When the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Nashville Predators on Thursday, they hope to make it ten straight games without a point.
The Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to seven games to seven games and two points in nine.
At 3:25 of overtime, Owen Tippett beat Vitek Vanecek to the glove side after stealing the puck.
With two goals from Ryan Poehling and 24 saves from backup goalie Sam Ersson, the Flyers won 18 games this season.
“We’re not the most skilled and we’re not the prettiest team, but we compete hard, and we believe in one another,” Poehling stated. “I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Carter Hart has been sidelined due to an undisclosed illness, but Ersson has significantly filled the void. When Hart is available to play, he will be difficult to remove from the lineup as he is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts.
“I’ve been feeling more confident, and I’ve been getting into a little bit of a flow here,” Ersson stated. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s crucial to pay attention to the present and remain in the moment. I am aware of how I began the season (three wins out of five games), so I understand how bad things can get.”
In the third period, Ersson stopped ten shots, and in overtime, he stopped three more.
Regarding Ersson, Flyers head coach John Tortorella said, “He’s a real confident kid.” “What strikes me about him is that even in his early struggles, he took responsibility for them. He expressed his disappointment, but he also promised to play better, which he has done. He seems bigger to me with every success that he achieves.”
The Predators continued their four-game winning streak on December 12 with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Flyers. They lost 5-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, ending their run.
Juuse Saros, the starting goalie, gave way to Kevin Lankinen in the third period after the latter gave up five goals on 24 shots.
Long stretches of the Predators’ defense saw difficulty keeping the puck in front of the goalies.
Andrew Brunette, the head coach of Nashville, stated, “I didn’t like our focus.” We discussed that, particularly in light of everything that’s going on this time of year. We didn’t seem to be very bright mentally, and we also lacked energy. Although I believe you should rinse it, I also believe that there should be some small lessons learned there.”
The Predators have been improving faster than anticipated despite the loss.
“It’s simple to nod off with us,” stated forward Tommy Novak. “It’s evident from the roster that there isn’t much experience up front. Teams can definitely treat you lightly, in my opinion. That could soon alter.”
In fact, Brunette feels that his team is receiving far more attention than they are.
“I’ve liked my group the whole year,” he stated.
Due to an upper-body injury, Predators forward Kiefer Sherwood has missed the last three games. Sherwood didn’t play against the Canucks on Tuesday despite taking part in the morning skate. It’s unclear if Sherwood will play against the Flyers.