Going up against the best player in the world, the last thing the Flyers wanted to see was an opportunity for Connor McDavid to have more open ice to work with. They provided it by going beyond regulation into 3-on-3 overtime, then the shootout. It seemed like a recipe for success for the Edmonton Oilers.
But on this night, another Edmonton native got the last laugh. Carter Hart made 34 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped Leon Draisaitl in the final round of the shootout to secure a 2-1 Flyers win on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers opened the scoring at 7:50 of the first period. In transition, Travis Sanheim got the puck to Kevin Hayes at the right circle. Hayes fired a shot that sailed over the shoulder of Stuart Skinner and in for his 16th goal of the season.
In the first period, the Flyers managed to keep the chances limited for the Oilers. Through 20 minutes, shots were 10-7 Flyers.
Just 1:56 into the second period, the Oilers got the game tied. Off a rush, Evander Kane took a drop pass from McDavid and was able to get the shot through Hart to make it a 1-1 game with his eighth goal of the season. The assist extended McDavid’s active points streak to 14 games.
Both teams managed some scoring chances in the middle frame, but no additional goals. Through two periods, shots were 22-18 Flyers.
In the third, the Oilers turned up the pressure, especially in the final 10 minutes of the period, eventually out-shooting the Flyers, 12-11, in the third. With 12:36 remaining in the third, the Oilers appeared to take the lead.
Draisaitl set up Warren Foegele, who drove the net and had his chance stopped by Hart. As the puck sat in the crease, Foegele made contact with Hart and Zach Hyman scored. While the call on the ice was a goal, the Flyers challenged for goalie interference and the call was overturned, keeping the game at 1-1.
In overtime, Hart came up big again, making multiple saves on McDavid in the 3-on-3. That sent the game to the shootout.
After both Travis Konecny and McDavid were held off the board in the first round, both teams got goals in the second round. Morgan Frost put the Flyers ahead, then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins matched on his attempt.
James van Riemsdyk scored in the third round, and Draisaitl was stopped at the other end to seal the result.
Hart finished with 34 saves on 35 shots in the win. Skinner made 35 saves on 36 shots in the loss.
The Flyers continue their homestand on Saturday afternoon, taking on the Nashville Predators at 12:30 p.m.