Philadelphia Flyers' Scott Laughton (21) celebrates after scoring a goal...

Philadelphia Flyers' Scott Laughton (21) celebrates after scoring a goal against Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov (35) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP/Matt Slocum

PHILADELPHIA — Owen Tippett scored 19 seconds into the game and added an assist, and Morgan Frost had a goal and an assist as Philadelphia beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Tuesday night without Flyers captain Sean Couturier, who was a healthy scratch for the first time in his 13-year career.

Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers.

“Obviously, he’s our captain … but we have a job to do and a game to play and we are in the thick of the playoff race right now, so our focus is on winning hockey games,” Sanheim said.

Samuel Ersson, who was pulled in two of his previous three starts, made 27 saves, including a stop of Bobby McCann on a short-handed breakaway in the second period.

“I think our group really needed this one,” Frost said. “A lot of guys stepped up. It’s going to be a battle going into the season here and every point matters, so yeah, that was a huge game and it was nice to beat the Leafs.”

Frost, a Toronto native and son of former Maple Leafs public address announcer Andy Frost, has posted three goals and three assists in the last four Flyers games.

Philadelphia had lost three of four entering the game and allowed 19 goals in their three losses.

Philadelphia Flyers' Cam York, left, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Tyler...

Philadelphia Flyers' Cam York, left, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Tyler Bertuzzi chase after the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP/Matt Slocum

Facing a three-goal deficit at the start of the third period, Toronto tried to mount a comeback. William Nylander scored on a power play and Tyler Bertuzzi and John Tavares added goals.

But Ersson made several big saves in the final 10 minutes and Laughton’s goal with seven minutes left restored a two-goal advantage and helped ice the win.

“That was a huge game for Sam just to get some of his swagger back,” Flyers coach John Tortorella sid. “He was outstanding. That’s a hard team to play against.”

Ilya Samsonov had 24 saves for Toronto, which had its three-game point streak halted.

Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov, right, blocks a shot during...

Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov, right, blocks a shot during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP/Matt Slocum

“We just didn’t play well enough in our half of the ice with or without the puck,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We weren’t sharp. We weren’t sharp mentally. We couldn’t pass the puck. We couldn’t handle the puck. We didn’t defend. There was a lot not to like.”

Tortorella scratched Couturier, who was named team captain in mid-February and expressed his displeasure with what he called limited communication from his coach after the morning skate.

“I’ve been putting the work in for a while,” Couturier said. “I’ve been struggling, but I’ve been working on my game and it’s frustrating the way I’ve been treated around here lately, but it is what it is.

“I control what I can control. … I’m going to move on. It doesn’t matter what I think. I’ve got to leave my ego aside. Hopefully I can get back into (the lineup) soon.”

Tortorella declined to comment about the decision.

“I’m not talking about Sean,” he said. “I’m not debating with you. I’m not conversing. It’s between Sean and I.”

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Travel to Washington on Wednesday.

Flyers: At Carolina on Thursday.

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