Konecny takes his shot at end­ing Fly­ers skid

The Boyertown Area Times - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

Travis Konecny’s new work­ing phi­los­o­phy worked to free the Fly­ers of a los­ing streak that was creep­ing into their heads at the wrong time.

Hit­ting the half­way point of the sea­son in the midst of a soul-sear­ing slide of five con­sec­u­tive de­feats and seven losses in eight games, the Fly­ers hit their stride al­most from the start of Satur­day’s mati­nee-hour game against the Tampa Bay Light­ning.

By the time they hit the locker room for the first in­ter­mis­sion, how­ever, all their ef­forts to stop that skid re­sulted in fac­ing a one-goal deficit.

Konecny’s new­found ap­proach, how­ever, would soon start work­ing its won­ders.

“We were ac­tu­ally re­ally happy and con­fi­dent with our first pe­riod,” the Fly­ers rookie winger said. “It was just a bad bounce and it ended up in the net. There was noth­ing we could do with that but we knew we were com­ing back and (would) have a good sec­ond and third pe­riod.”

At least Konecny felt it, es­pe­cially when he stepped onto a 2-on-1 break with Jake Vo­racek, then stepped into a one-time shot on Vo­racek’s en­su­ing pass, whistling it past Light­ning goalie An­drei Vasilevskiy be­fore the puck sped right back out again. A blast so hard it would take a re­play to track its path, it right­fully ig­nited a cel­e­bra­tion just 1:11 into the sec­ond pe­riod.

That goal erased an ad­van­tage cre­ated by another turnover-turned-op­po­si­tion-goal (by the Light­ning’s Nikita Kucherov) in the first pe­riod, and per­haps in­stantly ex­or­cised what­ever los­ing spec­tre had been tail­ing the Fly­ers’ ev­ery move of late. They dom­i­nated the last 39 min­utes of the game in gain­ing a much-needed 4-2 vic­tory at Wells Fargo Cen­ter. Sim­ple as that. “Hon­estly, I just shot the puck,” Konecny said. “I ac­tu­ally had an op­por­tu­nity on my first shift too. (Vasilevskiy) had a lit­tle room on the short side. I guess it was just in my head where I thought I should try it again.”

The puck ap­par­ently bounded off the in­side cross­bar, mov­ing the of­fi­cials to call for another look on re­play. By the look on Konecny’s face at the time, that re­play could have gone ei­ther way.

“I didn’t know it was in,” Konecny said. “I shot it and Jake stopped play­ing, so I stopped play­ing. I fig­ured he knew.”

It was his sec­ond goal in three games, the other com­ing in a shootout loss in Ana­heim in which Konecny had scored his first goal since Nov. 11.

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