Flyers vs. Hurricanes: John Tortorella's club suffers gut-wrenching OT loss to Carolina
Flyers give up lead with 0.3 seconds left, suffer gut-wrenching loss in OT originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Flyers allowed a game-tying goal with 0.3 seconds left in regulation Saturday night before suffering a 5-4 overtime loss to the Hurricanes at the Wells Fargo Center.
Carolina's last-second comeback spoiled the Flyers' youth-infused rally.
John Tortorella's club erased a pair of two-goal deficits and took a 4-3 lead in the third period.
The Hurricanes entered the game 30-1-4 when holding a lead at second intermission. They held a 3-2 edge Saturday heading into the final stanza, but goals from Joel Farabee and Brendan Lemieux put the Flyers ahead.
Martin Necas, however, flushed a loose puck with 0.3 ticks left on the clock after Felix Sandstrom made an initial save to nearly seal the game. The equalizer came at 6-on-4 for Carolina as it emptied its net with Scott Laughton in the box because of a holding penalty.
"Did I think it was a penalty? No, but I'm on that side of it, so of course I'm probably biased on that side," Laughton said. "But it's a neutral-zone play, I stick-checked a guy and they call a penalty. That's the way the game goes."
Sebastian Aho punctuated a hat trick with the OT winner just 28 seconds into the bonus session.
"I thought we played really well, I thought we had the game controlled," Tortorella said. "I don't know how to evaluate it right now."
The Flyers (25-32-12) dropped to 1-11 in overtime.
Tortorella's team is 2-10-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets and hasn't won consecutive games since Jan. 9-14, when it picked up three straight.
"We can spit out our record in our back-to-backs. We don't have a good record period," Tortorella said before the game. "So I'm not even going to the back-to-backs. We need to get consistent in winning hockey games period."
Tyson Foerster scored his first career NHL goal on his well-advertised shot and finished with a two-point game.
Noah Cates also found the back of the net.
"The young guys played really well," Laughton said.
The Flyers are 1-1-1 on their season-long seven-game homestand. They've lost 17 of their last 22 games (5-12-5).
The Flyers were swept by the Hurricanes (45-15-8) in their four-game regular-season series (0-2-2). All four of the Flyers' losses were by one goal. The Flyers have lost 20 times in games decided by one goal (9-8-12).
"That's a good hockey team over there and we were with them all night, we played a good game in here," Lemieux said. "We're proud of that. Tyson and some of these younger guys that had big nights, it's good for them, it helps build confidence for the rest of this year and then moving forward. We're happy for them."
Carolina is leading the Metropolitan Division and own the NHL's second-most points (98), behind only the Bruins (109).
It was dealt a tough loss this week when key forward Andrei Svechnikov had to undergo season-ending ACL surgery.
• A day after putting up five goals on the Sabres, who are prone to give 'em up, the Flyers squared off with one of the most structured and sound teams in the league.
But they were able to build off of the offensive breakout from the 5-2 win over Buffalo.
That's nine goals in their last two games.
They just needed to finish this one.
Prior to these two games, the Flyers had scored just 2.05 goals per game over their past 20 games.
• Tortorella likes Foerster's makeup. He recently praised the prospect's poise with the puck and sees potential with the 21-year-old winger's size at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds.
And, of course, the shot is what got Foerster selected in the first round of the 2020 draft.
He drew the Flyers within 2-1 during the second period as Morgan Frost found him in transition.
After Aho scored his second marker of the game to make 3-1, the Flyers cut it back to a one-goal game. Foerster created a rebound for Cates with the Flyers on a 5-on-3 power play late in the middle stanza.
Through five games with the big club, Foerster has a goal and two assists.
The Flyers' young forwards were a significant positive Saturday. Owen Tippett (two assists), Foerster (one goal, one assist), Cates (one goal, one assist), Frost (two assists) and Farabee (goal) combined for nine points.
"Encouraging stuff with the kids," Tortorella said.
The 27-year-old Lemieux, a trade deadline acquisition, also had a two-point performance.
"These retools or rebuilds, they happen fast and it starts with the guys you bring up like Tyson," Lemieux said. "This young group in here, it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be fun to watch these kids grow."
• Sandstrom saw the Hurricanes on the road nine days ago and suffered a tough-luck, 1-0 loss despite making 28 saves.
He stomached another tough loss to Carolina. The 26-year-old finished with 29 saves.
In the first period, Carolina forechecked the Flyers into turnovers and a ton of defensive-zone play.
Aho broke the ice with 5:08 left in the opening frame and Brady Skjei made it 2-0 before first intermission.
Hurricanes netminder Frederik Andersen improved to 11-4-3 lifetime against the Flyers with 29 saves.
• The homestand continues Tuesday when the Flyers welcome the Panthers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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