Flyers

Best of NHL: Jaromir Jagr scores 1st goal with Flames in 6-3 win

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Best of NHL: Jaromir Jagr scores 1st goal with Flames in 6-3 win

CALGARY, Alberta -- Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal for the Flames and added an assist to lead Calgary to a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

After Jagr's rebound resulted in Mark Jankowski's first NHL goal to open the scoring 9:15 into the first period, the future Hall-of-Famer showed the type of finish around the net that has got him 766 career goals, second only to Wayne Gretzky.

Breaking up ice on a 2-on-1 with Johnny Gaudreau, Jagr got himself open, took a cross-ice pass and after patiently waiting for Petr Mrazek to go down, neatly snapped a shot past the Red Wings goaltender.

It was Jagr's first two-point game with the Flames, who signed the 45-year-old as a free agent on Oct. 4. Jagr was playing in his second-straight game after missing six with a groin injury. He has four points in seven games this season.

Gaudreau scored a pair of goals, including an empty netter, Micheal Ferland and Matthew Tkachuk also tallied for Calgary (9-7-0). The Flames have won four of their last five. Gaudreau's three-point night extends his point-streak to six games.

Martin Frk, Frans Nielsen and Anthony Mantha had goals for Detroit (8-8-1) (see full recap).

NHL-best Lightning knock off Kings
LOS ANGELES -- Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist during Tampa Bay's four-goal first period, and the NHL-leading Lightning beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 Thursday night in an early meeting of division leaders.

Victor Hedman also scored while Tampa Bay's stars led a fantastic four-goal outburst in just 2:02 to bury Jonathan Quick and the Pacific Division-leading Kings, who lost at home in regulation for the first time this season.

Vladislav Namestnikov added a third-period goal and Peter Budaj made 22 saves against his former Los Angeles teammates for the Lightning, who improved the NHL's best record to 13-2-2 with their third straight victory overall.

Oscar Fantenberg scored his first career goal and Quick stopped 38 shots for the Kings (11-3-2), who had won nine of 12 before falling into a huge early hole against the NHL's top team this season.

Kucherov started the Lightning's avalanche of goals during 4-on-4 play midway through the first period, slipping out on a breakaway to accept a pass from Stamkos. The Russian forward leads the NHL with 16 goals in 17 games, and he has eight points in the last three games.

Stamkos kept the overall NHL scoring lead with 30 points, but Kucherov is right behind with 29 (see full recap).

Draisaitl’s late goal gives Oilers overtime win
NEWARK, N.J. -- Leon Draisaitl's goal with 16.3 second left in overtime lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

The Oilers (6-8-1) have now won consecutive games for the first time all season. Anton Slepyshev and Milan Lucic also scored for Edmonton, and Cam Talbot made 32 saves.

The Devils have lost four straight to fall to 9-4-2.

Cory Schneider made 29 saves for New Jersey. Brian Boyle and Drew Stafford scored for the Devils.

Following the franchise's first playoff appearance since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in the 2005-06 season, Edmonton was a trendy pick to win the Western Conference during the preseason.

However, the Oilers opened the season with a 3-6-1 record in October, and were 2-2-0 in November. Entering the game, Edmonton's 11 points were second worst in the Western Conference, ahead of only Arizona.

Edmonton never led in until Draisaitl's game-winner (see full recap).

After shutout to Devils, Flyers own worst enemy offensively

After shutout to Devils, Flyers own worst enemy offensively

BOX SCORE

It’s hard to gauge what exactly has dipped faster over the past few days.

The outside thermometer or the Flyers' offense, and good luck predicting when either will turn frigid at a moment’s notice.

For the orange and black, the goal-scoring cold spell blanketed the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday and increased in intensity during Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Devils (see observations).  

Hard to make sense coming from a Devils team that had the NHL’s worst road record at 1-7-0, and a defense ranked 29th in goals allowed.

“No, I didn’t see frustration,” Dave Hakstol said. “We competed our tails off tonight. It was a tight hockey game, but we created enough and then some to score goals in this hockey game.”

The return of James van Riemsdyk was expected to inject even more offense into a team that had scored 25 goals over a six-game stretch until Tuesday rolled around. Ironically, it was JVR who actually took away a goal when he brushed into Keith Kinkaid’s glove as he glided in front of the crease just as Shayne Gostisbehere’s power-play shot had found its way into the back of the net.

“The explanation they gave me was pretty funny actually,” van Riemsdyk said. “They said I moved my upper body to get in the way of the goalie. So, I don’t even know what that means. I thought it was outside the crease and I think it’s that grey area where some games that’s a call that maybe goes our way, but tonight, obviously it didn’t.”

Interestingly, Hakstol challenged what appeared to be a rather obvious call to only say it was a miscommunication between himself and the referee.

“It’s goalie interference, by nature I guess,” Hakstol said. “There’s grey area. With the fact that James’ glove hits his glove whether it’s outside the blue paint or where the goaltender is set up before the puck goes into the net.”

Missing the call wasn’t the issue, missing mark was more like it and the Flyers were just inches away from easily scoring three or even four goals. At final count, the Flyers had hit five different posts and perhaps the biggest absence of puck luck came when Wayne Simmonds was staring at a wide-open net to only see Kinkaid’s stick dive into the picture at just the last second.

“I’ve never seen that,” Sean Couturier said. “We had a lot of chances and open nets. The puck just didn’t want to go in tonight.”

Same can’t be said for the Flyers' anemic power play that has converted just three times over its last 43 chances. A couple of posts came during the man advantage but the sample size is now large enough to deeply question everything involved from the setup to puck movement and even shot selection. The top unit has even seen three different personnel units over the past three games.

“Power play needs to get one. It’s very frustrating right now,” Claude Giroux said. “We had some good chances, some good shots. I think if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to score some goals on the power play.”

One can only hope that’s the case, because if not, the Flyers may not have a snowball’s chance over the winter months.

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Flyers goalie Brian Elliott leaves Devils game with apparent injury

Flyers goalie Brian Elliott leaves Devils game with apparent injury

Updated: 11:15 p.m.

It's never easy with goalies in Philly, huh? 

Starting netminder Brian Elliott exited Thursday night's game against the Devils during the third period after allowing a wraparound goal to Kyle Palmieri with 6:08 left in regulation at the Wells Fargo Center.

Elliott appeared to make a split attempt trying to cover the opposite post but was too late as the Devils took a 2-0 lead. Elliott was slow to get up and then departed as Calvin Pickard took over in net. The Flyers lost, 3-0, and will have an update Friday on Elliott's status.

"Let's wait until [Friday] and see what the results are," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Whoever is available, absolutely, we're going to be back at it."

The 33-year-old Elliott had been playing well over his previous eight games, going 5-3-0 with a 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage.

"He's a big part of our team, veteran goalie, he’s looking sharp lately, too," Sean Couturier said. "Hopefully it's not too bad."

However, Flyers goalies entered Thursday with an NHL-worst save percentage of .885.

Elliott, who is in the final year of a two-year contract, missed significant time last season as he had to undergo core muscle surgery on Feb. 13.

"We don't know the extent of anything yet," Andrew MacDonald said, "but it's the next-man-up mentality everyone has."

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