PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jaden Schwartz scored twice, Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist and the Seattle Kraken sapped some of Philadelphia’s Super Bowl Sunday excitement with a 4-3 victory over the Flyers.
Eeli Tolvanen also scored and Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for the Kraken, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Seattle entered in fourth place in the Pacific Division and two points out of third.
Eberle said Seattle sorely needed the win.
“Anytime you’ve lost three in a row, especially coming out of the break, you start doubting yourself a bit,” he said. “Ultimately, you come back and you just get a win and you start moving forward.”
James van Riemsdyk, Owen Tippett and Patrick Brown scored for the Flyers. Philadelphia completed a homestand with its third loss in four games.
“I just don’t think we were on,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said.
Serving as the appetizer for Sunday night’s Super Bowl featuring the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Kansas City Chiefs, the pregame had a party atmosphere. Flyers players entered the arena wearing Eagles jerseys, matching many fans’ choice of Eagles apparel. Defensemen Travis Sanheim and Tony DeAngelo sported Eagles winter caps during warmups, and Eagles legend Vince Papale pounded the drum before the opening faceoff.
The video board was lit up in green and “Go Birds” scrolled across the screen. Longtime national anthem singer Lauren Hart donned a Jalen Hurts jersey and PA announcer Lou Nolan wore an Eagles baseball hat.
There were eight “E-A-G-L-E-S!” chants in the first period, and the hometown fans were enthused when Tippett snapped an 0-for-13 team skid on the power play with a close-range goal 2:11 into the contest to put the Flyers ahead 1-0.
But Philadelphia didn’t take a shot in the final 16:35 of the first period, and the Kraken made them pay with goals by Eberle and Tolvanen.
The teams traded tallies in the second period before Schwartz gave Seattle a 4-2 lead with his second of the contest just a minute into the third. The Kraken second-line forward was all alone in the right circle and fired a wrist shot over goalie Felix Sandstrom’s right shoulder.
Sandstrom, Philadelphia’s backup to Carter Hart, made 15 saves while falling to 1-8-1.
It appeared Schwartz’s second goal would be plenty of breathing room for Seattle, especially after Travis Konecny was sent to the box for a delay-of-game penalty late in the third. But Brown converted a short-handed tally with an unlikely goal on a slap shot from the side boards.
The Kraken withstood the Flyers’ furious 6-on-5 rally effort in the final 1:35.
“Other than the third period, we did a pretty good job,” Schwartz said. “Once we got up by two, we were on our heels a little bit. But big to get back in the win column.”
Schwartz broke a 2-all tie with 1:01 left in the second with his first tally when his wrist shot from the slot through a screen beat Sandstrom on the blocker side.
Van Riemsdyk tied it at 2-all 3:33 into the second, deflecting Tippett’s initial shot, which hung in mid-air. As if he was a batter across the street at Citizens Bank Park, van Riemsdyk used a backhand swing to swat the waist-high puck past Grubauer.
“Certain plays they capitalized on and obviously some miscues by us,” van Riemsdyk said. “They were on us quick and made it tough on us.”
Philadelphia fans finished with 24 Eagles chants.
Former Flyers coach Dave Hakstol made his second appearance back in Philadelphia since being fired on Dec. 17, 2018. … The teams will meet again Thursday in Seattle. … The Kraken improved to 17-8-2 on the road.
Kraken: End five-game road trip on Tuesday at Winnipeg.
Flyers: Travel to Seattle on Thursday for a rematch against the Kraken.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports