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Tyson Foerster makes NHL debut, team’s struggles continue

Foerster does well in NHL debut, but Flyers’ offensive woes continue originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The presence of Tyson Foerster, a shoot-first prospect with goal-scoring promise, could not rectify the Flyers’ offensive issues.

The 21-year-old winger had a positive NHL debut Thursday night, but the Flyers were blanked by the Hurricanes, 1-0, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

John Tortorella’s club has been shut out five times on the season and has lost 14 of its last 18 games (4-10-4), a stretch in which it has scored just 2.06 goals per game.

The Flyers (24-30-11) dropped to 0-2-0 on this tall order of a three-game road trip.

Andrei Svechnikov scored the lone goal Thursday night and it came 2:09 minutes into the game.

The Flyers are 0-2-1 against the Hurricanes (43-12-8) this season. They face Carolina once more in nine days at the Wells Fargo Center.

• Foerster played well in his first taste of the NHL. He showed poise, recorded two shots and blocked three in 13:51 minutes.

The 2020 first-round draft pick had a decent look at ramming one home in the first period but Hurricanes netminder Pyotr Kochetkov was able to cover up the puck.

Foerster saved a goal when he blocked a Svechnikov shot with four and a half minutes left in the second period. The defensive play kept the Flyers within striking distance.

“The sky’s the limit for that kid,” AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley head coach Ian Laperriere said in September.

Foerster possesses an advanced shot. The Flyers are hoping he can fill a glaring hole in the future — and that’s being a goal scorer from around the circles.

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• This was a daunting one for the Flyers, who were playing five rookies and facing a Carolina team that has the NHL’s second-most points, behind only the Bruins.

Foerster and Elliot Desnoyers were summoned from the Phantoms under emergency conditions. Tortorella told reporters in Raleigh that wingers Brendan Lemieux and Wade Allison were banged up.

The Flyers’ league-worst power play got just one opportunity and the team finished with only 19 shots.

In 13 games without Travis Konecny ​​this season, the Flyers are 2-8-3 and have scored just 1.92 goals per game.

It’s uncertain when or if Konecny ​​will play again this season as he recovers from an upper-body injury.

• Felix Sandstrom saw the net for the first time in 25 days. He was excellent, converting 28 saves on 29 shots.

It was arguably the 26-year-old’s best performance of the season.

For a second straight game, the Flyers put the opposition on three power plays in the first period.

The Hurricanes broke the ice early when Svechnikov scored on the man advantage after Kevin Hayes committed a holding penalty just 1:19 minutes into the game.

Kochetkov made his first start since mid-January and faced the Flyers for the first time in his career.

The 23-year-old picked up his fourth shutout of the season.

Joel Farabee nearly broke his lengthy slump on a breakaway look in the second period. He tried to go five-hole but Kochetkov read the move.

Farabee has gone 24 straight games without a goal.

• The Flyers faced old friend Shayne Gostisbehere, who was traded by the Coyotes ahead of the deadline.

Gostisbehere went scoreless in 14:07 minutes against the Flyers. He has two goals and two assists through four games with Carolina.

Tony DeAngelo, who played for the Hurricanes last season, did not face his former team. He served the first game of a two-game suspension for spearing Lightning forward Corey Perry.

• The road swing wraps up Saturday when the Flyers visit the rival Penguins (3:30 pm ET/ABC).

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