Taylor Leier

Flyers survive a scare with Travis Konecny

USA Today Images

Flyers survive a scare with Travis Konecny

VOORHEES, N.J. — T.K. appears to be OK.

The Flyers have apparently survived a scare, even though Travis Konecny sat out Wednesday's workout. The Flyers' winger was given a maintenance day to recover from soreness from Tuesday's win over the Canadiens.

General manager Ron Hextall listed Konecny as probable after he took a slap shot off his left skate in the first period that severely hampered his mobility.

Konecny labored throughout the majority of the game, unable to sustain for prolonged periods with nine shifts under 30 seconds. The 20-year-old winger has been a primary contributor during the Flyers' second-half surge with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in his last 24 games since being moved up to the Flyers' top line.

Tuesday night was just the seventh time during that 24-game span Konecny failed to register a point. The Flyers will make a determination following Thursday's morning skate regarding his availability against the Blue Jackets.

"Either you can play or you can't this time of year," Dave Hakstol said. "Nobody would be surprised to know that around the league there's a lot of guys that play at a little bit less than 100 percent. This time of year, that's how it is. You have to be able to do your job at a high level. That's the line — you're on one side of it or the other, and we'll make that decision."

Taylor Leier, a healthy scratch the past seven games, skated in Konecny's spot on the Flyers' top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.

Eagles' title adds fuel to Flyers' fire

Eagles' title adds fuel to Flyers' fire

VOORHEES, N.J. — While much of the Delaware Valley took Monday off from work, head coach Dave Hakstol had his Flyers back at work at the Skate Zone in Voorhees at the regularly scheduled time of 10:30 a.m. to resume their own championship aspirations.

And what the Eagles accomplished Sunday night in Super Bowl LII was squarely on the players' minds before heading out to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Tuesday evening. It's another important game for the Flyers, losers of three straight who are clinging to the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference as of Monday afternoon.

“It definitely fires you up. To see everyone going nuts, it’s pretty cool to see,” Shayne Gostisbehere said. “Obviously, the thoughts go through your head if it was us. It was great for the city and the Eagles deserve it, winning their first title. We want to emulate what just happened and keep the party going. We want to follow suit from what the Eagles have done.”

A handful of players saw the euphoria unfold after watching Super Bowl LII together at Vesper Sporting Club in Center City, where they rented out a viewing room for themselves and their wives and girlfriends.

Some of the players bolted at halftime to avoid the potential Center City hysteria, while others elected to stick around and see what would unfold. Needless to say, the celebrations even exceeded their expectations. 

“There was a fire going off. It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Taylor Leier said. “It was like walking through Times Square, but it was a riot. That’s honestly what it was like. There were guys in this Jeep and they were all just in their underwear and they were hanging out the windows and one guy was standing on top. It was hilarious.” 

Most of the players attended the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago following the Flyers' big overtime win earlier in the day in Washington. In his first season in Philadelphia, goaltender Brian Elliott has made it to a handful of Eagles games, even wearing his No. 37 Eagles jersey given to him by kicker Jake Elliott. The two pro athletes struck up a friendship not long after Elliott booted a 61-yard game-winner to beat the Giants back in October. A few weeks later, Elliott attended his first Flyers game. 

“It’s pretty cool to go from kicking at college and not too long ago in high school and then you’re on the biggest stage of the world,” the Flyers' Elliott said. “Knowing him just a little bit and exchanging some texts, it’s pretty cool that he has that cool, calm presence. The perfect demeanor for a kicker. He got it done. All I texted him last night was ‘Money!’ after hitting that long one at the end of the game there.

“That was a fun and exciting game to watch, especially how it ended. It definitely creates that little bit of buzz, and makes you think how cool it would be to do the same.”

A week ago Thursday, the Flyers honored Eagles head coach Doug Pederson as a special guest inside the locker room prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pederson also dropped the ceremonial puck at center ice that night. 

“He stayed within his personality that they’ve had all year long,” Hakstol said of Pederson. “That’s what stood out most for me. I think our guys were excited to see the game and to see the lifelong fans experience a Super Bowl for the first time. That’s pretty exciting.” 

Congrats pour in
Following the Eagles' victory over the Patriots last night, members of the Flyers' community extended their congratulatory praise and admiration through Twitter. 

Flyers-Maple Leafs observations: The win streak travels

Flyers-Maple Leafs observations: The win streak travels


The Flyers brought their recent road success back to the Wells Fargo Center, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, 4-2, for their fourth consecutive victory.

Sean Couturier scored the game-winner with 2:55 remaining in regulation when he beat Frederik Andersen glove side top shelf.

Couturier matched a career high with his 15th goal of the season.

Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers, who trailed, 2-1, entering the third period.

After surrendering the first goal of the game, Brian Elliott settled in and stopped 20 of 22 shots for his fourth straight win. Elliott has allowed two or fewer goals in each of those four starts.

The Maple Leafs were forced to play without superstar Auston Matthews, who was out with an upper-body injury. Prior to Tuesday night, the Leafs were a perfect 5-0 in games Matthews had missed. 

• In the opening minutes of the first period, Leo Komarov got behind Radko Gudas. William Nylander’s pass was a little too far in front of Komarov, who would have had a wide-open look at Elliott. 

Gudas, who returned to the lineup after a 10-game suspension, had some early mixups with defensive partner Travis Sanheim. That is to be expected after a long layoff.

“It’s unbelievable, it feels great,” Gudas said at the first intermission. “I’ve had this date circled on the calendar. I’m looking forward to getting the two points and doing everything I can to help the boys out.”

• The Leafs had another excellent scoring chance after Nolan Patrick won a defensive faceoff. The Flyers got caught up along the boards when the Leafs gained control of the puck and James van Riemsdyk was able to maneuver in front of Patrick for a dangerous chance that went just wide of the net. If Patrick isn’t contributing offensively, he can still be responsible and protect the ice in his own end.

• Jordan Weal’s been playing better than Konecny lately and has been bumped up to the third line with Patrick and Dale Weise. Early on, Weal had a nice move but couldn’t extend his backhand shot around Andersen for the goal. Weal had an early burst in the first period.

• The Flyers ran a set play off the faceoff as Couturier backhanded the puck to the top of the circle and Giroux one-timed for a shot. It looked like Andersen wasn’t anticipating it and was slow to react. The goal was Giroux’s 13th of the season and he is now one shy of his 2016-17 total.

• Just 27 seconds later, the Leafs scored in transition when Patrick Marleau came down the left wing and snapped a shot past Elliott. The puck seemed to catch Elliott under his right arm. Elliott was square to the shot but it somehow trickled underneath his blocker for a goal he would certainly like to have back. 

• The Maple Leafs got away with a clear tripping as Komarov got his stick in the skates of Shayne Gostisbehere, who stumbled and then fell to the ice. Not sure what the referee was looking at, but if called the Flyers would have had a 5-on-3 power play for about 1:25. It was Komarov with a wicked boarding play on “Ghost” the last time these two teams faced each other on Oct. 28.    

• It’s always interesting to see the different methods that Ivan Provorov utilizes to play defense in his zone. Late in the opening period, Provorov dug his left shoulder into the rib cage of high-flying Mitch Marner in an effort to slow him down and separate him from the puck. 

• The Flyers opened up the second period with a sustained shift of around a minute with the line of Michael Raffl, Valtteri Filppula and Jakub Voracek doing the dirty work down low. The Flyers were able to generate four shots on Andersen. In fact, the Flyers outshot the Leafs, 7-0, in just the first three minutes of the second period.

• Elliott flashed some quick reflexes off a double deflection after Dominic Moore got a stick on the slap shot that went off Provorov. Elliott was quick to snag it with his glove. Minutes earlier, Nazem Kadri’s snap shot deflected off the left post.

• Gudas made a poor pass to Couturier, which led to a turnover. As the Leafs regrouped, Josh Leivo got behind Gudas on a clear breakaway when Elliott made his best save of the night to get enough of the glove on the puck and keep the game tied at 1-1. Gudas struggled in his first game back.

• Following a Voracek tripping penalty, the Leafs capitalized on their first power play of the game. Defenseman Morgan Reilly wristed a shot that JVR was able to deflect up and over Elliott. That was the first power-play goal allowed in five games after the Flyers’ PK was a perfect 6 for 6 on the recent three-game road trip.

• In the opening minute of the third period, Giroux had a grade-A opportunity. Couturier took a shot low that Andersen extended his pad on to create a perfect rebound opportunity for Giroux, who cut across the crease. Andersen was able to turn aside Giroux’s chance as well.

• After outshooting the Leafs by a wide margin, the Flyers finally tied the game up at 2-2 on a sequence that all started when Andersen hesitated on what he wanted to do with the puck from his net. As he tried to pass it out, the puck hit off Konecny and stayed in the offensive zone. Eventually, Konecny launched a shot that went off two Leafs players and past Andersen. For Konecny, he’ll take any goal he can get with just two over his last 20 games.

• After giving up that first goal, Elliott was locked in. The Leafs had a centering pass from behind the goal line right to Connor Brown, who got off a point-blank shot. Elliott seemed to read it perfectly and made a dangerous play look rather easy.

Lineups, pairings and scratches

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl-Valtteri Filppula-Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal-Nolan Patrick-Dale Weise
Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Travis Konecny

Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

Scratches: Forward Jori Lehtera (healthy) and defenseman Mark Alt (healthy).