers (17-11 Flyers overall). Shot attempts were 12-6 Devils (28-28 overall). Scoring chances were 6-2 Devils (15-11 Flyers overall). High-danger scoring chances were 3-2 (7-4 Flyers overall). 

5) Foerster had another point blank chance on the first shift of the third period. On the next shift, Alexander Holtz was home free on Ersson, but lost the handle on the puck and it dribbled to safety.

The Flyers got away with back-to-back sloppy shifts. The Tippett-Frost-Brink line settled things down with a strong forechecking shift. The Devils iced the puck at 5:04. A patient play by Sanheim and Couturier created a prime scoring chance at 6:34.

Hathaway forced a defensive mistake and Couturier had a prime chance at 6:58. The Flyers went back to playing suffocating defense with airtight gaps. Through 10:26, shots on goal were 4-3 Devils.

Konecny battled his way to the inside on a counterattack, drawing a holding penalty on Kevin Bahl at 10:50. Tippett had a chance off a rush.

Hathaway came up with a vital shot block. At the end of a shift, Sanheim skated the puck to safety. There was a TV timeout at 15:21. Shots were 5-3 Devils.

The Flyers survived a hemmed-in shift but iced the puck at 16:21. Poehling lost the ensuing draw. Sanheim blocked a shot. At 17:57, Ersson froze a loose puck for a much-needed stoppage and line change. Shots on goal were now 7-3 Devils.

The Devils pulled Kähkönen for an extra attacker. Couturier cleared the zone but the Flyers couldn't score. The Devils iced the puck with 13.2 seconds left on the clock. Kähkönen had to return to the net. New Jersey never got him to the bench again.

Third period shots were 8-4 Devils (21-20 Flyers overall). Final faceoffs were 22-20 Flyers.