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Exceeding expectations, Flyers welcome Blues

Feb 27, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Tyson Foerster (71) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers will look to continue their positive momentum at home when they battle the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

The Flyers received two goals from Tyson Foerster and defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Saturday.

With key players Travis Konecny and Jamie Drysdale injured, Foerster has responded with six goals in the last five games. Also impressive: Foerster’s surge came after he missed four games with a foot injury.

“You’ve just got to keep playing,” Foerster said. “I had a bunch of chances early on in the year and they weren’t going in. Now they’re starting to.”

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, the Flyers have continued to exceed expectations.

Every time this season when it looks like the Flyers could be reeling, they find ways to respond.

The Flyers couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and fell 5-2 on the road to the Washington Capitals on Friday but rallied one night later with a big win over the Senators.

“You don’t have to direct the group too much,” Philadelphia coach John Tortorella said Saturday. “They’ve assessed themselves pretty well this year. I had full confidence coming into tonight’s game that they were going to answer the proper way.”

Goaltender Felix Sandstrom played his first NHL game since April 13, 2023. He was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Feb. 24 and made 24 saves in his season debut.

It was Foerster who carried the Flyers to another victory with his all-around performance.

“It’s easy for a coach to look at a guy for scoring but also know he’s probably one of your best defensive players, too,” Tortorella said. “So, I’ve been looking his way pretty much all year long.”

The Blues will arrive in Philadelphia following an impressive 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 21 saves and the Blues were able to snap a three-game losing streak.

Binnington passed Curtis Joseph for third place on the Blues’ all-time wins list with 138.

Torey Krug had one goal and one assist while Jake Neighbours and Alexey Toropchenko added one goal apiece in the much-needed win.

“It’s important. We’re going on a road trip right now and we’re a few points back, so whenever you’re at home, you try to collect as many as you can,” Krug said. “Important for our group, even our group confidence and psyche moving forward. It’s important for us.”

Toropchenko’s goal was his 10th of the season, which tied his career high.

“(Brandon Saad) went to the corner, and he turned around and found Scotty (Scott Perunovich) on the top of the blue line,” Toropchenko said. “I just parked myself in front of the net, just kind of grabbed two guys behind me and saw Scotty was looking at me. I was trying to get the stick to the right position, so it worked.”

The 3-1 victory was far from perfect.

For a team trying to snap a losing skid, it was perfectly acceptable.

“I think for us, in the past, we haven’t played well in these games,” St. Louis coach Drew Bannister said. “By no means do I think we played our best, but I do think we found a way to win in the end. That’s an important game for us, and that’s an important two points, and we’ve got to build momentum off this going onto the road.”

–Field Level Media

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