Flyers

NHL Wrap: Jets get win over Rangers

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NHL Wrap: Jets get win over Rangers

The Flyers were off on Tuesday, but did pull off a deal to bring Simon Gagne back to town (see story).

Now, let's take a look at some other action from around the league.

Jets edge Rangers
NEW YORK -- Olli Jokinen scored twice and Evander Kane had a goal and assist in the second period for the surging Winnipeg Jets, who completed a dominant road trip with a 4-3 victory over the injury-riddled and slumping New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

After a scoreless first period, Jokinen broke the deadlock 5:55 into the second off an assist from Kane, who then gave Winnipeg a 2-0 lead 1:07 later with his eighth goal of the season. Anthony Peluso also had two assists in the period.

Kane added his second of the game and ninth of the season in the third period -- in between a pair of Rangers tallies -- as three goals were scored in a span of 1:13 that brought New York within 4-3 (see full recap).

Kopecky leads Panthers over Pens
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tomas Kopecky recorded his first career hat trick and Tomas Fleischmann netted the go-ahead score for his 100th career goal, lifting the Florida Panthers to a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Brian Campbell and Marcel Goc also scored goals and Fleischmann also had two assists for the Panthers. Scott Clemmensen stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third after replacing Jose Theodore during the second intermission.

Chris Kunitz, Dustin Jeffrey, Paul Martin, and James Neal scored for the Penguins. Mark Andre-Fleury made 12 saves for Pittsburgh and Sidney Crosby had two assists.

Kopecky, who has six goals in his last six games, scored his third of the game on an empty-netter from his own blue line that made the score 6-4 with one minute left (see full recap).

Sabres top Lightning
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tyler Myers scored a go-ahead goal early in third period, helping Ron Rolston win for the first time as the Buffalo's interim coach, in the Sabres' 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Myers made it 2-1 from the top of the left circle 52 second into the third after a Tampa Bay turnover. Rolston replaced long-time Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff on Feb. 20.

Ryan Miller made 30 saves and improved to 19-7-0 against the Lightning. The Sabres also got a goal from Cody Hodgson, while Thomas Vanek had two assists.

Miller made several quality saves during three short-handed situations, including a 5-on-3, during the second. He also had a point-blank stop on Steven Stamkos in the third.

Stamkos extended his goal-scoring streak to six games (see full recap).

Stars beat Blue Jackets in OT
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Loui Eriksson fought off two defenders to get his stick on a rebound and jammed it in 3:03 into overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Eriksson was being held back by a pair of Blue Jackets but reached for the puck as he was falling and whipped it past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for the winner.

Cody Eakin had given the Stars a 4-3 lead with 6:24 left in regulation when his shot from the right wing handcuffed Bobrovsky, the puck trickling through his leg pads and across the goal line.

But the Blue Jackets once again tied it -- for the fourth time -- when Nick Foligno tossed a hard pass from the left short boards to R.J. Umberger, who scored from the right hash with just 1:34 remaining to force overtime (see full recap).

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Simmonds plays hero in win over Oilers

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USA Today Images

Flyers-Oilers observations: Red-hot Simmonds plays hero in win over Oilers

BOX SCORE

For the second straight game, the Flyers were forced to get defensive, and this time, they found a way to come out on top, 2-1, over the Edmonton Oilers.

Wayne Simmonds produced the game winner after taking a pass from Valtteri Filppula and snapping it past Cam Talbot with 2:15 remaining in the third period.

It was a tight-checking game that played out similar to what we saw Thursday against the Predators, as the Flyers held the Oilers to 24 shots on net. Connor McDavid registered four shots on net, but wasn’t much of a factor offensively.

The Flyers jumped on the board first with the help of their first power play when Shayne Gostisbehere’s blast from the point was deflected out front by Wayne Simmonds right to Claude Giroux, who corralled the loose puck and punched it into a wide open net for his fifth goal of the season. 

Following an 0-for-5 effort against Nashville, the Flyers needed to capitalize on the man advantage chances.  

“We just have a lot of different looks this year,” Gostisbehere said to NBCSP's Chris Therien during the first intermission. “We have so many plays out there. It’s harder for other teams to prepare for us. We’re getting pucks to the net and our guys are doing what they’re suppose to do.”

Former Phantom Patrick Maroon finally got the Oilers on the board with 4:23 remaining in the second period when he outmuscled rookie Nolan Patrick along the corner boards, coming away with the puck, and making a move past Ivan Provorov, before putting a shot between Brian Elliott’s pads. 

Patrick appeared to have been distracted by a broken stick along the boards that made him hesitate with the puck. The Flyers rookie center could have elevated the puck with his backhand, but by holding onto to it for a split second too long, he allowed Maroon to come up with the takeaway.

• The Flyers got careless defensively in the opening ten minutes of the second period as defensive breakdowns led to some quality scoring chance for the Oilers.

• The Flyers did a solid job of containing last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner McDavid, primarily deploying Scott Laughton’s line along with the Sean Couturier line sometimes during the same shift. McDavid had some extended shifts — three even strength shifts over 1:30 — requiring the Flyers to use a multitude of forwards/defense pairs.

• McDavid left the game briefly in the first period and returned midway through.

• Jori Lehtera produced his best scoring chance of the season when he took Radio Gudas’ outlet pass and attempted to squeeze through a pair of defenders. The plodding Lehtera was unable to gain enough speed for an uncontested shot, but with his strong forearms and hands, he was able to draw a slashing penalty and still put a shot on net. 

• Last season, Giroux didn’t score his 5th goal until November 29th. 

• Both Taylor Leier and Jordan Weal missed Saturday’s game with upper-body injuries. According to general manager Ron Hextall, both forwards are day-to-day. 

• Referee Ian Walsh was honored prior to the game for officiating his 1,000th career game. Flyers captain Claude Giroux presented Walsh with a framed autographed jersey signed by the team with the No. 1,000 on the back.

Lines, pairings and scratches
Giroux-Couturier-Voracek
Lehtera-Filppula-Simmonds
Weise-Patrick-Konecny
Read-Laughton-Raffl

Provorov-MacDonald
Gostisbehere-Hägg
Sanheim-Gudas

Elliott
Neuvirth

Scratched: Weal, Leier, Manning

Flyers-Oilers thoughts: Welcoming the best player in the world to Philly

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USA Today Images/NBCSP

Flyers-Oilers thoughts: Welcoming the best player in the world to Philly

Flyers (4-3-0) vs. Oilers (2-4-0)
1 p.m. on NBCSP, NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports App; Pregame Live at 12:30

The best player in the world comes to South Philly today. Get your popcorn ready.

The Flyers, coming off a 1-0 loss to the Predators, host the Oilers in their first matinee of the season at the Wells Fargo Center. It’s Game 4 of the Flyers’ five-game homestand.

Let’s dive into some pregame thoughts before puck drop.

• Move over, Sidney Crosby. There’s a new sheriff in town. It’s time to anoint Connor McDavid as the best player in the world. Many already have. I’m fully on board now.

This kid is special, and each game he does something that blows your mind. On Thursday night, it was a ridiculous spin-o-rama assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.

What made the play exceptional was who he did it against, Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Between the two are seven All-Star Game appearances, two Norris Trophies and one Conn Smythe Trophy, so that’s no joke.

McDavid has three goals and five assists in six games this season. He has 156 points in 133 career games. He’s 20 years old. He should be the face of the league yesterday.

Market him better. I don’t care that he plays in Canada.

• It’s time to put the Brandon Manning-McDavid storyline to bed. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s overplayed (see story). If Manning is in McDavid’s head, it’s not for the better.

McDavid scored a goal and an assist last season in Philadelphia in his first game against the Flyers since Manning broke McDavid’s collarbone with a clean hockey play.

Then, in Edmonton, McDavid had a goal and two assists. Manning played both games. So if anything, it’s adding extra motivation for the best player in the world.

• It appears Travis Sanheim will remain in the lineup, a positive for two reasons:

1. Thursday against Nashville was Sanheim’s best game.

2. Sanheim’s speed and skating is a plus when having to defend McDavid.

Will Sanheim see much ice time against McDavid? I sure hope not. But the Oilers are a decent skating team, and McDavid’s speed is insane. You want as much speed against them as possible.

• You sure hope Jordan Weal can return after missing Thursday with an injury to part of his body. Weal is an important piece for the Flyers, and without him, Dave Hakstol will have to shuffle up his lines. Simply can’t replace Weal with Jori Lehtera on the second line with Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds.

That unit against the Predators was a disaster. If Weal is out again, I’d insert Matt Read into the lineup. He’s better suited for what the Flyers are doing now than Lehtera.

The good news is Weal practiced Friday. He’s expected to play.

• Three random Flyers stats:

1. Jakub Voracek needs two more points to reach 500 in his career. He will become the 23rd Czech player with 500 career points.

2. Shayne Gostisbehere’s 10 points are the most by a Flyers defenseman through the team’s first seven games dating back to the 1987-88 season.

3. Michal Neuvirth leads NHL goaltenders with a .957 save percentage. He was the worst qualified goalie last season in that category.

• The Oilers again will be without center Leon Draisaitl because of a concussion. Draisaitl practiced Friday but is still feeling symptoms. He hasn’t played since Oct. 9.

• Kailer Yamamoto, the Oilers’ 2017 first-round pick, has seen an increased role with Draisaitl injured. Edmonton has four more games to decide whether it’ll keep Yamamoto or send him back to junior. Yamamoto enters today on a three-game assist streak.

Here is the Flyers' projected lineup:

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

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

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth

Scratches: Forwards Jori Lehtera and Matt Read, and defenseman Brandon Manning.