The best power play is a good penalty kill, right? That's how the saying goes? Nonetheless, the Flyers once again used their aggressive PK to add another shorthanded goal to their tally to pull away and hand the Coyotes their first loss after a five-game winning streak. The Flyers themselves have a streak of their own as they have won three straight after a 4-1 victory
Travis Konecny continued to lead the way for the Flyers as his two goals helped propel them to victory on Thursday night. It's become a point that when Konecny has his A-game going, it usually means good things for Philadelphia. There hasn't been many times this year where Konecny hasn't. And that's a big reason why the Flyers sit second in the Metropolitan, a very tight division.
"He's a really good player, and he's got a really great engine to him," John Tortorella said about Konecny. "He drives me crazy with some of the things he does, but that is also part of him that I can't get in the way all the time. Even though I don't like some of the things, I need to let him be who he is because that's why he's such a great player."
The first of Konecny's two goals was a bit fluky, but they all count the same. With Sean Couturier back, faceoffs have been key as he sits just below 50% at the dot. But his win in the first period set up Konecny to pull the back and quickly wrist it towards Connor Ingram. The shot hit off the Coyotes' goalie's mask and floated behind him and into the back of the net. It doesn't matter how you do it, it's all about how many.
Konecn'y second goal was even more important for the Flyers. After yielding Arizona's only goal toward the end of the second and right after their power play expired, getting the next goal was important. It took until almost five minutes into the third, but it may have been the dagger.
Nick Schmaltz came into the zone looking to set up the play, but it was Nick Seeler who picked off his zone-entering pass. He sent it ahead to Konency, who used his speed to get past Matt Dumba. After that, he skated in and picked his spot on Ingram to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish. The shorthanded goal gave the Flyers seven on the year and was Konecny's third of the season. He now has three SHG's in back to back seasons.
"What I like is also last two years he's learned how to PK and that's another side of his game that's developing," Couturier said on Konecny's penalty killing. "He's doing a heck of a job with all those shorthanded goals. I think he's learning and doing a great job of when to go and stay back, and credit to him."
It wasn't just the penalty kill that played a role in the victory. Cam York, who has been played well since his promotion to the top power-play unit, added in a goal and assist. After Cam Atkinson was unable to get past the first defender, it was York who kept the puck in at the line. He managed to send the puck through and allowed Atkinson to streak in untouched. He found Farabee at the side of the net to give the Flyers the 2-0 lead.
York wasn't done there, however. The Flyers had the defense activating quite a bit, something they've done all season long. Nic Deslauriers, who registered his 100th career point, won a puck battle behind the net and sent it to Travis Sanheim at the point. He moved it across to York who faked right and went left around Jason Zucker. Skating toward the faceoff dot, he toe-dragged and with Ingram deep in his net, fired from just out the dot. York now has three points in his last four games.
"It's part of my skillset that I have. I want to be shifty out there, I want to be able to make moves that other d-men maybe can't. It's part of my game I feel like. It was nice to see that one go in," York said about the moves on his goal.
It was nice for Carter Hart that he didn't necessarily have to be the star of the show. He outplayed his counterpart, seeing 26 shots and stopping 25 of them. The only thing to get past him was after both Rasmus Ristolainen and York were caught behind the net. Lawson Crouse was then wide open to accept the feed in front from Matias Maccelli. It made the game 2-1 at the time, but that was the closest the Coyotes would end up getting.
The Flyers will be off to Colorado on Saturday to face an Avalanche team that has lost four of it's last five games to open up the month of December. That was after a four-game win streak. They have been outscored 18-12 in that stretch.