‘I barked a couple of times' — Drysdale makes Philly debut in Flyers' shootout win

‘I barked a couple of times' — Drysdale makes Philly debut in Flyers' shootout win originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers picked up their first comeback win when trailing by two goals as they beat the Canadiens, 3-2, Wednesday night in a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sean Couturier delivered in the skills competition.

Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost scored goals for the Flyers (21-14-6), who went 2-1-1 on their four-game homestand.

Jamie Drysdale picked up his first point in a Flyers jersey. He had a couple of looks in OT, as well.

John Tortorella's club had lost seven of its last nine games (2-4-3), so it needed a win before hitting the road again.

"It was a reset for us, we needed to reset how we play," Tortorella said. "Last home game before we go out for three [games]. I just don't think we've been playing fast enough, I don't think we've been direct enough going north. ... I liked the speed of our game [tonight] — that was the most important thing."

This was the 11th time the Flyers had gone to overtime in their last 21 games. They're 9-5-6 in games decided by one goal.

Competitive but also living on the edge.

The Flyers have 48 points through 41 games, their most at the halfway mark of a season since 2019-20, when they had 49 (22-14-5).

Tortorella's rebuilding Flyers currently hold a playoff spot in a busy race.

The Flyers face the Canadiens (17-17-6) two more times this season, with both matchups in Montreal.

• After being traded Monday and practicing Tuesday, Drysdale made his Flyers debut and got right to work on the power play.

He gave a lift to the club's 31st-ranked man advantage when he assisted Frost's game-tying 2-2 goal in the second period. Frost made it happen with a shot mentality.

"[Drysdale] walked the line really well, really smooth," Couturier said. "He gets guys to bite and get out of the lanes. He looks good back there. You can tell he's really mobile and has that offensive mind, sees the play really well. That was a nice setup for Frosty there."

The 21-year-old skated on the Flyers' top defensive pair opposite of Travis Sanheim. He moved well and his hockey sense was evident.

"I'm not going to jump up and down, but I am excited that we have a 21-year-old, right-handed defenseman that can skate like that," Tortorella said. "It's a perfect timing as far as where we are in our process."

Danny Briere landed Drysdale in the nobody-saw-it-coming Cutter Gauthier trade. The Flyers' GM mentioned how Drysdale would likely have to go through a learning phase because of the difference in systems with the Flyers and Ducks.

"Just the zone coverages, it's a change in that," Tortorella said at morning skate Wednesday. "We just spent 20 minutes with the whole team going over that. It's basically him just watching that. There are going to be some hiccups, but he's a bright kid. As we do with all the young players when they come here, we'll just teach and go through it."

Drysdale's new teammates awarded him the player of the game dog mask in the locker room.

"It was awesome. I barked a couple of times, which was pretty cool," Drysdale said. "That's a new thing for me. It's all fun, it's great. Nice to get the win on the first game and hopefully we can continue on the road trip."

The little-to-no sleep Monday night into Tuesday morning was worth it. Drysdale had a 5:45 a.m. flight Tuesday so he could arrive for his first practice.

"Definitely had a good sleep last night and then definitely a nice, long nap today," he said. "In saying that, it would be tough not to be excited to play this one."

• In the first period, Samuel Ersson yielded two goals on two shots.

Sean Monahan put Montreal in front just 1:29 minutes into the action when he redirected a shot.

David Savard's marker cushioned the Canadiens' lead 10 minutes later. It came on a tough bounce off of Frost, who was battling in front of the net.

The Flyers played a strong game in front of Ersson, who finished with 17 saves. The 24-year-old settled in and made a couple of timely stops, one of them at the tail end of OT. He stopped all three of Montreal's attempts in the shootout.

"For myself, I put this win in the mentally strong file," Ersson said. "It's hard to start a game like that, but it happens and you've got to deal with it. I think I did a good job, the team did a great job with how we battled back and got ourselves this win."

Canadiens netminder Cayden Primeau, the son of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau, turned away 37 shots.

He was absolutely superb in overtime.

Tippett's goal was a big one for the Flyers because it got them within 2-1 at first intermission.

• With the addition of Drysdale, the Flyers have eight healthy defensemen on their roster. As a result, Tortorella rolled with 11 forwards and seven blueliners against the Canadiens.

Nicolas Deslauriers and Marc Staal were scratches.

"It's healthy," Tortorella said of the in-house competition for playing time. "Just on the human side, I think the world of Nick. I know it kills him to sit out. Same thing with Marc Staal. They're both great competitors.

"You're not going to have everybody happy about things when your team is growing. So to me, it's a really good sign having to make tough decisions because you have more bodies and your team is growing and evolving."

• The Flyers held their annual Pride Night, which supports the LGBTQ+ community.

A number of players sported Pride-themed tape on their sticks during warmups.

• The Flyers head out on a three-game road trip, which kicks off Friday with a matchup against the Wild (8 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

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