Flyers beat defending champs in OT, extend win streak to 4

Flyers beat defending champs in OT, extend win streak to 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers pushed their season-best winning streak to four games by taking down the defending champion Golden Knights, 4-3, in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sean Couturier scored the OT winner on a bouncing shot.

Owen Tippett, Tyson Foerster and Sean Walker also scored goals for the Flyers (9-7-1), who have outscored opponents 17-9 in this four-game run. They have yet to trail during their streak.

Tippett (one goal, one assist), Couturier (one goal, one assist) and Travis Sanheim (two assists) had multi-point games.

John Tortorella's club improved to 1-3-1 in games decided by one goal.

The Flyers split their two-game regular-season series with the Golden Knights (13-3-2). Both games were decided by one goal.

Vegas entered with an NHL-best 27 points but has dropped four of its last six games.

• The final five minutes of the second period saw drastic swings.

Twenty-five seconds after the Golden Knights drew even at 2-2, Walker responded by burying a shot from the perimeter.

But the Flyers practically gifted Vegas its second game-tying goal of the game. Walker, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton were all whistled for penalties in the span of a minute and a half. Jonathan Marchessault scored his second of the day with the 5-on-3 power play, sending the game into second intermission knotted at 3-3.

• The Flyers' power play, which entered 4 for 53 on the season, struck twice 21 minutes into the game.

Tippett opened the scoring with 4:31 minutes left in the first period, giving the Flyers their first man advantage goal of November. Fifty-nine seconds into the second period, Foerster struck for his first marker of the season.

The 21-year-old celebrated with a big pump of the fist. Other parts of his game had been there but his best asset is putting the puck in the net.

While the power play got off the schneid, it had a significant missed opportunity later in the middle stanza.

Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson was hit with a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for crosschecking Garnet Hathaway near his face. The Flyers, holding a 2-1 lead, failed to cash in on the five-minute man advantage and Vegas capitalized shortly after with an equalizer from Marchessault.

The Flyers' power play finished 2 for 4. It had an opportunity late in the third period but couldn't net the game-winner.

Carter Hart recorded 28 saves on 31 shots.

He was important early as the Flyers took a little while to get situated but survived the slow start. The 25-year-old gave them a good chance to win and the Flyers rewarded him.

Hart made a huge save as the Golden Knights threatened at shorthanded in the final two minutes of regulation.

William Karlsson cut the Flyers' 2-0 lead in half during the second period when his shot changed direction off the skate of a Flyer.

After blocking 30 shots in their 3-1 win Wednesday over the Hurricanes, the Flyers blocked 26 more Saturday.

Vegas backup Logan Thompson stopped 34 of the Flyers' 38 shots.

Bobby Brink was healthy scratched for a third straight game. The Flyers don't want to sit a 22-year-old prospect for an extended period. Often, though, a team doesn't like to make too many changes when it's on a good run.

"I have to get Bobby in, but I have to find a better time than when I think about the team," Tortorella said Friday after practice.

The head coach reiterated how he and general manager Danny Briere have to balance the desire to win and the importance of developing their younger players. The Flyers believe winning and developing can go hand in hand.

"We have stated we're rebuilding. I think when you state that, people think that, 'All right, we're just going to pour all the young players in there,'" Tortorella said. "When you're dealing with young players and you're dealing with them where we are, in the landscape of this team, there is still a priority to teach young players how to win and what's expected to help us win.

"We're going to play the young guys, but we also have to take care of the young guys and not put them in spots that we're hurting them, hurting their development. Because I've seen it, when teams kind of give in and just keep playing the young guys — some guys don't recover and they don't play in the league. That's so unfair.

"That point and juggling the thought that people pay money, we are the Philadelphia Flyers, trying to get some respect in this league. We are going to try to win."

A young player whose leash could be shortening is Egor Zamula. The 23-year-old defenseman has shown flashes of promise but has fought it recently. He didn't play in the third period Wednesday night after committing his fifth penalty in his last four games.

Zamula played 13:18.

"Z's in a spot with me now, where do we go here?" Tortorella said. "Because there has been some struggles there. That's where we have conversations as far as what's the best thing for him. Certainly haven't given up on him, but we don't want to put him in a spot all the time where he keeps chipping down because of those mistakes. That's why we may have to back off sometimes and not play him. Those are the conversations that I have with Danny daily."

Marc Staal did not play against the Golden Knights despite being cleared to return Friday from an upper-body injury. We'll see if the veteran defenseman draws into the lineup against the Blue Jackets after not playing the last 13 games.

• Prior to the game, the Flyers held a moment of silence for Roman Cechmanek, the team's former goaltender who died Sunday at the age of 52.

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they host Ivan Provorov and Columbus (5:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

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