Coyotes surrender 5 goals in 2nd period, lose to Flyers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All-Star Kevin Hayes scored one of five goals for Philadelphia in the second period and Morgan Frost had four assists to help lift the Flyers to their fourth straight victory, 6-2 over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
Hayes was a surprise selection as the Flyers’ selection to All-Star weekend, earning the nod over standout winger Travis Konecny or goalie Carter Hart.
Konecny did score his 20th goal of the season to start the scoring surge for the Flyers in the second. Joel Farabee, Wade Allison and Ivan Provorov also scored for the 5-2 lead that kept their hot streak rolling.
James van Riemsdyk made it 6-2 in the third and helped the Flyers score at least three goals in eight straight games.
Hart stopped 21 shots. Michael Carcone scored late in the first period to give Arizona a 1-0 lead and Nick Ritchie answered Konency’s goal early in the second for a 2-1 lead. Arizona lost its third straight game.
The Flyers won three straight in California against San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim to kick off a rare winning streak. San Jose and Anaheim are two of the worst teams in the league. So are the Coyotes.
Yes, the Flyers are on that list, too. Their 15th win puts them among the bottom three in the Eastern Conference — and there are Flyers fans that want to see just how low the franchise can sink.
After year after empty year without a Stanley Cup, the Flyers could follow their fellow Wells Fargo Center tenant’s blueprint from a decade ago and turn into Team Tank, much as the 76ers did. The Flyers are in the Battle for Bedard mix, as teams know the prize for a pitiful season is the potential No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft and the right to draft presumed generational talent Connor Bedard.
So where do the Flyers fit?
The team hired fiery John Tortorella to steer the team toward the Stanley Cup and the coach who won one in 2004 with Tampa Bay has no use for the premise that losing games can help the franchise.
“When you haven’t put the points on the board that you’d like as far as your record, a coach has to find ways to keep up morale and take opportunities to create that,” he said before the game. “They’ve kind of created some on their own with some wins. We talk about rebuilding, all the language, all the articles written about what this team is, what it’s supposed to be, people pissed off, tank, all that stuff that’s being talked about. All the players want to do is win.”
The Flyers should enjoy their success while they can: they play four times next week against East contenders Toronto, Buffalo and Washington.
Hayes — who was a healthy scratch this season by Tortorella — is a first-time All-Star. He has 10 goals this season.
Arizona’s selection was forward Clayton Keller. The three-time All-Star tied Keith Tkachuk and Teppo Numminen for the most All-Star game appearances in Coyotes history.
Coyotes: At Chicago on Friday night.