Flyers

Brayden Schenn bails out Luke Schenn in win

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Brayden Schenn bails out Luke Schenn in win

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- When Brayden Schenn scored the goal that snapped his 16-game goalless drought Monday night, his brother Luke might have been more relieved than he was.

Luke Schenn, technically, scored the Canucks’ third-period go-ahead goal, as the rebound of Daniel Sedin’s shot deflected off him and past goalie Steve Mason. But it was his brother who scored with 47 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and push the Flyers to an eventual 4-3 shootout victory (see game story).

“He said, ‘Thanks for bailing me out,’” Brayden Schenn said. “He said, ‘I got one and you got one.’ It feels good to get a game-tyer.”

Brayden started this season rather strong, at one point leading the Flyers in points. Since then, he’s cooled off significantly. He’s had a rough stretch that included a scary hit from Capitals forward Tom Wilson.

On Monday, though, he was able to come through for his teammates and his brother.

“They always have their backs, and tonight they proved it,” Claude Giroux said. “It’s good for Brayden to get that goal. He was telling me before the game how it just won’t go in for him. He did what he does best, he went to the net and the puck was right there. Looks like an easy goal, but you’ve got to go to the net to get those goals.”

All along, Schenn approached his goalless drought with a maturity beyond his 22 years. He knew he was doing the right things, that it was only a matter of time before he’d finally get one.

Scoring his first goal since Nov. 23, though, was a big relief.

“It feels good,” Schenn said. “Long overdue. Monkey off the back. Obviously a weight lifted off your shoulders when you don’t score and however many games it was, you tend to think out there a little more than normal and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Mason, it should be noted, didn’t criticize Luke Schenn for Sedin’s goal. But he said it was nice to see one Schenn come through for the other.

“A little brotherly love there,” Mason said. “Luke’s just trying to get back to the net there, I was putting my rebound where I wanted to, and it was just an unfortunate bounce. Things like that happen. It’s unfortunate that it put us in that position, but we were able to come out of it, so that’s good.”

Loose pucks
The Flyers allowed a season-high 44 shots in their win in Vancouver. ... Michael Raffl registered two assists two days after scoring the shootout winner in Edmonton. ... Mason has won five starts in a row and has gone eight consecutive starts without a regulation loss.

Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

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Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Schwartz has four goals and six assists this season and has at least one point in six of the Blues' first seven games. It was his 51st career multi-point game and fourth this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves. The Blues snapped a two-game losing streak

Duncan Keith and Ryan Hartman had late goals for Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves (see full recap).

Maple Leafs ride big 1st period to win
TORONTO -- Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in his season debut and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times in the first period in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Starting in place of Frederik Andersen, McElhinney stopped 14 shots in the third period to hold off the Red Wings.

Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, Connor Brown, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored to help Toronto improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0. The Maple Leafs were coming off a 2-0 victory at Washington on Tuesday night.

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Ericsson scored for the Red Wings, and Nick Jensen had three assists.

Jimmy Howard gave up three goals on four shots before getting yanked in favor of Petr Mrazek late in the first period (see full recap).

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

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USA Today Images

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

For the first time in his nine-year career, Michal Neuvirth knows when he gets home at night after a game, there will be someone waiting for him with a smile.

Win or lose, it doesn’t matter to Neuvirth, or especially to his one-month-old daughter, Emily Gudasová Carolina.

“When you come home, there’s a baby waiting and it's such an amazing feeling that someone is waiting for you at home,” Neuvirth said after Tuesday's 5-1 win over Florida. “Last year, I was mostly here by myself, so I definitely like it better having a family with me now.”

Family now consists of his newborn daughter, his fiancee Karolína Gudasová and uncle Radko Gudas, Gudasová’s older brother and Neuvirth’s Flyers teammate.

To those of us on the outside, the responsibility of fatherhood seemingly has altered Neuvirth’s disposition. He smiles more, cracks a few jokes and elaborates just a little more with his answers to the media. Perhaps, he can tolerate us because there’s a deeper purpose and a sense of providing that comes with fatherhood.  

“It’s an amazing feeling being a dad,” Neuvirth said. “For me, I just have another motivation to play for my family now.”

Of course, it also helps I’ve yet to see Neuvirth yawn or show up to practice with bags under his eyes. He has escaped any late-night drama with an eight-day road trip to start the season, and for now, he apparently has a rare lifetime pass for any early morning feedings.  

“I have an amazing fiancee. She takes care of her (Emily) as much as she needs to,” Neuvirth said. “I usually put her to bed at 10-10:30. During the night, Karolina goes and feeds her in the living room, and I’m a deep sleeper, so she doesn’t wake me up.”

As Gudasová has kept an eye on the cradle, Neuvirth has secured the crease. He’s allowed three goals in his two starts this season with a .956 save percentage, which has initiated the debate for more playing time.

Interestingly, adapting to a new addition is something Neuvirth has also discussed with teammate and fellow netminder, Brian Elliott, who went through a similar set of circumstances with his son, Owen, last season in Calgary. Elliott called that first month with the Flames “a huge adjustment” and his October numbers reflected that.

Six games into the season, Neuvirth apparently has it all figured out. 

Of course, a good night’s sleep has a way of bringing clarity to the situation.