Flyers handed fool's gold by expansion power

Flyers handed fool's gold by expansion power


The NHL’s feel-good story of the year is leaving Philadelphia feeling a whole lot better.

Golden Knights winger Ryan Carpenter fired a snap shot past Petr Mrazek wth 2:40 remaining in regulation to give Vegas a 3-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center Monday night. It marked Marc-Andre Fleury’s 400th career win to become the 12th goaltender in NHL history to reach that milestone.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux extended his point streak to seven games after scoring his 25th goal of the season. That marked the fifth season Giroux has reached the 25-goal mark in a season.

Wayne Simmonds scored his first goal in nearly a month that tied the game at 2-2.

The Flyers outshot the Golden Knights, 40-29, including a 16-8 advantage in the second period.

The Golden Knights and Flyers split their two regular-season matchups with each team winning on the road.

• Sean Couturier has been so good on faceoffs, but he lost a crucial one in the defensive zone with 17 seconds remaining on the Knights’ power play in the first period. That gave Vegas one last chance before time expired. The resulting draw led to Erik Haula beating Petr Mrazek from the goal line and a 1-0 Golden Knights’ lead. Haula tried a centering pass that Mrazek attempted to poke check and instead it ramped up over his shoulder and into the net.

• In a game featuring two players that should receive a high number of votes for the Selke trophy, Couturier along with Travis Konecny set up the Flyers’ first goal. They intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and gave it up to Giroux, who fired a snap shot that beat Fleury high and to the glove side. Once again, Giroux scored the Flyers’ first goal and now has points in 15 of his last 17 games.

• The Golden Knights made it a perfect 2 for 2 on the power play when William Karlsson scored on a wide-open net after the initial shot from the point was blocked and then kicked aside reactively by Mrazek.

• Mired in a 2-for-28 slump, the Flyers’ power play came through when it desperately needed it against Vegas. Shayne Gostisbehere lasered a perfect saucer pass to Simmonds down low, who roofed a shot after Fleury dropped into the butterfly position. For Simmonds, that was his first goal since Feb. 16.

• If I’m a good lip reader, then I could have sworn Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said, “What the f--- are you talking about?” in regards to the too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty in the first period. Giroux and Hakstol clearly felt the Flyers didn’t have a sixth skater out when the whistle was blown. Regardless, it’s the most animated you’ll see Hakstol on the bench challenging an official.

• There were shades of Fleury during his time wth the Penguins on Monday night. Fleury was all over the place as he tossed his body around the ice in the first period. The Flyers had him out of his net on several occasions, but they couldn’t capitalize. The goalie, who had a history of falling apart against the Flyers, finished with 38 saves.

• The Flyers survived a near catastrophe when Andrew MacDonald hung on to the puck too long just inside the Knights’ blue line, which resulted in a turnover and a 3-on-1 chance. However, Vegas couldn’t failed to take advantage and just settled for a shot that Mrazek saw all the way.

• Much like the game in Vegas between these two teams, the Golden Knights attempted to catch the Flyers leaky on those sharp-angled shots and get the goalie out of position with very quick east-west passes.

Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

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Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brandon Montour scored a power-play goal, helping lift the Anaheim Ducks into third place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.

Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who lead Los Angeles by two points in the division. Anaheim won its third straight game and is 6-1-0 in its last seven at home.

John Gibson made 15 saves, improving to 9-2-0 in his last 11 starts.

Kyle Palmieri had a power-play goal and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Devils, who had won the first three games of their six-game road trip. Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves, ending a four-start winning streak.

New Jersey holds the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Florida (see full recap).

Karlsson's hat trick helps Vegas beat Flames
LAS VEGAS -- William Karlsson scored a natural hat trick to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Colin Miller also scored as Vegas snapped a four-game home losing streak and improved to 25-9-2 at T Mobile Arena.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made his 20th start in 21 games, made 42 saves. In getting his 48th career shutout and fourth of the season, Fleury moved into a tie with Chris Osgood for 12th all-time amongst goaltenders at 401.

Vegas improved to 3-0-0 against Calgary while outscoring the Flames 15-5. The teams meet once more, in the regular-season finale at Calgary on April 7 (see full recap).

Laine scores twice, matches Ovechkin for NHL goal lead
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Patrik Laine scored twice to extend his point streak to 15 games and tie Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal lead, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Sunday night to match the franchise wins record at 43.

The second-year sniper has 43 goals, matching the total from Ovechkin, the Washington star and Laine's boyhood favorite. Laine's point streak is the longest active run in the NHL and adds to his league record for the longest point streak by a teenager. The streak includes 18 goals and eight assists.

Ben Chiarot also scored and Blake Wheeler added an empty-netter for Winnipeg.

Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn each scored for Dallas (see full recap).

Oskar Lindblom quiets Flyers’ chirps in weekend of firsts

Oskar Lindblom quiets Flyers’ chirps in weekend of firsts

If there was an NHL handbook on how to score goals in the most competitive hockey league in the world, you would have thought Oskar Lindblom would have read it forward and backward, on the charter to the Flyers' next road game and at night before bedtime.

From effort to playing at both ends of the ice, Lindblom had done everything to score a goal, except actually score one.

Prior to Saturday’s game against Carolina, Lindblom had played his first 12 games without registering a single point and it was starting to become a source of playful dissing and mockery in the Flyers' locker room.

“Teammates keep him loose,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I think Alex Lyon was giving him the gears. I think Alex should have had an assist last night (in Carolina). I don’t know if he was credited with one or not, but I think Alex was chirping (Oskar) about having more points per game than he did, and that’s what guys do.”

However, the official scoresheet from the 4-2 win in Carolina had Lindblom credited with his first NHL assist and Lyon still looking for one. Prior to that, the zeroes next to Lindblom’s game were starting to add up and Hakstol sensed the 21-year-old rookie was taking notice.  

“I don’t remember the game last week, but he had a great opportunity off a rebound at net front,” Hakstol said. “That was the first time I saw a little bit of frustration creep in where he let it show. Oskar is a good offensive player. He wants to help by doing his part offensively, but I think what he just continued to concentrate on is just playing good hockey.”

Sunday that first goal finally arrived in the form of a snapshot that beat Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer up high. It gave the Flyers a lead they never relinquished in a 6-3 win over Washington.

“I don’t want to think about it anymore,” Lindblom said. “Got the first one today and it was a huge one in the game so it was good.”

And with that, the Swede slipped on the Ric Flair victory robe for the first time, handed down from the Finnish Valtteri Filppula, who was presented the feather-laced garment the night before in Carolina. 

Prior to that, the only thing Lindblom had received was encouragement and support from his teammates who knew his time would eventually come. With an easy-going smile and a personality to match, Lindblom’s fellow Flyers couldn’t help but root for him. 

“We’re all happy for him," Travis Konecny said. “It’s been paying off for him. He deserves it. He works hard at both ends of the ice. I’m personally happy for him.

“He’s got that offensive skill that’s far and few between that a lot of guys don’t have. He just has a knack around the net, he’s always around the puck. We all knew it was coming sooner or later.”

Apparently, everyone seemed to know and especially Jake Voracek, who’s been assisting in every way possible.

“He talks to me a lot,” Lindblom said. “He tried to calm me down a little bit. It’s good for me.”