The Flyers opened up the four-game road trip with an impressive win in Vancouver. Having to follow that up the next night in Seattle, the extensive travel and packed schedule appeared to catch up to the Flyers. Despite that, they earned another point and keep pace in the standings.
On Sunday night, in the finale for 2023, the Flyers again looked tired and unable to keep up with the Calgary Flames. In the final 20 minutes, the Flames were able to break through for three goals and hold on for a 4-3 result, despite the Flyers best efforts to erase a pair of two-goal deficits late.
The Flyers got on the board first just shy of the halfway point of the opening period. After winning a loose puck along the boards, Ryan Poehling made a nice pass through a Calgary defender to Rasmus Ristolainen up on the rush. Ristolainen scored for his first goal of the season at 9:44.
For the rest of the period, the Flyers were very much on their heels. Sam Ersson kept the Flames off the board. Shots were 11-8 Calgary through 20 minutes.
The Flyers had two power-play chances in the second period, but the struggles on the man-advantage continued. The Flames kept the pressure on throughout the period, and finally solved Ersson with 1:39 remaining in the second.
After multiple failed clears, Andrew Mangiapane set up Mikael Backlund in the slot for the one-timer, making it a 1-1 game on Backlund’s eighth goal of the season.
Through two periods, shots were 21-19 Calgary.
For the Flyers to keep their nine-game road points streak going, it was going to take another gutsy effort in the third period. But at 7:29, the Flames got the important next goal to take the lead.
Dennis Gilbert fired a shot high to the short side on Ersson, making it a 2-1 game with his first goal of the season.
With the teams at 4-on-4, the Flames essentially put the game away with 5:31 to play. The Flames got a two-on-one off the ensuing face-off and Nazem Kadri finished it off with his 10th goal of the season to make it 3-1.
The Flyers pulled the goal after an abbreviated power play and immediately scored as Bobby Brink got a rebound in front for his seventh goal of the season to cut the lead to one again.
The Flames appeared to ice the game for good with an empty-net goal just over a minute later from Blake Coleman, but Egor Zamula answered back with a goal with 1:22 remaining to make it a one-goal game again.
A late push wasn’t enough, and the Flyers dropped the final contest of 2023.
Ersson made 28 saves on 31 shots in the loss. Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves on 30 shots in the win.
Travis Konecny had two assists in the loss for the Flyers. Mangiapane had three assists, while Coleman and Gilbert each had a goal and an assist.
The Flyers close out the four-game road trip and open play in 2024 on Tuesday night, taking on the Edmonton Oilers at 9 p.m.