PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sean Couturier scored the game winner a minute into overtime, and the Philadelphia Flyers relied on a pair of power-play goals to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive victory.
Couturier took advantage of a turnover by Jack Eichel and tried to pass the puck to Travis Konecny, but the pass took a weird bounce and slid through the pads of goalie Logan Thompson. The goal stood up to video review for a potential missed stoppage.
“That was supposed to go on (Konecny’s) blade, and I don’t know what happened on the way,” Couturier said. “I guess it bounced but was definitely a pass.”
The Flyers’ power play, which has ranked at or near the bottom of the league all season, was able to score on its first two opportunities.
Owen Tippett scored for the fourth consecutive game, banging in the rebound of a shot from Travis Sanheim to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Tyson Foerster scored his first goal of the season 59 seconds into the second, gathering a partially blocked shot by Sanheim and putting it past Thompson to make it 2-0.
Foerster, a 2020 first-round pick the Flyers drafted with the hopes he can provide goal-scoring volume, snapped a 15-game goal drought.
“When you are young and coming into the league and used to scoring a lot, you are going to have stretches like that,” Couturier said of Foerster. “It’s how you play with and without the puck afterwards that matters. He’s been playing good hockey and doing a lot of things right, so it’s nice to see him finally get rewarded and now he can loosen up a little bit and the goals will probably come in bunches.”
Aside from the improved power play, the Flyers also blocked 27 shots in the game. This came after a win Wednesday at Carolina in which they blocked 33 shots.
“You don’t play if you don’t block shots,” coach John Tortorella said. “Some teams are good at it. It needs to be a mainstay for us. Those types of things create the camaraderie in the locker room.”
Sean Walker also scored for Philadelphia, floating in a seeing-eye wrist shot from the blue line. Carter Hart made 28 saves to earn the win.
“He definitely gave us a chance to win early in the game,” Tortorella said. “He’s been really good. He’s done it all year. He just goes about it. He’s been steady.”
Reigning playoff MVP Jonathan Marchessault scored twice in the second period for Vegas, first on a spinning backhander from the left circle and later on a two-man-advantage for his ninth goal of the season.
William Karlsson started the scoring for the Golden Knights, snapping a wrister that deflected off Flyers defenseman Nick Seeler and past Hart.
Vegas has been adept at overcoming deficits this season, but Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy would prefer they not have to chase games, something they’ve had to do a bunch in the first three games of this road trip.
“We got what we deserved,” Cassidy said. “You mismanage enough pucks, sooner or later it’s going to cost you.”
On a roll and surprisingly 9-7-1 to start the season, the Flyers are on the verge of getting a couple of veteran defensemen back in their lineup. Marc Staal (rib) and Rasmus Ristolainen (lower body) have been practicing with the team.
Vegas: Continues its road trip at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Flyers: Host Columbus on Sunday.