John Tortorella’s club moves to 3-0-0 after All-Star break – NBC Sports Philadelphia | Top Vip News


John Tortorella is eager to see how his team will handle the playoff race.

So far, so good.

The Flyers earned a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Kraken at the Wells Fargo Center.

Coming out of the bye week and All-Star break, the Flyers (28-19-6) have won three straight, a streak in which they have outscored their opponents 9-4.

Tortorella’s club did a little of everything offensively Saturday night, scoring with equal strength, on the power play and on the penalty kill. Nine different players scored a point.

Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal, Ryan Poehling scored his league-leading 12th goal of the season, and Scott Laughton scored the opening score of the game with the man advantage.

With 29 games left, the Flyers are four wins away from surpassing last season’s total (31-38-13). They occupy a playoff position in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position here and I think the guys have realized that, the way we need to play to continue this,” Laughton said. “It’s going to be a sprint to the finish line, it’s going to happen quickly during the end of the year. It’s an exciting time to be here in Philadelphia and be a part of this.”

Tortorella was unhappy with the Flyers’ final two periods in Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Jets.

The coach was confident that his players would react.

“I haven’t told you a word about the game, I haven’t shown you a clip of the game,” he said Saturday on Morning Skate. “We trust them. We know how they felt about it even during the game.”

This time they kept their foot on the accelerator. The Flyers are 2-0-0 in their three-game homestand and are still not behind.

“I thought we played a complete game,” Tortorella said. “I thought we had poise, I thought we stayed alert in the third period.”

The Flyers split their two-game regular season series with the Kraken (21-20-10). In late December, the Flyers suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Seattle at Climate Pledge Arena.

• Cal Petersen made his first start in 91 days and did his job, recording 17 saves.

“I understand the opportunity and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” the 29-year-old said of being in the Flyers’ goaltending lineup. “I’m still going to keep that day-to-day mentality, but it’s an opportunity I don’t want to waste.”

The Kraken tied the game at 2-2 just 36 seconds into the third period when Jared McCann’s shot came off Couturier’s stick.

But Couturier got it back just under five minutes later with a redirect.

The 2019-20 Selke Trophy winner was on the ice for both of Seattle’s goals.

“I feel like both goals were my type,” Couturier said. “I got too excited in the first one, I went for the big shot and it was a bad decision, then my boy scores. The second one, the same thing, I was like on my feet.

“I feel like the whole night it was one of those games for me personally where, I don’t know, I was just on my feet, fighting a little bit. I’m glad we were able to get it back in the third quarter.”

After McCann’s equalizer, Tortorella reprimanded Couturier. When Couturier put the Flyers ahead again, the first-line center screamed in celebration.

“Oh, that sucked for me, yeah,” Tortorella said. “I’m sure that’s the way it was. So be it, so be it. That’s part of it. That’s what I like about him. He’s a grumpy old professional. He’s a big part of it.

“Let me tell you something, I have enormous respect for him for how he’s handled this year after taking two years off. But there are no free passes. We need him terribly, in games, to be consistent.”

Couturier has always prided itself on being as perfect as possible.

“You’re not allowed to have a bad night or take a night off; you’re not allowed to,” Tortorella said. “We’re just not good enough for him to be average.”

Kraken goalie Joey Daccord stopped 35 of the Flyers’ 38 shots.

• For the first time this season, the Flyers came out on the losing end of their coach’s challenge.

They fell to 4 of 5 after Seattle’s tying goal in the first period was upheld. An extensive review did not determine the play to be offside, which penalized the Flyers.

But Poehling rallied the Flyers coaches when he hit again on the penalty kill. He scored his third shorthanded goal of the season and second in the last two games to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

The 25-year-old center is making his two-year contract extension look like a good deal. The Flyers’ penalty kill and bottom six have benefited from their speed and length.

“He’s a big part of our team,” Couturier said.



The Flyers won their third straight game by beating the Kraken, 3-2, on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

• After being benched during the third period on Thursday, ending with just 10:31 left, Cam Atkinson scored a pair of shots and a blocked shot at 15:16 against the Kraken.

“The last game obviously wasn’t my best,” Atkinson said Saturday after a morning skate. “Just getting back to playing with energy, confidence, shooting the puck and getting to those dirty areas where I score all my goals. A work in progress right now.”

• Tortorella opted for the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen. He gave Egor Zamula a healthy scratch.

“It’s leveled at 5 on 5 and I want him to watch a game,” Tortorella said on the morning show.

Rasmus Ristolainen returned at the back after missing Thursday’s game due to illness. Up front, Nicolas Deslauriers moved into the lineup.

Along with Zamula, Marc Staal and Olle Lycksell were extras.

• The Flyers conclude their homestand on Monday when they host the Coyotes (7 pm ET/NBCSP).

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