Flyers

Best of NHL: Jets score 7 unanswered goals to torch Wild

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Best of NHL: Jets score 7 unanswered goals to torch Wild

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Linemates Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and two assists, and the Winnipeg Jets scored seven straight goals to beat the Minnesota Wild 7-2 on Monday night.

Joel Armia, Jacob Trouba, Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Little also scored for the Jets. Armia added an assist.

Connor Hellebuyck made 17 saves for the Winnipeg, which has won four straight and seven of eight at home.

Jason Zucker and Chris Stewart scored for Minnesota. The Wild left Alex Stalock in the entire game, and he stopped 21 shots.

The Jets have won 15 of 24 games this season, the quickest to 15 wins in franchise history.

Minnesota jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but then Winnipeg's barrage began with two goals in the final six minutes of the opening frame (see full recap).

DeBrincat, Blackhawks dominate Ducks
CHICAGO -- Alex DeBrincat had three goals and an assist, Patrick Sharp stopped a 16-game scoring drought and the surging Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 7-3 on Monday night.

Nick Schmaltz had a goal and two assists and Artem Anisimov scored his team-high 11th goal as Chicago won for the fourth time in five games. Brandon Saad also scored and Patrick Kane collected three assists, extending his season-high point streak to seven games.

DeBrincat, who turns 20 on Dec. 18, became the second-youngest player in franchise history to record a hat trick, trailing Jeremy Roenick by four days. The rookie has nine goals and three assists in 11 November games.

The banged-up Ducks dropped their fourth consecutive game. Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves remain out with long-term injuries, Rickard Rakell missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury and defenseman Brandon Montour left midway through the third, favoring his right side as he skated off the ice.

Chris Wagner had two goals for Anaheim, and Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist. John Gibson made 18 saves on 22 shots before he was replaced by Ryan Miller in the second period (see full recap).

Price, Canadiens snap Blue Jackets’ streak
MONTREAL -- Carey Price made 37 saves, Brendan Gallagher got his 10th goal and the Montreal Canadiens ended the Columbus Blue Jackets' six-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory Monday night.

Jonathan Drouin scored in the first period and Andrew Shaw had an empty-net goal for Montreal in Price's second straight victory since returning from injury.

Rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost for the first time since Nov. 10. Sergei Bobrovsky had allowed just six goals on Columbus' winning streak but gave up two on 27 shots.

It was the second regulation loss for the Blue Jackets in 10 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season.

Coming off a 3-0 win against Buffalo on Saturday, the Canadiens picked up where they left off (see full recap).

Trade talks or contract talks? Right now, doesn't sound like Wayne Simmonds is going anywhere

Trade talks or contract talks? Right now, doesn't sound like Wayne Simmonds is going anywhere

Last year it was Brayden Schenn who was dealt on draft night. 

Could this year be Wayne Simmonds?

According to a report Tuesday by Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Flyers are gearing to potentially trade Simmonds. Russo’s report mentions the Flyers as one of 15 different teams the Minnesota Wild could possibly swing a deal with under new general manager Paul Fenton.

While the speculation comes as little surprise, general manager Ron Hextall said last week immediately following his pre-draft press conference that he expects to have preliminary discussions with Simmonds' agent regarding a contract extension.

“Yeah, we’ll talk at some point,” Hextall said. “We had pro meetings, the week before was four days of amateur meetings. Combine before that. It’s a real busy time. That gets pushed back to later.”

Hextall certainly didn’t make it sound as if he’s gearing up to deal Simmonds this weekend, and he typically doesn’t resort to smoke screens as a way of misleading reporters. 

The Flyers' power forward has been a regular in Voorhees, New Jersey, throughout his rehab following surgery to repair a tear in his pelvis area. Hextall feels Simmonds is already on track to be 100 percent for training camp and anticipates a monster season from the 29-year-old right winger as he not only enters the final year of his contract but is also out to prove that last season was a fluke.

“I’ll be honest with you, Simmer’s a fast-twitch muscle guy, I don’t have any concern with him,” Hextall said. “I saw him [Thursday] morning, he’s gonna work his way, he’s with [team director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin]. He’s got great guidance. ... I have the expectation for Simmer to come back and be as good as new.”

Last year, Hextall mentioned he had not anticipated trading Schenn until the deal with St. Louis was pieced together on draft night. Something similar could also happen with Simmonds, who has a limited no-trade clause in his current contract, which allows him to submit a no-trade list of 12 teams. 

All of which leaves you wondering whether a big deal goes down in Big D.

More on the Flyers

What should the Flyers do with Simmonds?

• Simmonds played with more injuries than he can remember

• Hextall doesn't plan on trading up in draft, but ...

• How much will Flyers change? That's Hextall's challenge

Colin McDonald staying in Flyers' system, re-signs with Phantoms

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Colin McDonald staying in Flyers' system, re-signs with Phantoms

Every team wants an insurance policy with NHL experience at the AHL level.

The Flyers will have that again in Colin McDonald.

Lehigh Valley signed the right winger to an AHL contract Tuesday afternoon, bringing back the captain for a fourth season with the Phantoms. The team also signed defenseman David Drake, 23, who played seven games for Lehigh Valley last season.

McDonald, who turns 34 years old in September, never reached the Flyers in 2017-18, but played eight games for the big club over the prior two seasons, scoring a pair of goals. He actually appeared in three playoff games during 2015-16 because of injuries to Sean Couturier and Scott Laughton, and a suspension for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

In total, McDonald, known for making an impact with his size (6-2/219) and physicality, has 148 games of NHL experience to go with 11 postseason contests.

Last season with the Phantoms, McDonald posted 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 56 regular-season games, before helping Lehigh Valley advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, where it was swept by the Toronto Marlies.

In 2016-17, McDonald had 25 goals and 44 points in 72 regular-season games.

Not only is McDonald a solid safety net for the Flyers, but he also provides a good example for the organization's prospects developing with the Phantoms. He's a likeable, mature pro and has played 628 AHL games over his career, so the franchise's youngsters will be able to rely on him for another season in 2018-19.

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