Connor McDavid is one of the best players in the NHL, there is no doubt about that. Despite an unusually low number of goals, he has found a way to help the Oilers out in other ways. The Flyers found that out on Tuesday night.
McDavid came in on a five-game point streak in which he had seven points. He added five more points in that total as he became the fifth fastest player to reach the 900-point mark. He did it in 602 games. Not something the Flyers wanted to see happen after holding him to just one assist and no shots when these two teams faced off in October.
He showed off his usual bursts of speed to get by defenders and his creative stick work to find wide open players for easy tap ins. And he was directly involved in every Oilers goal as he had the primary assist for each, aside from the opening goal of the game that he scored himself. It has been hard for anyone to stop McDavid as of late. Prior to his current point streak, he had a 12-game point streak where he had 28 points.
Travis Sanheim found out firsthand how tough it can be to catch up once McDavid finds a burst of speed. Sanheim didn’t get turned around until McDavid was entering the zone. By then, it’s usually too late to stop him. The Flyers’ defender was tripped up in the zone by Zach Hyman, however, allowing McDavid to finish off the play. Philadelphia had a large case for a penalty to be called, but it was McDavid who did all the work prior to it.
From there on, it was all about setting up his teammates with passes that only players like him can make. Up near the side boards with three Flyers near him, McDavid was able to get his stick to the left of Nick Seeler and send a no-look backhand pass to a wide open Hyman. That would end up as the 900th point in McDavid’s career.
Flyers Answer Back
Despite getting outworked in the first period by a large margin, the Flyers showed their usual fight in the second. There’s no surprise that it was led by Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee. The latter didn’t score either goal, but his passing helped set them up. Sean Couturier stole the puck in his own zone and launched a Hail Mary pass up the ice. Farabee one-touched the puck as he entered the offensive zone to spring Konecny for the breakaway goal.
Farabee now has seven points in his last five games and was recently promoted to the top line. Plays like that will help keep him up there. The goal for Konecny gave him a season-high five game point streak. He also has 16 points in his last 13 games. He is easily the team’s MVP and should earn himself an All-Star selection.
The two played a role in the tying goal as well. However, it was an unusual source that supplied said goal. The Flyers defense has shown a confidence to jump up in the zone when they feel they have a chance. That is what Marc Staal did as Konecny set up the veteran for his first goal in a Flyers’ uniform. It was also his first goal since March 11, 2023.
That would be the only time the two teams would be that close.
Oilers Score Three Unanswered
The Flyers didn’t get to enjoy a tie game for long. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the first of his two goals just 2:05 after Staal tied things up. And it was as easy as tic-tac-toe from behind the net to the front. Hyman to McDavid to Nugent-Hopkins and Edmonton had the only goal they would end up needing to earn their sixth straight victory.
For good measure, though, they added two more goals in the third period to put the game out of reach for the Flyers. Leon Draisaitl scored for the fourth consecutive game and moved his point streak to four games. He has even points and back to back multi-point games.
Nugent-Hopkins’ second goal capped off a three point night for him. Hyman also enjoyed a three point night as he had one goal and two assists.
It’s gut check time for the Flyers as the Disney on Ice trip paid them no favors. They come back to Philadelphia after going 1-2-1 on the road. They have now lost five of their last six games. The schedule didn’t help them as they played four games in six nights. But, the schedule does get harder as the season goes on.
There’s plenty of time to turn things around, but it will have to be quick as the Metro continues to be tight.