Flyers rebound from worst loss of season, beat Ducks 5-2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kevin Hayes had his first career hat trick, Rasmus Ristolainen and Morgan Frost also scored, and the Philadelphia Flyers rebounded from their worst loss of the season with a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

The Flyers lost 6-0 at Boston in an afternoon game a day earlier that proved nothing more than a speed bump in their modest run of recent success. They still have only 19 wins but they have won four of five. They are 8-2 since an overtime win Dec. 29 at San Jose and play hard under coach John Tortorella.

“Boston’s a really good team. But they kind of embarrassed us a little bit,” Hayes said. “I thought our team responded well. It just shows the resilience that we have at this point of the season. You don’t want to keep losing games.”

Yet, the more the Flyers win, the more they cost themselves a better shot at winning the draft lottery. Philadelphia entered with only 5% odds to win the No. 1 pick, per tracker Tankathon.

Torts doesn’t care.

He wants to win — now.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 30-plus (games) but these are the things we’re asking as we grow as a team,” Tortorella said. “I think when you start thinking you’re a good team and you’re growing, losing two in a row is unacceptable. You need to find a way to win that next one so you don’t get into those streaks.”

Hayes, selected to the NHL All-Star Game, made up for a turnover that led to a missed Anaheim breakaway when he scored his 11th goal of the season off a Ducks giveaway in the first

After Adam Henrique tied it for the Ducks early in the second, the Flyers got going.

They scored the kind of unique goals that seemingly only happen when a team is on a hot streak. Ristolainen scored shorthanded on a two-man rush for his first goal since Jan. 22, 2022. It was the Flyers’ NHL-best ninth short-handed goal.

Frost made it 3-1 in the waning seconds of the period when he poked his ninth goal of the season through Anthony Stolarz’s legs.

Hayes scored again in the third for a 4-1 lead, the 30-year-old forward on pace for one of his top offensive seasons, even as he spent time in Tortorella’s doghouse. Hayes was a healthy scratch earlier this season and has been benched for long stretches during games. He helped the Flyers move to 10-3-1 since Dec. 5 when they score three-plus goals.

Hayes’ empty-netter in the final seconds made it 5-2 and sent hats soaring onto the ice. Samuel Ersson made 25 saves for the Flyers.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored late in the third for the Ducks, who lost 4-3 in overtime a night earlier in Pittsburgh.

“We just didn’t give ourselves an opportunity,” Henrique said.

NOT ON THE ICE

Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov, the subject of recent trade speculation, did not participate in pregame warmups when the Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys and used warmup sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape.

“I respect everybody’s choices,” Provorov said. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”

UP NEXT

Ducks: Play at Columbus on Thursday, the third stop on a six-game road trip.

Flyers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

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