Flyers

Even controversial OT winner can't slow down Konecny

Even controversial OT winner can't slow down Konecny

BOX SCORE

DETROIT — Twenty-seven is Travis Konecny’s lucky number these days.

That’s because, for the second game in a row, Konecny scored a goal 27 seconds into overtime to give the Flyers a win.

The Red Wings were Konecny’s victims Tuesday night, as his overtime marker gave the Flyers a 3-2 win at Little Caesars Arena for their eighth win in nine games (see observations). On Sunday, Konecny scored 27 seconds into the extra period to beat the Capitals, 2-1.

“I don't know, but it is certainly going well. I think it is just a matter of not thinking and having fun out there,” Konecny said. “I always know Coots (Sean Couturier) is going to get me the puck in a good spot, and I've had a couple go in.”

Konecny, who has nine goals and 21 points in 48 games for the season, has four goals and six points in his past six games.

Konecny became the second Flyer to score back-to-back overtime winners — Sami Kapanen did it on Dec. 28, 2005, at Atlanta, and then Dec. 29, 2005, at Carolina.

Tuesday night’s OT winner was reviewed because it was possibly offside. With the play on the right-wing boards, the puck came out of the Detroit zone, with Konecny still in. But Couturier poked it right back into the zone and it was ruled that Konecny got his skate on the blue line — putting himself back onside — before he touched the puck.

From there, he skated into the right-wing circle and beat Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek with a shot on the short side (see highlights).

“I was pretty sure it was a good goal,” Konecny said. “When I saw the replay, my skates hit the blue line before the puck hit my stick. I didn't think they had enough to overturn it.”

Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist, defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored and Couturier had two assists. Goaltender Brian Elliott had to make only 19 saves, but a few were outstanding.

“When you look at the shot clock, it didn't look like I had much to do, but it felt like a lot of work,” Elliott said. “They had a lot of great chances where they missed the net.”

Two of those chances were by Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi in the third period with a chance to break the tie.

Seconds after Frans Nielsen tied it 2-2 for the Red Wings with 9:16 remaining in regulation, Bertuzzi had the puck in the lower right circle facing an open net. But MacDonald got his stick on Bertuzzi’s shot and deflected it over the net.

And with 1:11 left in regulation, Bertuzzi, off a rebound, appeared to have an easy tap-in from two or three feet but shot the puck wide and went barreling into the net, knocking it off its moorings for a stoppage in play.

The Flyers scored twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

Voracek’s power-play goal with 37 seconds left in the middle period gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead. It was his ninth goal and came just 12 seconds after Dylan Larkin took a tripping penalty.

MacDonald tied it 1-1 for the Flyers 1:10 into the second.

The Flyers outshot the Red Wings, 18-7, in the second period after a slow start in the first.

“We had a really sluggish start, but we were really good in the second period. It was night and day,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “They really pushed us back at the end, especially with their speed, but we found a way to get two points.”

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 9:18 left in the first when his shot from the left point deflected in off the leg of Brandon Manning.

The Flyers outshot the Red Wings — who beat New Jersey, 3-0, Monday night — 5-4.

2018 NHL draft position preview — Left wingers

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AP Images

2018 NHL draft position preview — Left wingers

We began our 2018 NHL draft position previews with a look at the top draft-eligible centers. This draft is top-heavy at wing and defense. We continue our previews with a look at left wingers.

Filip Zadina, 6-0/195, Halifax (QMJHL)
Zadina, who finished as the third-best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, led all QMJHL rookies and was tied for seventh among all players in 2017-18 with 82 points. He won the Mike Bossy Trophy as the league’s best professional prospect. Playing for the Czech Republic, Zadina was named to the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship All-Star team, scoring eight points in seven games. Hard-working winger with an elite shot, future top-liner.

Draft projection: Top three

Brady Tkachuk, 6-3/196, Boston University (NCAA)
The son of USA Hockey Hall of Famer Keith Tkachuk and brother of Matthew Tkachuk (Flames), Brady Tkachuk checks in as the second-best North American skater by Central Scouting. Had eight goals and 31 points in 40 games during his freshman season at Boston University and added three goals and nine points in seven games during the world juniors. He plays a physical game much like his dad and brother but has a little more finesse to it.

Draft projection: Top five

Joel Farabee, 6-0/164, USNTDP
Farabee finished as the 12th-rated North American skater by Central Scouting. Possesses excellent speed and a strong shot and plays an effective two-way game. A little undersized but the game has changed, so that shouldn’t be a major issue. He had 15 goals and 40 points in 26 games for Team USA in the USHL in 2017-18, and 33 goals and 76 points in 64 games for the USA U-18 team in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

Draft projection: Between Nos. 10-18

Grigori Denisenko, 5-11/176, Yarolsavl Jr (Russia)
Denisenko saw a three-spot drop from the Central Scouting midterm rankings to the final, finishing as the seventh-best European skater. He’s gifted with the puck and makes plays, but he has a bit of a reputation as an inconsistent player. The Russian factor may scare teams away. Had nine goals and 22 points in 31 games in the MHL and played four games in the KHL playoffs. On talent alone, Denisenko is among the best in this year’s class.

Draft projection: Mid-to-late first round

Blake McLaughlin, 6-0/162, Chicago (USHL)
McLaughlin checks in as the 24th-rated North American skater by Central Scouting. Another American prospect among the top draft-eligible left wingers, McLaughlin’s best attribute is his shot, though he’s an excellent skater. He finished the 2017-18 season with the Chicago Steel as nearly a point-per-game player, scoring 23 goals and 52 points in 54 games. He’s headed to the University of Minnesota in the fall. Could squeak into late first round but probably a second-rounder.

Draft projection: Early second round

NBC Sports Philadelphia+ to air Lehigh Valley Phantoms Eastern Conference Finals Games

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JustSports Photography

NBC Sports Philadelphia+ to air Lehigh Valley Phantoms Eastern Conference Finals Games

Philadelphia, PA (May 18, 2018) — NBC Sports Philadelphia announced today the network will air the American Hockey League Eastern Conference Finals games featuring the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Toronto Marlies. Games Three through Five will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ at 7 p.m.
 
May 23 - Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 3 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+

May 25** — Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 4 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+

May 26*** — Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 5 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+, *if necessary
 
** Philadelphia Soul will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

*** The Philadelphia Phillies game will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia, regardless if there is a Game 5 or not.

Atlantic Division Champions for the 2017-18 season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will face off against the Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The winner of the best-of-seven series will then advance to the 2018 Calder Cup Finals. After posting the AHL’s second-most wins (47) and second-most standings points (105), the top-seeded Phantoms eliminated the Providence Bruins in four games (3-1) in the opening round before defeating the Charlotte Checkers in five games (4-1) in the Atlantic Division Finals — a series which included the historic longest game in AHL history.