Flyers

Best of NHL: Stamkos scores for 1st time in 11 months in Lightning win

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Best of NHL: Stamkos scores for 1st time in 11 months in Lightning win

TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since having right knee surgery last November and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Thursday night.

Stamkos made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 3:49 of the second period from the low left circle. The Lightning star previously scored Nov. 15th at Detroit, the same game that he had a season-ending lateral meniscus tear in the knee.

Stamkos entered with five assists in three games this season.

Slater Koekkoek got his first two NHL goals, and Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning. Alex Killorn had four assists, while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves.

Pittsburgh got goals from Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust and Matt Hunwick. Antti Niemi, who allowed four goals on 13 shots over 9:16 against Chicago on Oct. 5 in his Penguins debut, stopped 29 shots (see full recap).

Luongo rises on wins list as Panthers top Blues
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Roberto Luongo moved into a tie for fourth on the NHL career victory list with 474, making 37 saves to help the Florida Panthers beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Thursday night.

The 38-year-old Luongo is tied with Curtis Joseph on the career list.

Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal, Ian McCoshen had his first NHL goal, and Jared McCann, Aaron Ekblad and Nick Bjugstad also connected for Florida.

Paul Stastny and Vince Dunn -- also with his first career goal -- countered for St. Louis. Jake Allen stopped 33 shots in the Blues' first loss in five games this season.

Trocheck put the Panthers ahead 2-1 with a short-handed goal at 2:45 of the second period. Trocheck skated in on a breakaway and shot over Allen's glove. It was the first time the Blues trailed since the first period in their opener at Pittsburgh (see full recap).

Girard scores 1st goal as Predators top Stars
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Samuel Girard scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban also had a goal and an assist, and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators, winners of two straight. Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.

Jamie Benn had Dallas' lone goal. The Stars have lost three of four to open the season.

Benn scored the game's first goal at 8:04 of the opening period. With Dallas on a power play, Rinne stopped John Klingberg's shot from the left point, but Benn was able to swat in the rebound from just outside the crease on the right side.

Nashville has surrendered the first goal in three of its four games.

Girard evened the game at 1 at 3:27 of the second. From above the left faceoff circle, Subban slid a pass to the 19-year-old rookie at the right point, where he beat goaltender Ben Bishop with a one-timer high to the stick side.

The 19-year-old Girard was playing his second NHL game. The Quebec native was a second-round pick in 2016.

Bishop made 27 saves (see full recap).

Sources: No moves have been made regarding Dave Hakstol

Sources: No moves have been made regarding Dave Hakstol

Updated: 6:28 p.m.

While one report suggested the Flyers have decided to fire Dave Hakstol and replace him with Joel Quenneville, two team sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia that no moves have been made.

According to Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post, the Flyers will fire Hakstol and hire Quenneville as their next head coach. The report stated the Flyers will announce the firing either Sunday night or Monday morning.

However, the Flyers have not made any official announcement. The team was flying back from Vancouver today following a 1-3-1 road trip. Also, according to a report by FOX Sports Midwest's Andy Strickland, Quenneville has not taken the job. A source confirmed Strickland's report to NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Flyers' five-game road swing ended disastrously as the team lost four straight games, a stretch in which it allowed 22 goals. Overall, the Flyers are 12-15-4 with 28 points and in last place of the Metropolitan Division 31 games into a season with much greater expectations.

The Flyers are also allowing the second-most goals per game at 3.74 and have regressed in Year 4 under Hakstol, who was hired by Ron Hextall. Three weeks ago, Hextall was fired as general manager. One week later, the Flyers named Chuck Fletcher their new GM.

The Flyers play Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Red Wings.

Stay tuned on who will actually be behind the bench.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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Could this be the end of the road for Dave Hakstol as Flyers head coach?

Could this be the end of the road for Dave Hakstol as Flyers head coach?

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Dave Hakstol coached his 277th game behind the Flyers' bench Saturday night, and quite possibly his last one.

The third-longest tenured coach in franchise history is well aware of what’s being whispered and what’s flying around on social media and message boards after losing the final four games of this road trip. 

Now it appears Hakstol’s time in Philadelphia is coming to the end of the road.

“I know everything that is out there,” Hakstol said before the Flyers' 5-1 loss to the Canucks (see observations). “You know me well enough by now. I know everything in terms of the rumors and what’s going on out there. My only concern is what we do, and the rest, I have no real comment on.”

Sportsnet Canada’s Chris Johnston reported on Hockey Night in Canada, “With the Flyers wrapping up their road trip in Vancouver, it could be one where Chuck Fletcher is forced to make a change.”

Fletcher is at a crossroads. He turned down media requests and wouldn’t comment on any rumors regarding the status of his head coach, but the pressure to make moves only intensifies.

The week started with speculation that Fletcher was looking to upgrade the roster before the holiday freeze that goes into effect next week (see story), but that doesn’t address a more immediate concern.

Even if upper management feels as if Hakstol isn’t to blame for the myriad of problems, most notably the revolving door of injuries surrounding the goaltenders, how can you put the same coach behind the bench when the Flyers return home Tuesday against the Red Wings and face a passionate fan base demanding changes?

It’s a scene and situation that could turn ugly rather quickly.

“I have no control over that,” Scott Laughton, who scored the Flyers' only goal, said. “We’ve got to focus on what we can do to bring this locker room together and help our team win. It’s a sh---y feeling. That’s not my decision or anything to do with me. We've got to get back home and fix this quickly.”

“I’m not the one to judge,” Radko Gudas said. “We let our goalies down, we let our fans down, we let everybody down. It’s not on [Hakstol’s] shoulders entirely. It’s the fault of ours.” 

There’s faulty defense for starters. From the final 30 minutes in Winnipeg to the final 90 seconds in Calgary to the opening 12 minutes in Vancouver. The Flyers have seen games unravel in various forms lately.

“I don’t know what hockey gods we pissed off, but we’re getting some tough bounces and some untimely situations,” Jordan Weal said. “It’s tough sledding right now and we’re going to have to stick together.”

Which has been the oft-repeated message from the head coach. 

At this stage, how can you not find a new messenger?

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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