Flyers

A hat trick and rout of Devils give Flyers season-best 3rd straight win

Flyers

The Flyers picked up a season-best third straight win with a 6-1 knockout of the Devils on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Cam Atkinson scored a hat trick and nine different Flyers recorded at least a point.

So far, Mike Yeo has worked his magic with the Flyers. They've scored four or more goals in four of their five games under Yeo, who improved to 3-2-0 as the club's interim head coach.

Prior to Yeo's first game, the Flyers hadn't scored more than three goals in a game since Oct. 27, a span of 17 games.

The Flyers (11-12-4) have stressed being more connected in the defensive and neutral zones. On Tuesday night, they were as connected as they've been under Yeo thus far. The Flyers played a ton with the puck and didn't give New Jersey much at all when they didn't have it.

"As a coaching staff, what we're going to make sure is that they realize the result came because of their hard work," Yeo said postgame. "I think that we have to make sure that they understand how hard we worked in order to have that result and how hard we need to work for the next game to continue that."

The Flyers won't see the Devils (10-12-5) again for the remainder of the regular season. They went 1-2-0 against New Jersey.

• The Flyers had been outscored 8-2 in their pair of losses to the Devils at the Prudential Center. New Jersey blanked the Flyers, 3-0, last Wednesday to hand them their 10th consecutive defeat in Yeo's second game, two days after the firing of Alain Vigneault and Michel Therrien.

 

Yeo wanted the Flyers to play with a different edge at home against their division opponent.

"One of the things we talked about is I don't know that we necessarily have hated these guys for a rivalry team compared to maybe, say, Washington or Pittsburgh," Yeo said before the game. "These guys have come into the game and we kind of just go into the game and next thing you know, we come out with a loss.

"I think that we have to treat it like it is — a division opponent, rivalry game. Not to say that we want nastiness, but obviously I think that a little bit more of a physical approach to the game, a little bit more attitude and grit in those kind of games can serve us well."

The Flyers answered Yeo's challenge. They were up 5-1 at second intermission. On the night, Atkinson led the way with his hat trick and four points, while Travis Sanheim, Justin Braun and Oskar Lindblom also tallied markers.

One of Atkinson's goals was at shorthanded while the Flyers did the rest of their damage at even strength.

"The structure, it's trusting your teammates, not hoping that the puck is going to come to you or cheating for the offense," Atkinson said. "It's playing the right way, playing hard, reloading, backchecking, having good sticks, creating turnovers and capitalizing on that transition play. Some people might not like that game, but when you all buy in, good things happen. It's exciting to play."

The only bad aspect from Tuesday night's game for the Flyers was Morgan Frost had to exit during the first period for COVID protocols.

Update: Breaking down what's next for Flyers, Frost after COVID protocol scare pops up

• After his 41-save win last Friday over the Golden Knights, Carter Hart followed it up with 26 stops on 27 shots to beat New Jersey.

The 23-year-old goalie got excellent performances across the board from his defensemen. Rasmus Ristolainen finished with his first multi-point game as a Flyer (two assists) and recorded six hits.

The Flyers finally cracked Mackenzie Blackwood in regulation. The New Jersey netminder entered 8-0-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .934 save percentage lifetime against the Flyers.

On Tuesday night, Blackwood was pulled after the second period. He allowed five goals on 22 shots through 40 minutes.

• Ryan Ellis (lower body) is getting closer to skating after undergoing an MRI on Monday.

The top-pair defenseman's status still looks like a possible return around Jan. 1.

 

"I talked to him this morning, obviously progressing," Yeo said before the game. "He wasn't on the ice this morning but I know that's something that we're looking to get him into very quickly here. Still continue to treat, still continue to monitor it. We're obviously very anxious to get him back, but it's still going to be a little bit of time based on the fact that he hasn't been on the ice yet."

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Wednesday in Voorhees, New Jersey before they head to Montreal for a matchup Thursday against the Canadiens (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

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