Ersson's huge save springs Flyers to needed win over Sharks

Ersson's huge save springs Flyers to needed win over Sharks originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A brilliant third-period save by Samuel Ersson propelled the Flyers a 3-2 win Tuesday night over the Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center.

Ersson denied Alexander Barabanov on a breakaway 4:12 minutes into the final stanza to keep the game tied at 2-2. The toe stop gave the Flyers an opportunity to take the lead just 57 seconds later.

Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost and Owen Tippett scored the Flyers' goals.

Tippett netted the game-winner on a delayed penalty. Travis Konecny found him backdoor with a great feed.

With 76 points, the Flyers (34-24-8) have already eclipsed last season's total of 75 (31-38-13). They have 16 games remaining this season.

Head coach John Tortorella served the first game of his two-game suspension. Assistant coaches Brad Shaw, Rocky Thompson and Darryl Williams ran the Flyers' bench.

The Flyers split their two-game regular-season series with the Sharks (16-41-7). San Jose beat the Flyers back on Nov. 7 to pick up its first win of the season after an 0-10-1 start.

Ahead of last Friday's NHL trade deadline, the Sharks traded away their 2024 All-Star (Tomas Hertl), a goal-scoring winger (Anthony Duclair) and a goaltender (Kaapo Kahkonen).

• Coming off the shortest outing of his NHL career, Ersson answered in a clutch way.

The 24-year-old finished with 26 saves on 28 shots. He quietly converted some key stops in the first period.

The Flyers never trailed, in large part because of Ersson. They had self-inflicted wounds, committing six penalties and allowing San Jose to tie the game twice on the power play.

But they were much better in the third period and Ersson delivered the biggest play of the night.

Sharks netminder Magnus Chrona stopped 39 of the Flyers' 42 shots.

• This game was pivotal for the Flyers because they now face a daunting stretch. Their next seven games come against teams in playoff position, all of them contenders.

Two vs. BOS
Two vs. TOR
One vs. FLA
One vs. NYR
One vs. CAR

The Flyers entered Tuesday with a 71.4 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to's probabilities report. They've been in third place since the end of January and are four points up on the Islanders, who have played two fewer games.

• Frost did his best Jalen Hurts impression, threading the needle and leading Farabee with a perfect pass through the middle of the ice for the game-opening goal in the first period.

The 24-year-old center gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead in the second period with a power play marker.

After sitting Jan. 4, his 11th healthy scratch of the season, Frost has put up five goals and 17 assists in 28 games. His 22 points over that span are the most on the Flyers.

Konecny had two helpers Tuesday night and Tippett unleashed eight shots.

Cam York and Travis Sanheim were really effective in big minutes for a team depleted on the back end.

York had a pair of assists and was a plus-1. Sanheim was a plus-1, as well.

Cam Atkinson, Nicolas Deslauriers and Adam Ginning were healthy scratches. The Flyers went the traditional 12 forwards and six defensemen.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Wednesday at noon ET in Voorhees, New Jersey before hosting the Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET/ESPN+, Hulu).

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