Flyers

Instant Replay: Flyers 4, Hurricanes 3

Instant Replay: Flyers 4, Hurricanes 3

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RALEIGH, N.C – Brandon Manning’s shorthanded goal broke a 3-3 tie in the third period and helped the Flyers snap a two-game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes on Sunday at PNC Arena.
 
It was the Flyers' first shorthanded goal of the season.
 
The Flyers led early and had a 2-1 lead in the second period that fell apart as Carolina scored on a delayed penalty to tie, then took its first lead off a turnover by Ivan Provorov, but Claude Giroux tied the game again at 3-3 late in the period.

Shayne Gostisbehere and Radko Gudas also scored for the Flyers. It marked the first time since March 2010 that the Flyers had three defensemen score in the same game.
 
Michal Neuvirth picked up only his second win this season and his first season the season opener in Los Angeles. He had a mixed-bag game.
 
Giroux’s two points temporarily tied him with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the NHL scoring lead with 12 points.
 
Notable goals
Gudas' shot off the right boards inside the post gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead as their third power play expired. His last goal was March 24 of last season.
 
Goalie report
The game wasn’t even a minute old and Neuvirth had to make two terrific glove saves - one on Sebastian Aho and the other on Jeff Skinner. Neuvirth was distracted in pushing Lee Stempniak out of the paint to open the second period and, in doing so, wasn’t in position to stop Justin Faulk’s wrister under the crossbar that tied the game at 1-1. Neuvirth’s game was so-so. He needed to make stops in the second period and didn’t deliver.
 
Power play
Gostisbehere, who had a ghastly turnover on the Flyers' first power play, made amends with a goal on the second chance, a shot through traffic from the left point. It was just his second goal of the season and it gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. That goal gave the Flyers their first lead at the first intermission all season long. Ghost now has seven career points against the Canes (four goals).
 
Penalty kill
The 'Canes were 0 for 2 and Manning had his clutch shorthanded goal.
 
Staal’s stats
Jordan Staal came into play with 17 goals and 29 points in 52 career games against the Flyers. Staal had no points in Sunday's game.
 
Skinner’s stats
Jeff Skinner had three points Friday night for the 'Canes against the Rangers and scored Sunday in the slot to make it a 2-2 game in the second period on a delayed penalty. He had two points in the game.
 
Scratches
Injured: Forwards Scott Laughton (knee) and Michael Raffl (abdominal pull); defenseman Michael Del Zotto (knee). Healthy: forward Boyd Gordon and defenseman Nick Schultz.
 
Up next
The Flyers ended their six-game, nine-day marathon, but have yet another back-to-back coming up, starting with Detroit on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center and ending Thursday with a trip to Brooklyn to face the New York Islanders.

Former Flyers defenseman Zarley Zalapski dies at 49

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Former Flyers defenseman Zarley Zalapski dies at 49

CALGARY, Alberta — Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at age 49, according to the Calgary Flames. No cause of death was given.

Zalapski, a native of Edmonton, played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal and the Flyers from 1987 to 2000.

He was with the Flames from 1993 to 1998.

"We are proud that Zarley wore the Flames jersey, made Calgary his home following his playing career, represented our alumni executive and we will always remember him as a member of the Flames family," Flames president and chief executive officer Ken King said Tuesday in a statement.

"This is a terrible loss of a man with great character who truly loved the game of hockey. We express our sincere condolences to the Zalapski family."

Zalapski was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

He had 99 goals, 285 assists and 684 penalty minutes in the NHL. Zalapski was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in 1993.

Zalapski played stints in Austria and Switzerland after his NHL career and appeared in 11 games for the United Hockey League's Kalamazoo Wings in 2004-05.

He was the fourth overall pick by the Penguins in the 1986 entry draft.

'Special play' by Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux highlights Flyers' 4th straight win

'Special play' by Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux highlights Flyers' 4th straight win

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The entire play was a thing of beauty.  

The only debate was which part was prettier: Claude Giroux’s pass or Sean Couturier’s shot?

“I don’t know," Couturier said. "Ask him and see what he thinks."

“It’s a pretty special play to be able to get that puck into open ice to let Coots skate onto it,” head coach Dave Hakstol said.

After Couturier won a faceoff in the defensive zone, the puck eventually swung towards the far boards in the neutral zone. Giroux delivered a backhand pass between his legs and the legs of Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev before Couturier chased it down and uncorked a perfectly placed shot that found the top-right portion of the net (see highlights).

“The puck was rolling so I just shot as hard as I could,” Couturier said. 

"I saw Coots had a foot race and usually he doesn’t beat the other guy, but he was able to beat him there,” Giroux said half-jokingly. “He’s been playing great hockey and it’s fun to be on his line.

“It’s that kind of play that you can’t really describe. I’ll put it somewhere where he might be able to get it."

Couturier’s game-winner with 2:55 remaining in regulation Tuesday was part of the Flyers' three-goal third-period outburst on the way to a 4-2 win (see observations). It was the team's fourth consecutive victory, making it the first time since February 2014 the Flyers have strung together four straight wins in regulation, improving their record to 12-11-7.

The Flyers also snapped a six-game winless streak at the Wells Fargo Center dating back to Nov. 9.

“The last three games before this one, we had the lead and everybody bought in on how we wanted to play to keep the lead, and now we had a different test,” Giroux said. “We’re down a goal and guys just have a feeling in the room that we’re going to come back. It’s a good feeling right now.”

The Couturier-Giroux combination got the Flyers on the board in the opening period when Couturier won the draw in the offensive zone after sliding the puck behind him and Giroux finished with a one-time blast that beat Frederik Andersen.

“We switch around and try different things offensively,” Couturier said. “Having him on the right side there, G is ready for a one-timer if I win it and lucky enough the puck ended up right on his tape.”

Not only did the Flyers have a pair of first-rounders on their top line, Hakstol also elected to pair fellow first-round picks Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny on the team’s fourth line. Together with Taylor Leier they brought an element of speed and energy that led to the Flyers' game-tying tally in the third period when Konecny’s shot grazed off two Maple Leafs for just his second goal in his last 20 games.

“It was definitely part of our game plan to outskate their D and get in there,” Konecny said. “As a unit of three, we know we can cheat a little bit and get in on the forecheck because we know we can get back and defend in the right spots, so yeah, we were on top of them.”

“You guys can label them whatever you want,” Hakstol said. “They’re just one of our lines. We thought that line combination made sense with the speed and pace that all three of those guys play at. It’s one small tweak to our lineup that we made coming off the road trip out west.”

The Maple Leafs came into the game a little short on star power with top center Auston Matthews day to day with an upper-body injury. However, it hadn’t affected the Leafs in previous games as Toronto had a 5-0 record in contests Matthews had missed. Head coach Mike Babcock believed Tuesday night’s game was more of a missed opportunity.

“To me, we gifted two goals,” Babcock said. “The one tough play the goalie touched the goal and then the play where they come in, we are above those. To me, you can’t do that.”

The Flyers took down the Maple Leafs for the second time this season. They’ll meet one more time on Jan. 18 at the Wells Fargo Center.