Flyers miss the point for 1st time in nearly a month

Flyers miss the point for 1st time in nearly a month


The Flyers’ streak of points in 12 straight games came to an end Thursday with a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Former Flyer Justin Williams scored twice and now has 14 goals in 33 career games against the Flyers.

Travis Konecny scored his 16th goal of the season.

Petr Mrazek lost his first game since joining the Flyers as he stopped 31 of 35 shots in the process.

The Hurricanes took the ice with heavy hearts as Carolina center Jordan Staal played his first game since the death of his stillborn infant daughter. 

The Flyers and Hurricanes will meet two more times — March 17 in Carolina and April 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.

• An awful start for the Flyers saw the Hurricanes play with more energy and tempo and force the issue in the opening five minutes. They beat the Flyers to pucks, forced turnovers and won a majority of the board battles. Carolina jumped on the board first at the tail end of a power play as Mrazek couldn’t secure Jeff Skinner’s snap shot that slipped underneath his arm. Skinner gained inside position on defenseman Brandon Manning and Williams rammed home the rebound for a 1-0 Hurricanes lead.

• It wasn’t a good first period for Manning, who followed up that shift with a terrible turnover in his own end right to Carolina’s Brock McGinn that produced a prime scoring chance in the high-danger scoring area. Could have easily been a 2-0 Carolina lead.

• Check out Radko Gudas with the dazzling dangle with 7:45 remaining in the first period. He easily maneuvered around Skinner to set up a wrist shot from the left circle.

• Which one defenseman would you want back in a 2-on-1 situation? Shayne Gostisbehere would be my choice. He’s shown over the course of the season how well he reads and defends odd-man rushes, and that was the case again as he dropped to one knee to break up a cross-ice pass. He makes it look easy.

• Terrible 4-on-4 coverage led to the Hurricanes extending their lead to 2-0. Defenseman Justin Faulk skated unchecked in the neutral zone and built up speed before he gave it up to Teuvo Teravainen, who perfectly executed a give-and-go with Sebastien Aho. Teravainen simply out-hustled Robert Hagg to the net and scored on the feed from Aho.

• The second period didn’t look much different than the first, as Carolina was the quicker, hungrier team. When the Flyers worked the puck deep, they couldn’t build any sustained pressure and the Hurricanes did a very good job of keeping them on the outside while clogging up the middle.

• The Flyers came out of the third period with some speed and jump as they cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 3-1. Konecny and Sean Couturier teamed up for a beautiful play. Couturier set up Konecny with a perfect saucer pass that laid down at the last second right on Konecny’s stick. 

• The Flyers picked up their game and brought more pace, especially in transition after struggling to get the puck into Carolina’s zone. Once again, they looked for the perfect pass or play instead of settling for the obvious shot. Konecny passed up on an obvious shot attempt with about five minutes remaining in the period. 

• This was clearly one of Manning’s worst games over the past few months. He looked indecisive with the puck and made another poor decision trying to play the puck from behind his net. 

Crosby's highlight-reel goal sparks Penguins' rally

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Crosby's highlight-reel goal sparks Penguins' rally

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby ignited a rally with a highlight-reel goal and became the third active player with 700 career assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Crosby's picked up his 24th goal of the season when he knocked a pass from Jake Guentzel out of the air, deflected it toward the front of his stick and smacked it by Carey Price to tie it at 3 late in the second period.

Derick Brassard put the Penguins in front to stay, beating Price early in the third period as Pittsburgh avoided dropping both games of a back-to-back against also-rans Montreal and the New York Islanders.

Guentzel had a goal and two assists. His 21st goal of the season came off an assist from Crosby, the 700th of Crosby's career. Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Penguins, who drew within two points of idle first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. Casey DeSmith finished with 27 saves.

Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Scherbak and Jacob de la Rose scored for the Canadiens, who have dropped nine of their last 10 games. Carey Price made 34 stops in his first start in a month due to a concussion (see full recap).

Schwartz, Blues top Bruins in OT
ST. LOUIS — Jaden Schwartz scored his second goal of the game 30 seconds into overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Schwartz skated up the middle and fired a shot past Anton Khudobin. The Blues won for the fifth time in six games to move within a point of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Jake Allen made 21 saves to improve to 24-21-2.

Ryan Donato scored for Boston. The Bruins clinched a playoff spot and moved within four points of Tampa Bay for the Eastern lead.

Schwartz tied it midway through the third period with a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

Donato scored his second goal in his second NHL game. He had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 loss to Columbus on Monday night.

Donato, still a student at Harvard University, returned to Massachusetts on Tuesday to attend class before flying back to St. Louis to rejoin the Bruins. His father, Ted, played 528 games in two stints with the Bruins (1992-99, 2003-04) (see full recap).

Rookie sets record in Coyotes’ victory
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Clayton Keller had two assists to set the Arizona Coyotes' franchise record for most points by a rookie in a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night in a matchup of the NHL's two worst teams.

Rookie Dylan Strome scored in his first game after being called up from the minors. Derek Stepan had a goal and assist, and Richard Panik and Max Domi, with an empty-netter, also scored. Antti Raanta stopped 29 shots to improve to 12-4-4 in his past 20 starts.

Keller, Arizona's 2016 first-round draft pick, extended his points streak to six games, in which he has two goals and five assists. He has 55 points, one more than Peter Mueller had in setting the rookie team record in 2007-08. And Keller has 35 assists, one more than teammate Max Domi had in his rookie season two years ago.

Arizona improved to 13-5-2 in its past 20, and earned its 61st point in leaving Vancouver alone at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Jordan Nolan scored for Buffalo, which dropped to 23-38-12 to remain in last place in the overall standings (see full recap).

Breaking down why Flyers traded Cooper Marody

Michigan Athletics

Breaking down why Flyers traded Cooper Marody

The Flyers on Wednesday traded NCAA prospect Cooper Marody’s rights to the Edmonton Oilers for a 2019 third-round draft pick that originally belonged to the New Jersey Devils.

Marody enjoyed a breakout junior season at Michigan University in 2017-18. The 21-year-old led the Wolverines with 32 assists, 46 points and 1.24 points per game.

His 32 assists were tied for third-most in the nation, while his 46 points were tied for ninth most. He made the Big Ten All-Tournament team and was the Big Ten scoring champion.

Let’s make sense of why the Flyers moved Marody and why it’s a good return.

One, he was a 2015 sixth-round draft pick with little NHL upside. Essentially, this boils down to a sixth-round pick netting you a third-rounder, which has a higher probability of hitting.

Two, the Flyers’ pipeline is loaded with forwards, and the book on Marody doesn’t project him to be a top-six forward. Think of him as a solid AHL player with bottom-six NHL potential.

Three, the contract limit. The Flyers are currently at 47 contracts, three under the limit. Sure, four players are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this summer with four more hitting restricted free agency. They could easily fit Marody under the contract limit but it goes back to No. 2.

Another potential factor is the 2019 third-rounder the Flyers owe the Red Wings if they make the playoffs since Petr Mrazek has won five games already with the team. They now have a third-rounder in that draft.

Any way we slice it, the Flyers turned a sixth-rounder into a third-rounder. If Marody proves the Flyers wrong, so be it. If not, it's no big deal. The chances of winning this trade are higher than losing it.