Flyers

Best of NHL: Brayden Schenn stays hot in Blues' shutout

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Best of NHL: Brayden Schenn stays hot in Blues' shutout

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Allen made 29 saves, Brayden Schenn continued his red-hot play and the St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night.

Schenn got his team-leading 14th goal two days after netting a hat trick against Montreal. Colton Parayko and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored.

Allen got his first shutout of the season and the 16th of his career. He was briefly backed up by local vending machine worker Tyler Stewart after regular backup Carter Hutton was injured at the morning skate.

Dallas has lost two in a row since a season-high five game winning streak. Kari Lehtonen stopped 24 shots.

The Blues scored twice on the power play after connecting on just 2 of 17 chances in their previous four games. Schenn, acquired in an offseason trade with Philadelphia, pounced on a rebound from close range midway through the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Parayko blasted a shot from the just inside the blue line that eluded Lehtonen in the second period.

Tarasenko scored into an empty net with 47.6 seconds left, ending a six-game scoreless streak (see full recap).

Hunwick gives Penguins OT win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Matt Hunwick scored 1:29 into overtime, lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh led 3-1 in the third period, but the Islanders tied it with goals in the final 4:53. Hunwick ended the game with his third of the season by pushing one in during a scramble in front of the net.

Phil Kessel got his team-leading 14th goal on a power play, and Jake Guentzel and Riley Sheahan also scored for Pittsburgh. Rookie Tristan Jarry made 23 saves. Pittsburgh has won five of six since a three-game losing streak.

Jordan Eberle got his 12th goal for New York, and Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each got their eighth in the third period. Nelson tied it with 1:10 left. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots.

New York has lost three of four since a four-game winning streak (see full recap).

Backes, Bruins stomp lowly Coyotes
BOSTON -- David Backes scored his first two goals of the season, helping the Boston Bruins beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 on Thursday night.

It was Backes' fourth game back after he missed 12 straight following surgery to remove part of his colon. The veteran forward scored his first goal with Boston on a tip-in 13:54 into the second period and then added another goal with 54 seconds left in the period.

Brad Marchand scored 15 seconds into the game for the Bruins, who won for the seventh time in nine games. David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork also scored, and Tuukka Rask made 20 saves.

Christian Dvorak had an unassisted goal for Arizona, and Scott Wedgewood made 25 saves.

Backes, the former St. Louis captain who signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent in July, was expected to miss up to eight weeks following his surgery on Nov. 2 to relieve inflammation caused by diverticulitis. He returned to the Bruins on Nov. 29 and got his 500th career point Monday with an assist during a loss at Nashville (see full recap).

Flyers re-sign restricted free agent Anthony Stolarz

Flyers re-sign restricted free agent Anthony Stolarz

General manager Ron Hextall is nearly finished wrapping up contracts for his restricted free agents.

And his goalie picture is now clear for 2018-19.

The Flyers on Wednesday re-signed netminder Anthony Stolarz to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal is worth $761,250, according to a report by hockey writer John Hoven.

With Stolarz back, defenseman Robert Hagg remains the Flyers' lone restricted free agent.

Stolarz, a 2012 second-round pick, underwent a nightmarish 2017-18 season just a year after he made his NHL debut and performed well in seven games with the Flyers. The 24-year-old tore the meniscus in his left knee during early September, the same injury he suffered at the end of 2016-17 with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

He played in just one AHL game and three ECHL contests as a result. In 2016-17, he made his way to the big club and put up a 2.07 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in a small sample. Then the injury occurred with the Phantoms and it's been an uphill battle ever since for the 6-foot-6, 210-pounder.

Stolarz will have his work cut out for him — if he hasn't already — as playing time will be earned at Lehigh Valley with Alex Lyon back in the fold and Carter Hart joining them.

"It's just competition. No one is going to go in there and hand you a job, so you have to earn it,” Stolarz said in June after an on-ice workout at Flyers Skate Zone. "I think the thing for me is to prove I'm healthy. I don't think I've skated since the end of January. I had the one flare up before one of my games and it had nothing to do with my knee injury. It was a separate injury. I think the biggest thing is proving I'm healthy and going out there and working to prove I'm still a high-caliber goalie."

The Flyers' goaltending tandem is set with Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, both of whom are in the final year of their contracts. Things obviously can change this offseason, as Neuvirth and Stolarz seemed like realistic trade candidates.

But as of now, it's Elliott and Neuvirth with the younger trio pushing and competing.

"I'd rather have too many goalies than too few," Hextall said earlier this month. "If something makes sense and we can make something happen, we'd at least look at it. We saw it last year. All of a sudden, a couple goalies go down and you're scrambling for goalies. If we start with five, we start with five. Not a perfect situation, but again, I'd rather start with five than with three."

More on the Flyers' goalies

• Following 'gloomy' time, what's next for Elliott?

• Why Neuvirth's NHL career hinges on this offseason

• Hart says so long to Twitter, hello to pro life

• No arbitration needed for Flyers and Lyon

• Sandstrom hungry to prove he's not the 'other' goalie

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers.