Flyers

Brian Elliott delivers, Jakub Voracek passes Eric Lindros, Rick MacLeish and Flyers earn OT win over Ducks

Brian Elliott delivers, Jakub Voracek passes Eric Lindros, Rick MacLeish and Flyers earn OT win over Ducks

BOX SCORE

Right now on the road, the Flyers don't care about points for artistic merit.

They'll take wins however they can get them away from the Wells Fargo Center. They picked up a big one Sunday night with a 2-1 OT decision over the Ducks at Honda Center.

Fewer than 24 hours prior, the Flyers were whipped in San Jose, 6-1. They came into Anaheim with an 8-10-1 record and a minus-24 goal differential on the road.

Kevin Hayes scored the winner in bonus time off a precise feed from Jakub Voracek.

The Flyers (22-12-5) are two games into their six-game road trip.

The Ducks (16-18-5) own the NHL's second-fewest points since Nov. 3, going 7-12-5.

• Brian Elliott allowed a bad goal 35 seconds into the game on an Erik Gudbranson shot from the blue line.

After that, he was clutch for the Flyers, who have really needed strong goaltending on the road because of prolonged stretches in which they've struggled to score.

In the third period, Elliott helped kill a 5-on-3 and recorded 13 saves. He finished with 27 overall.

Over their previous five road games (1-4-0), the Flyers allowed 4.80 goals per game and scored only 10.

Elliott stemmed the tide (see highlights).

Anaheim goalie John Gibson was also good, stopping 33 shots. 

• With helpers on both of the Flyers' goals, Voracek passed Hall of Famer Eric Lindros and Flyers Hall of Famer Rick MacLeish for sixth on the franchise's all-time assists list.

That's legit company for Voracek, who has 370 assists in his time with the orange and black. 

Along with Hayes and James van Riemsdyk, Voracek has turned it on with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and a plus-10 rating in his last 17 games.

Sean Couturier scored the opening-period goal to give Voracek his first assist. Couturier keeps humming along, leading the Flyers in even-strength scoring with 23 points.

• Nicolas Aube-Kubel, a 23-year-old winger called up on Dec. 15, has forced the Flyers into tough decisions with his energetic and opportunistic game. Morgan Frost was sent to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley before the game and Andy Andreoff could join him soon when Scott Laughton (groin, day to day) returns.

With the Frost move, the 23-year-old Aube-Kubel earned power play time Sunday and he was constantly noticeable at even strength.

Aube-Kubel was summoned by the banged-up Flyers out of sheer necessity and he's given the club every reason to keep him here.

• Mikhail Vorobyev, who stayed with the Flyers over Frost, committed two penalties. Following the second infraction, which came six minutes into the third period of a 1-1 game, Vorobyev saw the ice only once more for a brief shift.

Vorobyev, who turns 23 years old next Sunday, is in his fifth stint with the Flyers going back to last season. 

• Head coach Alain Vigneault tried some different combinations at forward, putting Voracek with Couturier and Claude Giroux, while Travis Konecny joined Hayes and van Riemsdyk.

Aube-Kubel went to the fourth line with Andreoff and Michael Raffl, who returned from a broken right pinkie finger that had him out since early this month.

• Robert Hagg drew into the lineup as Philippe Myers sat. The Flyers are playing three games in four days and these decisions on defense can be a positive.

• The road trip continues Tuesday when the Flyers visit the Kings (9 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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One Flyer was reportedly a hot trade target, but Chuck Fletcher shut it down

One Flyer was reportedly a hot trade target, but Chuck Fletcher shut it down

The suddenly-ascendant Flyers pieced together a somewhat busy trade deadline, acquiring a pair of depth forwards in Derek Grant and Nate Thompson to pad a playoff run, but things could've been much busier if rival executives had their way Monday.

One young Flyers player not named Shayne Gostisbehere was attracting a lot of attention as general managers circled the wagons before the deadline, according to a report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

That player? Scott Laughton:

Another player I heard a lot of teams liked: Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton.

'Chuck (Fletcher) couldn’t hang up fast enough,' another exec joked.

That's a great quote. I can see Fletcher laughing to himself, and quietly hitting "end call," when Laughton's name came up.

And it makes plenty of sense for Fletcher to shut down Laughton talks, on two fronts — both of which should excite Flyers fans.

For one, Fletcher avoiding temptation at the deadline means he has his eyes on the postseason prize. The Flyers, after Tuesday night's win (see story), are just five points behind Metro-leading Washington, with 19 games left before the playoffs. It would take a serious meltdown to miss the postseason, and it seems Fletcher feels like the Flyers can make noise in April (and May, and maybe even June?) so he stood pat.

Also, and this is probably a little more obvious: Laughton has turned into a young, sought-after talent in the eyes of league execs this season.

It's no secret that the 2019-20 season has been the best of Laughton's young career. He's already tied his career high in goals with 12, he's averaging a point every two games, and he's just 25 years old. The hard-nosed 2012 first-round pick is officially coming into his own this year, and he's still under contract through the end of the 2020-21 season. Really, it's an ideal development for the Flyers.

Is Laughton currently the kind of player who defines your team? Not just yet.

But he's become the kind of player other teams want, which is always a good sign.

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With newcomers, Flyers keep on humming in NHL playoff race, have Penguins in their sights

With newcomers, Flyers keep on humming in NHL playoff race, have Penguins in their sights

BOX SCORE

A day after the NHL trade deadline, the Flyers showed off their new look and didn't miss a beat.

With reinforcements Derek Grant and Nate Thompson, the Flyers defeated the Sharks, 4-2, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (36-20-7) have won four straight games, their longest win streak since Dec. 17-23, when they also won four in a row.

Not many in the league have been better than the Flyers over their last 20 games. The Flyers are 14-5-1 with an NHL-high 72 goals since Jan. 8. Over that stretch, only one club has more points than the Flyers' 29 — the Lightning with 31.

The Sharks (26-33-4), who have a number of injuries and traded away Barclay Goodrow and Patrick Marleau before Monday's deadline, have lost five straight.

• Good work by the Flyers handling a lesser opponent.

Tuesday was a big night in the playoff race as the Islanders, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes were all in action

The Flyers are still in third place of the Metropolitan Division and climbed to within one point of the second-place Penguins.

• The new line of Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny sure was fun to watch.

During the second period, Hayes and Konecny scored goals to help the Flyers restore order with a 3-1 lead at intermission.

Hayes tacked on another in the third period, giving him 21 markers this season. The 27-year-old is projected to break his career high of 25 set in 2017-18 and he might flirt with 30.

On Hayes' first goal, the 6-foot-5 center used his impressive reach to snag Laughton's pass and bury the shot. The Flyers are 17-0-1 when Hayes scores a goal.

Meanwhile, Konecny finished with his third three-point effort over the last four games. He had two three-point games over his first three NHL seasons.

Laughton continued his always reliable play with two assists and a plus-3 mark.

• Grant and Thompson, both acquired by the Flyers Monday, were eased into duty.

Both went scoreless as Grant committed a penalty and was solid in the faceoff circle, while Thompson centered the fourth line.

Here's how they're getting acclimated (see story).

• At home, Carter Hart has been an absolute nightmare for opponents.

With 26 saves, he improved his home mark to 17-2-2.

The 21-year-old has yielded two or fewer goals in 17 of his 21 home games. He is a must-see ticket in Philly.

• Defensemen Matt Niskanen and Travis Sanheim made clutch third-period plays to break up juicy scoring chances for the Sharks.

• Nicolas Aube-Kubel has six goals this season. He has turned into one of the biggest surprises since his mid-December call-up.

Last season, he went scoreless over nine outings, playing just 5:35 minutes per game.

• A beautiful job by the Flyers.

• The Flyers are off Wednesday and practice Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before hosting the Rangers Friday night (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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