Travis Konecny is over his midseason slump that no doubt was aided by a bout with COVID-19.
The five games he missed at the end of February are a distant memory, especially when compared to the five games he’s played most recently.
He’s back to being insufferable.
“That quickness that he’s known for and that feistiness [is what] I think we’re seeing more and more,” observed goaltender Brian Elliott. “That’s his game and, you know ... making the other team mad at him a little bit. That’s when you know he’s on his game.”
Konecny had a goal and the primary assist on Shayne Gostisbehere’s power-play tally to shake the Flyers out of another slow first period. It was the biggest win of the season so far and Konecny’s fingerprints were all over it.
Coach Alain Vigneault said the key to Konecny’s resurgence has been playing on a line with Claude Giroux in the middle.
“’G’ is playing so hard. Every game, every shift, trying to play a full 200-foot game,” the coach said. “He’s really battling.”
Konecny, the game’s first star, has seven points in his last five games.
“When you play with a player like ‘G,’ he sees the ice so well,” Konecny said. “He works really hard. You’re going to get your chances as long as you’re trying to get to the right areas. It’s the same with Jake [Voracek]. They’re good puck-moving guys.”
Coming up short
Mike Richards is safe.
Brad Marchand did NOT score a shorthanded goal on Saturday and thus did not join the list of eight players to score a SHG in at least three consecutive games.
The list, compiled since goals were first categorized by type in 1933-34, is headed by Toronto’s Dave Reid, who is the only player to score a shortie in four consecutive games (1990).
The last to score a shorthanded goal in three straight games was Richards, who was the Flyers’ captain when he did it Feb. 15-21, 2009. Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic, and Paul Coffey also are on the list.
Before they get to Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Flyers will have to get past a Buffalo team that has been waving the white flag for more than a month. During that time, of course, they’ve taken the Flyers to overtime, to a shootout, and to the woodshed for a 6-1 thumping on March 31.
Taylor Hall, who almost surely will be traded, will sit out for the fourth consecutive game. And there hasn’t been an update on star Jack Eichel’s upper-body injury in two weeks. He hasn’t played since March 7.
The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 loss to Washington on Friday when Dustin Tokarski, the fourth goalie they’ve used in 40 games, fell to 0-4-1. The Flyers are 5-2 against the Sabres. Both losses, however, were by five goals.
Oskar Lindblom started on Sean Couturier’s line alongside James van Riemsdyk, but was quickly replaced early in the first period by Joel Farabee. Lindblom went to the fourth line with Michael Raffl and Nic Aube-Kubel. ... Samuel Morin had six hits in just 9:38 of ice time. ... Robert Hagg had another strong game, playing nearly 20 minutes. He was on the ice for a game high 4:57 while the Flyers killed four penalties. Boston came into the day having scored 10 times on 20 power plays in their first seven games against the Flyers.