Flyers-Wild observations: Travis Sanheim channels Bobby Orr
Also, some interesting ice-time totals for Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Here are some takeaways from the Flyers’ 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Travis Sanheim = Bobby Orr
At least he did on Sean Couturier’s second-period goal. Sanheim took a cross-ice pass from Claude Giroux just above his blue line and, with a burst of speed, burned past Minnesota defenseman Anthony Bitetto, swooped in front, and attempted to jam a shot past Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk before losing the puck.
No worries. Sean Couturier was already checked in at the crease and banged home the loose puck to tie the game at 3.
Sanheim’s two assists gave him 21 points this season in 57 games. Eleven of his points have come since Dec. 18, the day after Scott Gordon took over as interim Flyers coach. He is averaging 21:26 of ice time in the 25 games since.
Where’s the other Travis?
One night after logging just 9:51 of ice time on 15 shifts, Travis Konecny was on the ice for 10:25 on Tuesday.
One possible reason: He was a minus-3 in those minutes. Particularly, Konecny was victimized on Luke Kunin’s second first-period goal, which pushed the Wild lead to 3-1. Konecny listed away from the slot toward the boards, which allowed a soft pass from behind the net to float to Kunin.
Despite two assists, Shayne Gostisbehere was also a minus-3 and played just 11:24. And only 7:44 of that was at even strength.
Ivan the rock
Ivan Provorov played 30:19. His career high is 30:20, set Jan. 31 in Boston. He played 23:50 against the Penguins on Monday night, then boarded the three-hour flight to Minnesota.
He also scored the game’s first goal and finished as a plus-2. His seeing-eye stick save on Marcus Foligno prevented the Wild from going up by 4-1 in the first period.
``Definitely one of the toughest ones, flying three hours, getting in late,’’ he said. ``Especially playing a fast game, after the effort we put in [Monday in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh]. We stuck with it today. Didn’t really have the first period we wanted, but that’s why you play the whole 60.’’
Or in his case, half of it.
Just a Midwestern boy … from Jersey
James van Riemsdyk’s two goals Tuesday give him five in two games this season against the Wild. He notched a hat trick in the Flyers’ 7-4 victory on Jan. 14, a win that began this 10-1-1 run. He also claimed his second game-winner of the season.
``Not too bad around the Central Division, I guess,’’ he said. ``Those guys are always tough to play against. And tight defensively. Even on the goals, you’re going to have to earn them.’’
JVR’s winner came after the puck hit him and dropped to the ice amid bodies, creating the ultimate scrum.
``You’re going to get crosschecked,’’ he said of the net front against the Wild. ``I think I have some comfortability in those areas. You just try to react and make a good play.’’
Odds and ends
Jake Voracek had an assist to extend his scoring streak to eight games, with three goals and seven assists for 10 points in that span. It’s his fifth streak of eight games or more in his career. His best is 10 games, done in October and November of 2014. ... The Flyers were credited with 20 blocked shots. The Wild had four. Sanheim and Radko Gudas led the Flyers with four each.