Flyers

Scott Laughton, Claude Giroux remember Roy Halladay

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Scott Laughton, Claude Giroux remember Roy Halladay

VOORHEES, N.J. — Somewhere Scott Laughton's old No. 32 white Roy Halladay jersey he wore as a kid is stored in a closet down in his parents' basement.

“I remember going to Jays games with my dad and watching him and Carlos Delgado and guys like that," Laughton said Wednesday. "It kind of chokes you up a bit. It was really, really tough to see that. I don’t want to see that happen to anyone. It’s definitely a sad time.”

After learning of Halladay’s tragic death, Laughton tweeted:

Laughton grew up in Oakville, Ontario, a Toronto suburb about 20 miles from the Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome), and while hockey has always been Laughton's true passion, attending baseball games was a summertime ritual with his father, Craig Laughton.

His parents were at the stadium the night the Blue Jays and Joe Carter defeated the Phillies in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series to capture Toronto's first ever world championship. Laughton was born seven months later, and by the time he was 8, he was watching arguably one of the organization's best players during his prime years.

"He was the best pitcher in the organization for quite some time," Laughton said of Halladay, "and then he came to the Phillies and did a great job too. Just the way he worked, I read a couple of articles last night where he finished his workouts at 5:30 a.m. and things like that.”

While Laughton never had the opportunity to meet Halladay in person, Claude Giroux did.

Halladay pitched his perfect game in Miami on the same day the Flyers and Blackhawks squared off in Game 1 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final on May 29, 2010, and within a few years, Halladay and Giroux were undoubtedly the two best athletes in their respective sports in the city.

"I talked to him a couple of times," Giroux said. "I was a pretty big Blue Jays fan and the things he did for Toronto. When I came here, he was playing for the Phillies, a good ambassador for the sport.

"I didn’t know him that much, but I never heard anyone say a bad thing about him. When it was game day for him, he was a very focused guy. He did a lot of good things for baseball.”

Before to Thursday night’s game against the Blackhawks, the Flyers will hold a moment of silence in remembrance of Halladay.

Make it three?
Michal Neuvirth was the first guy on the ice for Wednesday's practice and the first player to come off — one indicator he's in line to start Thursday against Chicago.

"I've been here in this league for a while," Neuvirth said, "so I know when I have a good practice and when I don't, I'm trying to push myself even harder."

If he does start, it would mark the first time this season Neuvirth has started three consecutive games. He missed Monday's practice but has put in a couple days of hard work.

"He's gone out and made a lot of good saves at key times," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said of Neuvirth. "Sometimes the focus is on goals that go in or goals that are given up and that has a way of having people forget some of the saves that are made throughout a game at key times. I think Neuvy has been a pretty consistent figure for us and has battled hard for us."

It will be up to Neuvirth and the rest of the Flyers to continue one of the longest streaks in the NHL when the Blackhawks come to the Wells Fargo Center Thursday night.

The Flyers have beaten the 'Hawks in their last 13 regular-season games in Philadelphia.

Chicago's last win in Philadelphia came on Nov. 9, 1996, which will mark exactly 21 years to the day the Blackhawks left South Broad Street with a 4-1 win over the Flyers in a game that saw former Flyer Jeff Hackett stop 33 shots in a winning effort.

Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

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Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his 10th career shutout and the St. Louis Blues got goals from Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko in a 3-0 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Brayden Schenn, who also had an assist, added an empty-net goal at 17:34 of the third period. It was his 20th goal of the season.

The game was a bounce-back effort for Hutton, pulled after giving up three goals on 12 shots in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Arizona.

Hutton, normally the Blues' backup, started for the fourth consecutive game and eighth in the last 10. He earned his second shutout this season (see full recap).

Lightning top Preds before visiting Flyers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Down a goal late in the third period in the second game of a back-to-back, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to captain Steven Stamkos and he got the tying score. Yanni Gourde then came through in overtime.

Gourde scored 1:45 into the extra period to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored as the Lightning won their second straight. Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots.

"It was all about our compete," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It was about nothing else but our compete. They are a hell of a team over there. They just keep coming at you,” (see full recap).

Dea scores 1st NHL goal, Pens beat Hurricanes
PITTSBURGH -- Not much more than a month ago, Dominik Simon, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Casey DeSmith were playing minor league hockey in Wilkes-Barre for the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when that unlikely trio carried Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions to an important win.

Simon and Dea scored 76 seconds apart in the second period, and DeSmith made 34 saves for the Penguins in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

"They've been huge," Jake Geunztel said of his rookie teammates. "They're playing really well, and they have that excitement to be here. We have all been there -- and to see that, it's cool to be around, for sure,” (see full recap).

Eichel's 4 points lead Sabres to win over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Jack Eichel had a goal and three assists, Ryan O'Reilly scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres earned an easy 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for the last-place Sabres (13-26-9), who won their second game in a row for just the second time this season. The other time was in late October.

Robin Lehner made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season.

Cam Talbot started in net and stopped 18 of 22 shots in 31:32 of work before Al Montoya turned aside 11 of 12 in relief for the Oilers (21-24-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped (see full recap).

Even controversial OT winner can't slow down Konecny

Even controversial OT winner can't slow down Konecny

BOX SCORE

DETROIT — Twenty-seven is Travis Konecny’s lucky number these days.

That’s because, for the second game in a row, Konecny scored a goal 27 seconds into overtime to give the Flyers a win.

The Red Wings were Konecny’s victims Tuesday night, as his overtime marker gave the Flyers a 3-2 win at Little Caesars Arena for their eighth win in nine games (see observations). On Sunday, Konecny scored 27 seconds into the extra period to beat the Capitals, 2-1.

“I don't know, but it is certainly going well. I think it is just a matter of not thinking and having fun out there,” Konecny said. “I always know Coots (Sean Couturier) is going to get me the puck in a good spot, and I've had a couple go in.”

Konecny, who has nine goals and 21 points in 48 games for the season, has four goals and six points in his past six games.

Konecny became the second Flyer to score back-to-back overtime winners — Sami Kapanen did it on Dec. 28, 2005, at Atlanta, and then Dec. 29, 2005, at Carolina.

Tuesday night’s OT winner was reviewed because it was possibly offside. With the play on the right-wing boards, the puck came out of the Detroit zone, with Konecny still in. But Couturier poked it right back into the zone and it was ruled that Konecny got his skate on the blue line — putting himself back onside — before he touched the puck.

From there, he skated into the right-wing circle and beat Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek with a shot on the short side (see highlights).

“I was pretty sure it was a good goal,” Konecny said. “When I saw the replay, my skates hit the blue line before the puck hit my stick. I didn't think they had enough to overturn it.”

Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist, defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored and Couturier had two assists. Goaltender Brian Elliott had to make only 19 saves, but a few were outstanding.

“When you look at the shot clock, it didn't look like I had much to do, but it felt like a lot of work,” Elliott said. “They had a lot of great chances where they missed the net.”

Two of those chances were by Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi in the third period with a chance to break the tie.

Seconds after Frans Nielsen tied it 2-2 for the Red Wings with 9:16 remaining in regulation, Bertuzzi had the puck in the lower right circle facing an open net. But MacDonald got his stick on Bertuzzi’s shot and deflected it over the net.

And with 1:11 left in regulation, Bertuzzi, off a rebound, appeared to have an easy tap-in from two or three feet but shot the puck wide and went barreling into the net, knocking it off its moorings for a stoppage in play.

The Flyers scored twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

Voracek’s power-play goal with 37 seconds left in the middle period gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead. It was his ninth goal and came just 12 seconds after Dylan Larkin took a tripping penalty.

MacDonald tied it 1-1 for the Flyers 1:10 into the second.

The Flyers outshot the Red Wings, 18-7, in the second period after a slow start in the first.

“We had a really sluggish start, but we were really good in the second period. It was night and day,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “They really pushed us back at the end, especially with their speed, but we found a way to get two points.”

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 9:18 left in the first when his shot from the left point deflected in off the leg of Brandon Manning.

The Flyers outshot the Red Wings — who beat New Jersey, 3-0, Monday night — 5-4.