Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers were among the worst teams in the NHL.
Through seven games this season, the Flyers are surprisingly one of the best.
After a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday, the Flyers reveled in their fifth win in seven games.
They will look to build on the positive momentum when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
All of this success has come without key injured players Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis and Cam Atkinson.
Goaltender Carter Hart is 5-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average.
“Hartsy’s been our backbone the whole year,” Philadelphia forward Kevin Hayes said. “We’ve got five wins, and he’s the main reason for all of them.”
Joel Farabee had one goal and one assist while Travis Konecny and Hayes added two assists apiece against the Panthers.
“I wanted to respond right away,” Konecny said. “It wasn’t a good effort for me in the previous game — the last two games, actually — and I wanted to make sure I was doing as much as I could to help the team (on Thursday).”
Couturier may not be able to help the team for a while. Flyers coach John Tortorella said that Couturier had a setback in his return from a back injury.
Atkinson, who scored 23 goals last season, remains sidelined due to an upper-body injury.
“Things just changed,” Tortorella said of Atkinson. “I’m not going to get into a long conversation about it. Things changed, and it just went the other way. That’s one frustrated young man right there. He wants to be a big part of this. He was probably one of the better players here last year.”
Before the Hurricanes fell 6-2 to the New York Islanders on Friday, they traded defenseman Ethan Bear and forward Lane Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for a fifth-round draft pick in 2023.
Bear had been scratched in each of the team’s first six games.
The Hurricanes, who played at home on Friday for the first time in more than two weeks, received goals from Martin Necas and Brent Burns. However, they struggled on defense, especially in their own zone.
When the Hurricanes had chances on offense, like a two-man advantage late in the second period, they weren’t always able to convert.
Carolina trailed 3-2 after two periods and then was blitzed in the third.
Now it’s back on the road for a trip to Philadelphia.
“We go right back at it (Saturday). I think that’s a blessing,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We can leave this one and focus on the next one.”
It was only the second regulation loss for the Hurricanes this season, but it was arguably their most disappointing performance in the young season.
“Once we got behind, it was like we almost tried too hard,” Brind’Amour said. “Trying to make plays that weren’t there and that fed into what they wanted.”
Frederik Andersen got his third straight start in goal for Carolina on Friday, and he stopped just 26 of 31 shots. It’s likely Antti Raanta (1-0-1, 1.93 goals-against average) will start on Saturday.
–Field Level Media