Flyers

Shayne Gostisbehere leads Flyers to season-high winning streak

Shayne Gostisbehere leads Flyers to season-high winning streak

BOX SCORE

The wins just keep on coming.

The Flyers on Saturday night extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 2-1 overtime win over the Dallas Stars after Shayne Gostisbehere scored the game-winning goal just seconds into a power play.

Gostisbehere scored both of the Flyers' goals with the man advantage. His first power-play goal was the Flyers' first home power-play goal since Nov. 18, snapping an 0-for-20 drought.

The OT victory also snapped the Flyers' seven-game losing skid in games ending after regulation.

Brian Elliott, who made his seventh straight start, stopped 26 of 27 shots.

Former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock was looking for his 800th career win.

• It was a rather interesting start to the game, as Claude Giroux and Jamie Benn got tangled up at center ice between the two benches. Benn extended his glove underneath Giroux's chin and a lot of pushing and shoving ensued. Both guys went off for roughing minors.

• During the matching penalties, the Flyers dominated the 4-on-4 play. First, the Flyers' fourth line had an extended possession, though Travis Konecny tried to create a play on his own and wound up with a very low percentage shot near the blue line. The Flyers' best opportunity came when Wayne Simmonds worked a beautiful give-and-go with Sean Couturier that resulted in Simmonds having a break.

• The Stars struck first with their fourth line when Gemel Smith beat Elliott on a one-timer to the far post. The Flyers had enough men back on defense, but they lost coverage when Scott Laughton was caught puck watching and didn't cover the backside pass. By the time Laughton realized it, he was a step behind. Not a good goal to give up, but the Stars have a pretty effective fourth line. 

• Tensions rose again when Dan Hamhuis grabbed Simmonds after firing a shot, and as Couturier came to his defense, he gave Hamhuis a subtle jab that resulted in a two-minute roughing, which negated a Flyers power play after just 30 seconds. Hamhuis appeared to have embellished when he launched his head backward. A no-call should have been the way to go.

• The Stars' combo of Jason Spezza and Alexander Radulov had some effective zone time and took advantage of the Flyers' third defensive pairing of Travis Sanheim and Radko Gudas. Radulov drew a penalty when he made a move past Valtteri Filppula, who reached out and tripped up Radulov. The Stars generated two power-play shots, including one that Elliott appeared to glove after it had been deflected.

• Twenty-five minutes into the game and there wasn't much open ice at all. It was tight checking with both teams clogging up the middle and disrupting the passing lanes. Even when the Flyers turned the puck over, they were able to minimize the damage.

• The Flyers' power play finally got on the board after they were buzzing all over the Stars' net. After Ben Bishop came up with a remarkable save on Simmonds at point-blank range, the Flyers threw everything at Bishop as a result of their quick puck movement, which kept the Stars' penalty killers out for an extended shift. The hard work paid off when Gostisbehere cut backdoor and cleaned up a backside rebound off the boards. One of the Flyers' best all-around power-play efforts of the season.

"We were putting everything we had but the kitchen sink at the net," Gostisbehere said after the second period. "We missed a couple of shots, but they were banking off the boards pretty good and thankfully, I was there to clean it up."

• Gostisbehere came right back and sprung Jakub Voracek on a breakaway with a heads-up two-line stretch pass. Voracek elected to go forehand, but his shot went a foot wide.

• Konecny's scoring frustrations continued when he broke in all alone off a feed from Michael Raffl. Konecny chose to cut across the crease and fire a backhand, but his shot went wide. Konecny could have brought the puck wide to his forehand, creating a better 2-on-0 opportunity with Raffl, but you could see Konecny is more desperate to score a goal.

• The Stars had a matchup advantage late in the second period when a line of Benn, Spezza and Radulov was matched up against the Flyers' fourth line and third defensive pair. As the Stars entered the zone, Sanheim was turned around and fell to the ice. Sanheim's partner, Gudas, hit the deck and broke up a centering pass with his stick. The Flyers finally survived and were able to dump it out of the zone.

• The Flyers' third line of Jordan Weal, Nolan Patrick and Jordan Weal had a strong opening shift to begin the third period. They logged about 30 seconds in the Stars' zone and generated a couple of shots on Bishop.

• Sanheim is usually good for one defensive gaffe per game. The Stars and Lance Pitlick caught Sanheim flat-footed when the puck was lofted high, up and out of the Dallas zone. That resulted in Pitlick blowing past Sanheim and attempting a backhanded breakaway play that went wide of the Flyers' net, similar to Konecny's in the second period.

Lines, pairings and scratches
Forwards
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl-Valtteri Filppula-Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal-Nolan Patrick-Dale Weise
Taylor Leier-Scott Laughton-Travis Konecny

Defense
Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

Scratches: Forward Jori Lehtera and Mark Alt. Both were healthy.

Seguin nets OT winner for Stars

usa-tyler-seguin-dallas-stars-celebration.jpg
USA Today Images

Seguin nets OT winner for Stars

BOSTON — Tyler Seguin made a move at the left circle to get past one defender, then skated into the slot as the other two Bruins went to the ice.

He swooped wide to Anton Khudobin's glove side, inducing the goalie to leave his skates as well, and then flipped the puck into the net for the game-winner.

"I feel like everyone was just sliding at me, and the whole time I wanted to pass," Seguin said after his goal with a delayed penalty man-advantage gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over Boston on Monday.

"I was just kind of looking for the right play and just kept holding it," the former Bruins first-round draft pick said. "I just kind of shot it, and luckily, it went in."

Stephen Johns and Alexander Radulov also scored for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 30 shots (see full recap).

Tavares' 2nd goal lifts Islanders past Canadiens in OT
MONTREAL — John Tavares scored his second goal of the game 1:51 into overtime to lift the New York Islanders to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Mathew Barzal, coming off his second five-point game of the season, had a goal and two assists to keep up his scoring binge for New York. Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech also scored to help the Islanders win their third straight after a season-high five-game losing streak, and Thomas Greiss finished with a career-high 52 saves.

Nicolas Deslauriers, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which twice tied the scored after falling behind by two goals. Carey Price stopped 19 shots.

Pelech gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead 2:37 into the second period as he pounced on a loose puck after Barzal's shot was blocked and swept it in fromt eh slot for his first of the season (see full recap).

MacKinnon helps Avs beat Ducks for 7th straight win
DENVER — The save by Jonathan Bernier that sticks out the most was the one where he simply stuck out his stick.

Out of sheer desperation, no less. To thwart what looked to be a sure goal, too. It's just another sign of how well things have been going for the Colorado Avalanche in recent weeks.

Nathan MacKinnon kept up his torrid home scoring with a goal, Bernier turned back 33 shots and the Avalanche beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Monday for their seventh straight win.

Matt Nieto and Colin Wilson also scored for the Avs, who are outscoring opponents 29-10 during their longest win streak since the 2005-06 season (see full recap).

Old wounds have healed for Eric Lindros

ap-eric-lindros-flyers.jpg
AP Images

Old wounds have healed for Eric Lindros

You could say the life of “88” has completed a lifelong figure 8, where you ultimately come back to the point where it all started.  

That starting point for Eric Lindros was sometime at an early age when life was simple, friendships were forming and the game of hockey wasn’t tugging him in a hundred different directions. Not that Lindros feels like a kid now, but clearly he views life rather buoyantly.

He smiles, he laughs, he tells stories and enjoys living essentially burden-free. 

“I’m seeing things from a different perspective,” said Lindros during my visit with him at his new home in the Toronto suburbs. “I think when you’re playing, and for good reason, you’re focused on your game. You live, eat, breathe the sport and the game. You have the blinders on. You might not be aware of what’s going on politically. You might not be aware of what’s going on with some of your friends back home.

“Now, I have no blinders. I’m not restricted. If I choose to look left or choose to look right, I can. It’s a different mindset. It’s a different way of going about it. It’s a whole new world.”

Lindros left Philadelphia unceremoniously sitting out an entire season before he was eventually traded to the New York Rangers in August 2001, and even after he stopped playing six years later, a lot of those old wounds still hadn’t healed and the relationship between himself and the organization was scarred. A once tight relationship with former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke was seemingly frayed beyond repair.

The 2012 Winter Classic alumni game at Citizens Bank Park was the first step in the rehabilitation between a stubbornly proud organization and its franchise center the city once cherished. Then came Lindros’ induction into the Flyers Wall of Fame in 2014, his 2016 induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame and now, the latest culmination is the retirement of his legendary No. 88 along with other events surrounding the former superstar. 

There’s now a renewed sense that Philadelphia will always be Lindros’ hockey home.  

“Listen, hockey was great for a long time and where I could give the most was in Philly. From start to finish, I never played as well anywhere else. I really enjoyed it. There’s ups and downs with everything that you do, but overall I truly enjoyed playing there,” Lindros said.

“Eric doesn’t have a home,” Clarke told me in 2011 prior to the Winter Classic alumni game. “Eric needs a home and the Flyers are his home.”
 
Of course, it’s not exactly a home surrounded by a white picket fence, but rather one that had a fence that needed to be mended. Retirement for Lindros and Clarke, who both coincidentally stepped down as player and executive in 2007, helped gain perspective and patch some damaged feelings. 

“We see each other at all these events and Bob’s been very nice," Lindros said. “We can joke around. What’s happened, happened. Let’s move forward and go on.”

Eric has done that while also discovering why the present should be cherished so much more than what has transpired in the past. Whenever Lindros spends time at alumni functions, he’s easily immersed in the aura surrounding Bernie Parent and how it can easily rub off on him. 
   
“What a fun-loving spirit. He gets it,” Lindros said of Parent. “You know where some people have that vibe and you want to be in the room with him. He’s got a gift. Bernie’s a terrific, terrific man. He’s got to get me out on the boat.” 

After Thursday's ceremony prior to the Flyers' game against Lindros' hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, Lindros and Parent can hang together all they want, at least, in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.

However, Lindros doesn’t need those types of reminders. Nowhere in his brand-new home will you find any connection between himself and his playing days — no photos on the wall, no replica of the Hart Trophy he won in 1995 and no sign of his Olympic gold medal. Nor does Lindros believe his career was any more distinguishable from that of his wife Kina Lamarche, who was a very successful businesswoman.  

As you enter the basement, there’s a painting of Jackie Robinson sliding into home plate. Turn the corner and down the hall you’ll find a newly-installed locker room and a synthetic ice surface that currently serves as a playroom for his three kids: Carl Pierre, Sophie and Ryan. This is Eric Lindros now, a man with a greater purpose in life.   

“Same way my dad was with me,” Lindros said. “My dad took a lot of heat for looking out for me and representing me and my brother. People would be lucky to have my dad as a representative. I’m very lucky to come from where I did. I got big shoes to fill. I’m around the house quite a bit now. I got lucky. I really did. I don’t think it could have worked out better.”