October 4, 2022

Cam Atkinson hat trick leads Flyers to 3rd straight win

Photo by Heather Barry

For the first time this season, the Flyers have a win streak.

In a season’s best three straight wins, the Flyers sprung together a 6-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center in large thanks to Cam Atkinson who got his first hat trick in the orange and black.

Here’s a game summary:

Period 1

Sean Couturier won the opening faceoff, and the final meeting between the Flyers and the Devils.

Morgan Frost forced a turnover in the Devils’ zone which lead to an extended Flyers cycle early. Then, he flubed a puck in the defensive zone, leading to a Devils shot. Yep, the growing pains of talented youngsters. Also, Travis Konecny had a nice shot to generate a big rebound. Off the said rebound, Scott Laughton fired it high over the net. Some progress being made early for the Flyers.

The Flyers got on the board first as Travis Sanhiem rolled in and snuck one into the net for his first goal of the season at 9:14.

The Flyers had done a nice job maintaining possession in the offensive zone for most of the period, but that’s a weak goal allowed by Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood. It didn’t look like Sanheim had much to work with there. Flyers for sure took it, though. As I’m sure we all did.

After Blackwood made up for his mistake by saving four-straight shots, the Flyers found themselves on an odd-man rush. Konecny connected on the pass to Laughton, but the shot went high over the net.

Tomáš Tatar and Konecny both headed off for two minutes at 18:11. Both were for slashing as the club’s went on a 4-on-4. While on the 4-on-4, Rasmus Ristolainen shot a beautiful pass to Cam Atkinson, who was open in front of the net to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

Ristolainen fooled the entire defense who thought he was sure to shoot that puck, and gave it to the wide open Atkinson.

The Flyers left the ice with a 2-0 lead after the first period to a loud ovation from the fans. It was the best period the Flyers have had from a process and results standpoint since maybe the Seattle Kraken game. That was the second game of the season. Can’t say I expected this, but I was happy about it.

Period 2

Couturier won the opening draw to begin the second period.

In the first period, Frost went out of the game for probably an injury. He remained off the bench to start the second.

At 1:11, Pavel Zacha got a good step and Atkinson took him down. It was close to a penalty shot, but ended up just a tripping minor. After Flyers goalie Carter Hart robbed the Devils a few times — this seems normal to type at this point — the Flyers got a good kill. As soon as Atkinson came out of the box, he got a good fead and went on a breakaway. Unfortunately, Blackwood made the save.

Justin Braun got a tough pass at the blue line at 6:07. He made a strange choice to shoot it. But hey, life is all about risks. The puck wasn’t shot particularly fast, but it found it’s way into the net.

Braun just chopped at the puck. Floated on goal through a deflection attempt by Claude Giroux, didn’t look like he touched it, and sailed into the net. Second goal of the season for Braun. Blackwood better had been screened or that better have been deflected — it looked like it changed direction, but it could have been such a flutter shot that it died in mid air on his own — otherwise that is a horrendous goal allowed. Wasn’t horrendous for the Flyers, though.

Devils get one back at 6:43. P.K. Subban — remember how dominant that dude used to be — scored on Hart from the point. Hart could of and should of stopped it. Flyers were still in control, but now both offenses had to be in “shoot everything” mode.

Giroux gave Atkinson a pretty nasty pass as he went on yet another breakaway at 10:32. Like the others, it didn’t go as Ty Smith got to him at the last moment to disrupt the effort a bit.

At 14:24, Couturier made the referee raise his arm as he went to the box for tripping. Flyers needed a penalty kill here. But you know what’s better than a PK, a shorthanded goal. Atkinson did that. Him and Ivan Provorov went down the ice on a 2-on-1, and Provorov gave a quick pass to Atkinson, and he blasted it past Blackwood for his second goal of the night giving the Flyers a 4-1 lead.

Eight seconds later, the Flyers killed the penalty.

Just a few moments later, Oskar Lindblom joined the scoring parade with his second goal of the season. Smith had a brutal turnover, Atkinson got the takeaway, found Lindblom, and he scored to give the Flyers a 5-1 lead.

That did the second period. Another great period. 40 minutes, and the Flyers led 5-1.

Period 3

Michael McLeod won the opening faceoff to begin the third period. The Devils made a goalie change to start the third. Akira Schmid was inserted in the goal.

At 1:53, Ristolainen went to the box for interference. Now, this was a bad call. Ristolainen was playing hard. Bad call. Thankfully, the Devils didn’t o a whole lot on the power play as the Flyers got the kill.

Giroux swept the puck across the crease for Atkinson at 7:09, and he completed the hat trick.

Atkinson was just a man on a mission tonight. Puck followed him around and he certainly knew what to do with it.

This is the type of game that the Flyers needed. It was nice to get the wins in Vegas and Arizona, obviously, but a dominant performance like this one against the Devils gets the confidence back and it should continue later this week against two of the worst teams in the league.

Konecny went to the sin bin at 17:56 for cross-checking. I then realized at this point the Flyers didn’t have a single power play the whole game. They didn’t need one, obviously. The Flyers killed it, and the game ended with the Flyers winning 6-1.

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