Flyers

Bergeron says anything Couturier can do he can do better

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USA Today Images

Bergeron says anything Couturier can do he can do better

BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron had four goals and an assist, surpassing 700 points for his career while leading the Boston Bruins to a 7-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Brad Marchand assisted on all of Bergeron's goals and David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who scored on their first two shots and led 5-1 after the first period. Boston also got goals from Riley Nash and Jake DeBrusk while improving to 8-0-2 in its last 10 games.

Anton Khudobin had 27 saves for the Bruins.

Jordan Staal scored a power-play goal for Carolina in the first period and Scott Darling stopped 23 of 28 shots in relief of Cam Ward, who was pulled after allowing two goals on two shots.

Bergeron tied a club record for goals in a game and became the first Bruin with four goals since Dave Andreychuk on Oct. 28, 1999, against Tampa Bay. He needed three points to reach 700 entering the game. He put Boston up 1-0 with a short-handed goal 3:14 into the game, then set up Pastrnak for a power-play goal that put Boston up 3-1 at 9:04 (see full recap).

Matthews, Bozak rally Leafs over Canucks in shootout
TORONTO -- Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored in the third period and again in the shootout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Saturday night.

It's the second straight shootout win for Toronto. Frederik Andersen stopped 2 of 3 shootout attempts after making 34 saves.

Canucks star rookie Brock Boeser appeared to have won it with a blistering shot 45 seconds into overtime, but replays showed the puck went off one post and then another without crossing the line.

The Leafs then had a man-advantage with Boeser off for slashing but failed to convert.

Boeser scored in the second period and Gagner in the third to put Vancouver ahead 2-0 before Matthews and Bozak brought Toronto back.

Toronto finally beat Jacob Markstrom at 8:23 of the third when Matthews tipped in a pass from Zach Hyman for his 19th. Bozak tied it at 12:37, knocking in his own rebound after a long stretch pass from Morgan Rielly sent him in alone (see full recap).

Dzingel scores 2, Senators beat league-best Lightning
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Ryan Dzingel scored twice and Mark Stone had a goal and two assists to help the Ottawa Senators beat the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Saturday night.

Matt Duchene, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Senators, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 13-16. Craig Anderson stopped 45 shots.

Victor Hedman, Slater Koekkoek and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning, who allowed six goals for the first time this season. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 27 saves.

With the score tied 3-3 after two periods, Stone picked up a rebound of Derick Brassard's shot to beat Vasilevskiy at 10:44 of the third. Pageau and Dzingel scored insurance goals soon after as the teams alternated scoring three goals in a period.

The Senators dominated the first period and took a 3-0 lead, but the second was all about the Lightning as they tied the score (see full recap).

Are Flyers next? How Carter Hart won over his junior GM

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Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

Are Flyers next? How Carter Hart won over his junior GM

Carter Hart approached Garry Davidson with a message.

For that brief moment, Davidson didn't have to answer his phone, hang up and then wonder.

The general manager's decision was made — and by the teenager who sought him out like a 30-year-old pro.

"Had he not come in and pushed those buttons," Davidson said, "who knows what I would have done."

The Everett Silvertips' 2016-17 season had just ended in the second round of the WHL playoffs. Davidson, the team's GM, was fielding trade call after trade call regarding his goalie.

It felt like everyone wanted a piece of Hart's final go-around in junior hockey.

"In the offseason this time last year, I was already being approached by several teams," Davidson said last week in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "'Would you move Hart?' There were probably six, seven teams that came after us. As a GM, I had to weigh everything out to see how it might work out."

Until Hart, the Flyers' exciting goalie prospect, had a word with him.

Hart was an eighth-round Bantam draft pick of Everett at 14 years old before he signed his WHL educational contract at 15. He eventually turned himself into a record-setting junior goalie and wanted Davidson to know he had goals of finishing what they started.

"Carter came to me and said, 'Hey, I'd love to do something here with my team and my teammates,'" Davidson said. "He came in at 15 and didn't play obviously a lot but was around at 15 and then a regular member at 16 when he was allowed to stay here. When he came in and we had that discussion, then I dug in and tried to see what I could do to make us better."

Hart's plea and the circumstances offered revealing aspects of exactly why the 19-year-old has Flyers fans giddily awaiting his arrival. The competition after Hart's services speaks volumes about his ability in net; yet maybe even more impressive was the loyalty to his team and the maturity behind it.

"That's one of the big things that Carter has always been, old for his years," Davidson said. "He's all about doing things, day in and day out, the right way."

Davidson never imagined what Hart ultimately became.

But he saw the makeup.

"I always liked Carter because I thought he was athletic but I always liked his composure," Davidson said. "He played with a confidence and not on emotion.

"We had a pretty good goalie here, so we just signed [Hart] and said he'll be our No. 2 guy. He came in here at 16 and a month in he sat in my office and said, 'You know what, I think I can be the best goalie here and I'm going to prove it to you.' Not in a cocky way, but just in a confident way. And subsequently he went on to do that."

In more ways than one.

The Flyers' 2016 second-round draft pick became the first goaltender to win the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy (WHL's top goalie) three times, while his 26 career shutouts are tied for the most in Canadian Hockey League history. His WHL-leading 1.60 goals-against average and .947 save percentage this season make him a favorite to win CHL Goalie of the Year for the second time, something no netminder has ever done. He also rewarded Davidson by leading the Silvertips to the 2018 WHL Final, where they lost in six games to the Swift Current Broncos.

While all the accolades surprised Davidson, the success didn't. Not with a kid as detail-oriented as Hart, who with time, grew into his body at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds.

"He made a comment in our exit meeting the other day, 'Oh, we went out last night and I really actually enjoyed a double-patty burger,' and a whole bunch of foods that he wouldn't normally eat," Davidson said with a laugh. "Because he takes care of every aspect — his rest, his eats, his diet, his off-ice workouts. But that's Carter."

Hart's game will test the pro ranks in 2018-19 as he turns 20 years old in August. Given the big club's situation, a season in the AHL seems more than likely.

"That's a decision the Flyers are going to make," Davidson said, advising patience. "It's also a decision Carter will make because it'll depend on his performance and what he does between now and the start of the NHL season in October."

Long odds or not, Hart already has one thing going for him.

He knows how to make a GM believe.

Samuel Morin's future with Flyers grows murkier with torn ACL

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AP Images

Samuel Morin's future with Flyers grows murkier with torn ACL

Samuel Morin is taking the long and winding road to the NHL, one that’s now more rugged and elongated than ever.

The Flyers confirmed Thursday that Morin tore the ACL in his right knee when his skate caught a rut on the ice in Charlotte while he was attempting to check an opponent. The injury took place in the first period of the Phantoms' epic five-overtime game against the Checkers two weeks ago.

General manager Ron Hextall told the Courier-Post's Dave Isaac that Morin is facing a nine-month recovery process and that the 6-7 defenseman is “probably out until February” as he recovers from surgery — which Morin will undergo sometime in the near future.

Morin’s 2018-19 season will now be spent rehabbing from injury and utilizing what’s left of the regular season working his way back with the Phantoms.   

The Flyers' 2013 first-round pick is also a restricted free agent after playing out the final year of his three-year entry-level contract. In the five years since he was drafted, Morin has suited up for just three NHL games. 

Expect the two sides to reach an agreement on a one- or- two-year extension rather easily since Morin doesn’t have much leverage in negotiations at this point. Since Morin signed his rookie deal at the age of 18, he also had a five-year (or 160-game) waiver exemption that has now expired.

In other words, the Flyers will no longer have the luxury of shuttling Morin back and forth from Lehigh Valley without exposing him to the rest of the league if they attempt to send him back to the minors.

The Flyers have no choice but to give Morin the necessary time to ensure he’s not only ready physically, but also that his game can be trusted at the NHL level.  

Hextall has preached patience in the deliberate development of the organization’s prospects.

Right now, Samuel Morin is the poster child for that process.