Shayne Gostisbehere leads Flyers to season-high winning streak

Shayne Gostisbehere leads Flyers to season-high winning streak


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

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

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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

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.”