Ever since taking over the helm of this team last year, head coach John Tortorella has preached patience with this team. He continues to say that this team will gel and come around. They are young, they play hard, they put shots on goal….it will happen. After a loss to a winless Sharks team to kick off a three game California road trip, the Flyers offense woke up.
On back-to-back nights in Anaheim and Los Angeles, the Flyers ripped off two dominant wins. Owen Tippett has been the backbone of both of the victories, but Morgan Frost finally lit the lamp as well.
Friday Night vs Anaheim
The Flyers came out strong against the Ducks, running up a 3-0 lead. Sean Couturier opened the scoring early on in the first with Cam Atkinson scoring near the middle of the period. Watching these two play, you wonder what this team could’ve been like last year had both had been healthy.
Louis Belpedio scored his second career goal to open up the second period. About a week after his first career goal, he strikes again. For someone who hasn’t been given many opportunities to play in the NHL, he is making the most of his time here and seems to be auditioning for a full time job.
The Ducks would strike back. All three of their goals were scored by Leo Carlsson, a rookie who has played nine total games. The second overall pick has scored six goals in his young career and looks like a future star in Anaheim.
Carlsson’s heroics were not enough. Travis Sanheim scored midway through the third to keep it a 4-1 game. After Carlsson’s second goal, Tippett scored his first of two goals on the night with Frost collecting his first assist of the year. Tippett would close out the game on an empty net goal after Carlsson completed his hat trick.
Sam Ersson got the win stopping 35 of 38 shots. Frost also contributed to the victory in a vital way. He won 12 of the 16 faceoffs, helping to give the Flyers an advantage in the circle.
Saturday Night vs Los Angeles
The last time the Flyers played the Kings, Cal Petersen got ambushed in net as the Flyers lost 5-0. This time, the tables were turned. Philly came out strong and held out for a 4-2 victory. This time, Petersen was in net and was able to stop 35 of 37 shots to take the win against his old team.
The big story of this night, after Petersen’s great performance, was the two goals scored by Frost. Tippett got the Flyers on the board in the first; making that his third straight goal for Philly. However, in the second period, Frost scored two goals, one at 6:26 and the other at 16:30 to give the Flyers a quick 3-0 lead.
After a goal by Carl Grundstrom put the Kings on the board, Atkinson would score midway through the third period to put Philly up 4-1. Adrian Kempe would score the games final goal about two minutes later.
In two nights, the Flyers got three goals from Tippett and two goals each from Atkinson and Frost. That’s seven out of the 10 goals scored in two nights from guys you expect to perform. This team may be gelling together. More importantly, if Frost is getting his swagger back, he’ll be in the lineup more and more. That means that he’ll be getting his chances to score. This will translate into more wins for this team.
The Flyers play next as they return back to the East Coast. Before they return home on Saturday to take on the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights, they’ll make a quick stopover in Raleigh to take on the Hurricanes on Wednesday night.