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Flyers silence Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl in impressive win over Oilers

Cover Photo Credit: Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA — Two of the NHL’s top goalscoring threats paid the Wells Fargo Center a visit on Thursday night, but it was the Philadelphia Flyers who left with an important two points on home ice.

Cam Atkinson scored twice while Joel Farabee and Sean Walker also netted goals as the Flyers defeated the visiting Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were both held goal-less in the game, as Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 22 saves to earn his third win of the 2023-24 season.

It marked Atkinson’s first multi-goal game since March 5, 2022 following a lengthy injury spell. Sean Couturier also registered two assists to continue his impressive return to action.

“Last season I wasn’t in the locker room as much, but I am noticing a change in the guys this season,” Couturier said postgame to reporters. “Even if we let up a goal, our guys are fighting to make it right. We are rolling with all four lines. I think we’ve had a good start to the season.”

“It feels good,” Atkinson said about his goalscoring performance. “I love playing at home in front of our fans. Kind of gives me a little bit more motivation, family in town and stuff like that. It’s always nice to score goals. That’s what I’m here to do.”

John Tortorella’s side struck first before the end of the first period after a great passing sequence from Bobby Brink and Joel Farabee. A quick 1-2 between Brink and Farabee concluded with Farabee wristing a shot past Jack Campbell and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

It was Farabee’s second goal of the season while Travis Sanheim also picked up an assist.

The Flyers extended their lead to 2-0 just 3:54 into the second period. Owen Tippett’s back hand pass from the left wing was slammed home by Cam Atkinson on the doorstep.

It was Atkinson’s second goal of the season and a confident finish from close range.

Edmonton would cut their deficit in half with under five minutes to play in the second period. Zach Hyman finished off a pass from Connor Ceci to make it 2-1 and give the Oilers a lifeline.

However, Sean Walker would reclaim a two-goal advantage for the Flyers just before the second intermission. Connor McDavid’s pass was tipped out of the Flyers zone, allowing the Orange and Black to break up ice.

Walker’s powerful wrist shot snuck between the crossbar and Campbell’s right shoulder for a 3-1 advantage.

Atkinson added his second goal of the night at 4:17 in the third period to pad the Flyers lead at 4-1. Sean Couturier and Owen Tippett led the counter attack which sprung Atkinson on a breakaway.

Atkinson deked before scoring five hole, continuing Edmonton’s miserable night.

The Oilers tried their best to force a comeback, but the Flyers would grind their way to a second-straight home win.

“I thought tonight we checked well,” Tortorella said postgame to reporters. “Not only checking but I thought we were clean through the neutral zone. We didn’t turn many [pucks] over. You just can’t turn it over with that team. Their offensive people don’t want to play in their end zone, so we really tried to concentrate on just placing pucks in their end zone and playing there. Getting through the neutral zone clean was a very important part of tonight’s game.”

The Flyers return to action this Saturday with a road game against the Dallas Stars.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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