Flyers avoid trap game, end skid with win against Blackhawks

Scoring from more than just their top players helped pace the Flyers to their 30th win of the season on Wednesday night.
Scoring from more than just their top players helped pace the Flyers to their 30th win of the season on Wednesday night. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't easy at times, especially during the second period, but the Flyers broke their short losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. With their 30th win of the season, Philadelphia is one win away from tying their win total from last season.

The Flyers flirted with danger in the first period, allowing multiple counterattacks and quality chances. Sam Ersson had to stand tall on a few attempts, including a 2-on-1 opportunity by Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddysh. It was probably Ersson's best save of the night, and it came five minutes into the game. He also denied a Phillip Kurashev one-timer, followed by a Johnson shot from right in front during a crucial penalty kill in the second period.

Ersson ended up stopping 22 of 23 shots in the victory. It was good to see him bounce back from a tough outing, something he has done all season. It's why he could make a dark horse run at the Calder Trophy. That's why the Flyers have been able to count on him as their top guy. He does not get frustrated by the circumstances around him. He continues to be unflappable when the going gets tough. And sometimes big saves can lead to momentum your way.

That is what happened on the next shift. The Flyers got a bit of puck luck, but you take the goals any way they come. And Travis Sanehim will thank Alex Vlasic for helping him on his sixth goal of the season. Joel Farabee won a puck battle, keeping it in the offensive zone. The puck would bounce free to Scott Laughton, who quickly gave it to Sanheim. The latter one-timed the puck, which was wide before it hit Vlasic and went past Arvid Soderblom.

Sloppy play in the offensive zone would lead to the Blackhawks' only goal of the night just 1:17 later. Sean Couturier and Cam York would bump into each other, allowing Joey Anderson to send a stretch pass to Colin Blackwell. Blackwell did a solid job of toe-dragging around the diving Jamie Drysdale. He wired it over the shoulder of Ersson. It was a tough one for Ersson to stop. Credit to Blackwell for the move. It was just his fourth goal of the season.

The Flyers found the territorial edge in the second period and were rewarded for their efforts. They threw 14 shots on the net to the Blackhawks eight. They controlled shot attempts and high-danger shots, as well. The rewards came in the form of two goals. Approaching almost a minute on his shift time, Travis Konecny had enough energy to skate the length of the ice. He made a nice move to push the puck ahead of Jarred Tinordi. This opened up all the space Konecny needed to skate in and rifle the puck over the shoulder of Soderblom.

The third and final goal of the net was hard work for Philadelphia. The Flyers controlled play off the face-off and swung the puck around the zone. Ryan Poehling whiffed on the original shot. With no pressure on him, he sent the puck to Noah Cates for a shot on the net. Soderblom wasn't able to control the rebound with traffic in front. Garnet Hathaway found the puck first and knocked it home. He has slowly picked it up offensively, as that was his third point in the last five games. He is far from his career season with the Capitals in 2021-22, but he's provided a nice boost.

The Flyers will have a few days off before their next game, where they will have to bring their best. They will take on the division-leading New York Rangers on Saturday before a battle with their in-state rivals on Sunday.