Flyers

Best of NHL: Blackhawks edge Red Wings on power-play goal in OT

Best of NHL: Blackhawks edge Red Wings on power-play goal in OT

CHICAGO -- Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal 38 seconds into overtime, lifting Chicago to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night for the Blackhawks' fourth straight victory.

Keith, who also had an assist, beat Petr Mrazek with a rising screened shot from the top of the slot. The man advantage was set up when Justin Adbelkader was called for boarding Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson with 15.2 seconds left in the third.

Richard Panik also had a goal and assist for Chicago, while Brian Campbell and Tanner Kero each scored. Ryan Hartman added two assists. Corey Crawford stopped 33 shots.

Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening had Detroit's goals in regulation. Mrazek had 39 saves as the Red Wings fell to 2-2-2 on a season-high seven-game road trip (see full recap).

Marchand, Bruins beat Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Brad Marchand scored twice, including an empty netter, and David Backes got into a fight in his return to St. Louis as the Boston Bruins beat the Blues 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Frank Vatrano, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 2-0-1 in their last three games. Tuukka Rask made 14 saves.

Backes, who spent his first 10 seasons with St. Louis before signing with Boston as a free agent, fought with former teammate Joel Edmundson late in the second to the delight of the Scottrade Center crowd. Backes dropped the gloves in retaliation for a hit on Bruins teammate David Krejci by Jori Lehtera.

Colton Parayko, Patrik Berglund and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Blues. Jake Allen was pulled for Carter Hutton after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period. Hutton finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Staal lifts Hurricanes over Blue Jackets
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection with 16:10 to play, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Victor Rask had two assists and an empty-net goal, Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists and Derek Ryan also had a goal and an assist. Brock McGinn added a goal for Carolina, which has earned points in 13 of 14 home games.

Cam Atkinson scored his 20th goal on the same day he was left off the All-Star team, and Josh Anderson and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have a league-best 60 points but have lost three of four.

Cam Ward made 24 saves while making his 17th straight start, his longest streak since 2011.

With All-Star pick Sergei Bobrovsky ill, backup Anton Forsberg stopped 23 shots in his season debut for the Blue Jackets (see full recap).

Andrew MacDonald out 4-6 weeks with lower-body injury

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AP Images

Andrew MacDonald out 4-6 weeks with lower-body injury

A roster spot for Samuel Morin appears to have opened up.

Andrew MacDonald will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced Sunday. MacDonald will likely land on injured reserve.

The injury likely occurred midway through the third period against the Oilers on Saturday, when MacDonald blocked a Mark Letestu slap shot with 10:48 left in regulation and 1:44 left on an Edmonton power play.

MacDonald hobbled around on basically on one leg before being able to clear the puck and make it to the bench after 44 seconds. MacDonald blocked a game-high six shots Saturday.

“You just got to get up,” MacDonald said after the Flyers’ 2-1 win. “If you don’t get up, it’s 5-on-3. There are other opportunities that can arise from it. Do your best and try to hang in there. Wait for some help. Wait until you clear it. Everyone battles through it.

“You take a shot. You just get up, get back in there and help your guys.”

With MacDonald injured, the Flyers now have six defensemen. Brandon Manning has been a healthy scratch the past two games as Travis Sanheim drew back into the lineup.

The Flyers have yet to make a corresponding roster move, but considering Morin nearly made the team out of training camp and hung around for the four-game season-opening West Coast trip, it’s a safe assumption that Morin will find his way back to the NHL.

Morin had a goal and an assist for the Phantoms on Saturday night, an assist Friday night and points in all his three games in Lehigh Valley.

If Morin does come back up, the question is will he play?

The Flyers were reluctant to play three rookie defensemen on their season-opening trip and scratched both Sanheim and Morin for the season opener.

Things have changed now, though. MacDonald is third on the Flyers in ice time, averaging 19:36 while playing with Ivan Provorov, who will now find himself with a new partner.

Dave Hakstol could insert Manning into the lineup, which is a strong possibility. How Hakstol draws up his pairings remains to be seen, though it’s unlikely he’ll break up Shayne Gostisbehere and rookie Robert Hagg. It’s possible Provorov finds himself with Manning or Morin, or perhaps Radko Gudas. We’ll know more after Monday’s practice.

Calling up Morin is not Hextall’s only option. The Flyers also have T.J. Brennan in the AHL, who is a better fit as a seventh defenseman.

Scott Laughton credits longtime skating coach Dawn Braid for NHL rebirth

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USA Today Images

Scott Laughton credits longtime skating coach Dawn Braid for NHL rebirth

After spending nearly the entire 2016-17 campaign at Lehigh Valley, Flyers center Scott Laughton looks like a whole different player this season. But the demotion and time spent in the minor leagues aren’t the only reasons behind his NHL rebirth.

Laughton also became a far better skater.

Through eight games, Laughton has two goals and one assist with a plus-one rating – hardly the kind of numbers that typically garner a lot of attention. However, the former first-pick is centering a quality fourth line for the Flyers, a grouping that has been strong in its own end while also generating impressive offensive opportunities at the other. Laughton leads the club’s forwards in shorthanded time on ice as well, playing a huge role in a penalty-killing unit that’s managed to ward off all but one of the last 13 power plays it’s faced.

The difference is apparent, and Laughton knows it, too. Some of that comes with age and experience – he’s only 23, with 117 NHL games under his belt. Yet Laughton directs much of the credit for his growth on the ice to his longtime skating coach, Dawn Braid.

“Worked with the same skating coach I have been for the last six, seven years,” Laughton said Friday of his offseason regimen. “She actually just got hired with Arizona. She was a skating coach there.

“I've been working with her. I did a lot of tight edges, a lot of tight work, and I did a lot of crossovers to try and develop speed. I think everything kind of comes together though — your off-ice training combined with that — and just getting stronger as I get older. I'm getting older and coming into my body.”

A former figure skater, Braid was named the Coyotes' skating coach in August of 2016, become the NHL’s first full-time female coach in the process. From the sound of things, the hiring was long overdue.

Braid had built a following around the league, and from players vastly more acclaimed than Laughton.

“She works with (Islanders center and four-time All-Star) John Tavares and helped him,” Laughton said. “She's got (Stars center Jason Spezza). She's got a bunch of guys. A lot of guys go to her. She's like Barb Underhill in Toronto. They were partners.

“I've been skating with her since I was in first year of juniors, so I really like her.”

It sounds like Laughton is getting an education in more than how to be better on his skates. As Braid has worked with more NHL stars and teams, she’s began teaching more than just being quicker and more fluid on the ice.

There are applicable hockey lessons and techniques involved in their training.

“I think she's really incorporated puck work,” Laughton said. “It used to be no pucks. She watches game film and things like that, and sees what's going on in the game and tries to help you that way.”

Whatever Laughton is doing, it appears to be working. A year ago, he couldn’t crack the Flyers’ main roster, managing to appear in just two games. He finished with 19 goals, 20 assists and a plus-17 rating in 60 games for the Phantoms in 16-17, with an additional two goals and one assists in five playoff tilts. Despite finishing with a 39-33-10 record and missing the postseason, the big club never felt as though Laughton was needed.

It’s early into the 17-18 campaign, but it’s already difficult to imagine this Flyers squad without Laughton’s contributions – so give the assist to Baird on this one.