Flyers make sure victory vibe keeps going on parade day

Flyers make sure victory vibe keeps going on parade day


It wasn't quite a championship parade, but Philly enjoyed a victory at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night as the Flyers took care of the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3.

Hours after the Eagles' Super Bowl celebration turned the city upside down, the Flyers (26-19-9) picked up their second straight win in their own push for postseason fun.

Dave Hakstol's team entered the night holding the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot and moved three points ahead of the next-closest teams — the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Devils’ 3-2 loss to the Flames, the Flyers are now just one point behind New Jersey in the Metropolitan Division.

Travis Konecny scored two more goals, Claude Giroux made all sorts of plays, Ivan Provorov sealed the win with an empty-netter, while a few mistakes didn't prove to be too costly for the Flyers.

The Canadiens (22-26-6) had a two-game winning streak snapped and are 8-16-1 on the road.

Between these teams, this marked the first of three regular-season matchups, all of which come in February.

Now, let's get into the observations:

• Giroux's vision and passing never get old. The 30-year-old was vintage Giroux with a three-point game, highlighted by two assists that he made look easy but were far from it. Last season, Giroux posted 14 goals and 44 assists for 58 points in 82 games. This season, he's already surpassed those numbers with 16 goals and 45 assists for 61 points over 54 games. The resurgence has been fun to watch.

• Jakub Voracek can thank Giroux for quickly erasing a bad turnover that resulted in the Flyers' ninth shorthanded goal allowed, tied for most in the NHL. On the man advantage near the midway point of the second period, Voracek had his pocket picked by Artturi Lehkonen, who beat Brian Elliott to draw the Canadiens even, 1-1. Twenty-eight seconds later, the Flyers' captain got it right back with a pretty snipe, bringing him within four goals of No. 200 on his career.

• As for Voracek, some become miffed when he tries to do too much with the puck. However, he is arguably your top playmaker and you live with a few blemishes when the guy leads the NHL in assists by a healthy margin. Let him be aggressive and take risks — it's what you want. Voracek gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead in the third period with a power-play blast off a feed from Giroux.

• Just 42 seconds into the middle stanza, Konecny continued his surge alongside some of the Flyers' front-end talent, which was noticeably evident on the team's first goal. Giroux tallied the primary assist with a money pass to Konecny in front for the 1-0 lead, but Shayne Gostisbehere got it all started by threading the needle to Sean Couturier, who set up the trailing Giroux.

Since he's been featured in a top-six role and on the Flyers' first line, Konecny has turned it up a notch and now has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his last 18 games. With great recognition and hustle, he tacked on another goal in the third period, giving him 13 this season through 53 games. Last season, he had 11 in 70 games. To no surprise, putting an up-and-coming kid with proven players is paying dividends.

• Elliott won his second game in a row in his second game back from a lower-body injury. The Flyers needed him desperately after losing four straight. He's been solid and two goals against could have been avoided by the plays in front of him. One was the shorthanded marker and the other was a failed clear by Radko Gudas. The third came late when Montreal emptied its net for an extra man.

• Canadiens goalie Carey Price, having a down year, allowed four goals on 27 shots.

• Dale Weise, a healthy scratch for 13 straight games, entered the lineup in place of Taylor Leier. Playing against his former team, Weise finished with 7:44 of ice time.

At morning skate, Hakstol didn't say much as to why the rookie Leier came out for the veteran Weise.

"That's part of his role right now, when we need him in the lineup, he goes in and does a really good job," Hakstol said of Leier. "Today, Dale Weise is going to go in, it's his opportunity to go in and provide a real good hockey game for our team.

"There's a few things to it, I don't want to get into the details of it, I think it's a good opportunity for Dale to go in and help us."

• During the first period, the Flyers honored the Eagles by playing a tribute video, which featured scenes from Thursday's epic Super Bowl parade. A "Jason Kelce For Mayor" graphic flashed on the big screen … because, well, duh (see story). And the fight song, heard up and down Broad Street and the Parkway, rocked the Wells Fargo Center, too.

• The Flyers travel west for a back-to-back set this weekend against the worst and best teams in the Western Conference. It opens with the last-place Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (8 p.m./NBCSP+) and concludes with the first-place Vegas Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, on Sunday (8 p.m./NBCSP).

Flyers call up budding wing prospect

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Flyers call up budding wing prospect

In somewhat of a surprise move, the Flyers have recalled Oskar Lindblom from Lehigh Valley and have activated goaltender Anthony Stolarz from the injured, non-roster list. 

Lindblom joins the Flyers after failing to make the 23-man roster out of training camp. After a slow start to the season, Lindblom has posted 16 goals and 34 points through 54 games with the Phantoms. 

If head coach Dave Hakstol elects to utilize Lindblom for Tuesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, he would bring some much-needed speed and a solid two-way presence to Valtteri Filppula’s line. An AHL All-Star, Lindblom has also proven to be a streaky scorer. He’s currently on a three-game goal streak and back in December he posted five goals over a six-game stretch (see Future Flyers Report).

Stolarz joins the Phantoms after spending the entire season recovering from offseason surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee. The 6-foot-6 netminder started skating for the first time this month and just two weeks ago he took shots from defenseman Sam Morin prior to the Flyers' practice at the SkateZone in Voorhees, New Jersey.

With Alex Lyon now with the Flyers for the foreseeable future, Stolarz joins goaltenders John Muse and Dustin Tokarski in Lehigh Valley. 

As of Monday night, the Flyers still haven’t announced a timetable in regards to Michal Neuvirth, who suffered a lower-body injury in Sunday’s game against the Rangers. If Neuvirth is unavailable Tuesday, in all likelihood, Tokarski would be promoted from Lehigh Valley to back up Lyon.

Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

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Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

Before this week begins, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers' prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Flyers fans can't wait to see this at the NHL level.

Last weekend, Lindblom potted a goal in three straight games for the Phantoms, giving him 16 on the season through 54 contests. All three tallies came within close range as the Swedish winger's scoring IQ continues to grow during his first AHL season.

Since going scoreless in his first six games, the 2014 fifth-round pick hasn't gone more than four straight games without a point.

Lindblom surprised many with his vast development leading up to the 2017-18 season. While some were disappointed he didn't make the Flyers' roster out of training camp, a 20-goal campaign at Lehigh Valley will be a nice accomplishment along his path to Philly.

Travis Sanheim, D, 21, 6-4/199, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Just how much of a difference-maker is Sanheim? The Phantoms are 9-1-2 since the 2014 first-round pick joined them after he was sent down by the Flyers.

Over Lehigh Valley's 3-0-1 week, Sanheim extended his point streak to seven games with five more assists, putting him at 12 helpers in as many games.

Seeing plenty of minutes and responsibility, Sanheim has collected 13 points to go with a plus-11 rating.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, 21, 5-11/187, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Aube-Kubel is another Phantom worth noting here.

The 2014 second-round pick put up five points (one goal, four assists) in four games last week, continuing his surge in Year 2 of his AHL development. He now has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games.

After a feeling-out process last season, Aube-Kubel is coming on strong in 2017-18, as he's a plus-20 and third on Lehigh Valley with 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists).

Quick hits
• Ho-hum for Morgan Frost, who had a six-point week through three games. At 94 points, Frost is six away from 100, while his plus-54 rating remains best in the OHL.

Here's a glimpse into his vision and skill:

• Goalie Carter Hart picked up a win and a shootout loss over the weekend. In total, he made 60 saves on 65 shots.

Maksim Sushko tallied two goals (including this one below) and two assists through three games last week. A 2017 fourth-round pick, the 19-year-old has 48 points in 47 games for Owen Sound.

• Wingers Isaac Ratcliffe and Matthew Strome, also 2017 draft picks, recorded three points each in a pair of games.

• Playing for the first time since Jan. 31, German Rubtsov returned from an undisclosed injury to notch an assist over three games last week. The Flyers' 2016 first-round pick has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 27 games for Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

• In Michigan's two-game sweep of top-ranked Notre Dame, Cooper Marody tacked on three more assists, giving him 26 overall, which is tied for most in the Big Ten.

Here's his primary helper from Sunday's 1-0 win:

Anthony Salinitri pushed his point streak to seven games with an assist Friday and a goal Saturday. The 2016 sixth-round pick has 25 goals and 25 assists in 56 games.

• During the four-game week for the Phantoms, Mike Vecchione scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season, while adding an assist.

Philippe Myers had an assist Tuesday for his first point since Jan. 26, while Samuel Morin (undisclosed injury), who hasn't played since Jan. 20, remains out.