Flyers

Flyers 6, Ducks 2: Loud start pushes point streak to 10 games

Flyers 6, Ducks 2: Loud start pushes point streak to 10 games

BOX SCORE

The Flyers left no doubt as they jumped back into the win column.

After having their eight-game winning streak snapped, the Flyers pounded the hapless Ducks, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Phil Varone, Sean Couturier, Michael Raffl and Oskar Lindblom all scored first-period goals for the Flyers (25-23-7), who extended their point streak to 10 games.

Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny tacked on third-period goals for good measure.

The Flyers have won 10 of their last 12 contests and entered the day eight points back of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot. Two teams they're chasing, the Penguins and Blue Jackets, have tough road matchups tonight as Pittsburgh visits the NHL-best Lightning and Columbus takes on the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

Give credit to the Flyers for besieging a bad Ducks (21-26-9) team that has lost 19 of its last 21 games. Anaheim is on a seven-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 37-8.

• How good has Couturier been?

He scored his fourth goal in as many games off a phenomenal play in which he played a pass off his skate right to his stick before whipping a shot past Ducks goalie Chad Johnson glove side.

With a three-point effort, Couturier has points in 12 of his last 13 games, a stretch in which he has put up eight goals, 11 assists and a plus-14 rating.

Since Oct. 30, the 26-year-old center has 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 42 games. He's on pace for a new career-high 35 goals.

Imagine if he had a full training camp and played more than just one preseason game?

• Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds went scoreless and the Flyers won by four goals.

That's a great sign and it was all possible because …

• A pair of fourth-liners were superb.

Varone played just 9:31 but had a goal, an assist and was a plus-3, while Raffl scored a shorthanded goal, tallied an assist and was a plus-3.

Raffl delivered the big blow to the Ducks when he took an excellent pass from Andrew MacDonald to net his shorty, handing the Flyers a commanding 3-0 lead 11:44 into the game as the rout was on.

When the Flyers are getting these types of contributions from role forwards, they're tough to beat.

• Speaking of Raffl, he's such an underrated player. He's one of the team's better puck possession forwards and he fully understands his role. He can kill penalties, he can play up and down the lineup — just a sound and steady guy.

With Raffl set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, he's an obvious trade chip for general manager Chuck Fletcher. Contending teams value players like Raffl, but the Flyers might not be so quick to move him because they're playing better and he's a reason why.

Raffl's pass to Varone was a perfect example of what he does best.

• Fresh off a game of rest, Carter Hart made a glove save on a breakaway attempt in the opening 1:15 of the game and you got the sense he would be sharp.

He made 30 saves and won his eighth straight start, matching Jocelyn Thibault's NHL record of most consecutive wins by a goalie before his 21st birthday.

• Defensive prospect Philippe Myers was in the house after being called up Saturday morning from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

His NHL debut is coming and here's why (see story).

• There were a lot of mascots hanging around Saturday.

A lot.

• The Flyers finish their five-game homestand when they welcome the Penguins Monday (7 p.m./NBCSP) before flying to Minnesota to play the Wild Tuesday (8 p.m./NBCSP), as Fletcher returns to his old stomping grounds.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Chris Osmond, the Flyers' head of strength and conditioning.

From Osmond's insight on the Flyers' fitness to our analysis on prospects/awards, let's dive in:

1:00 — Which defenseman will climb the fastest to the Flyers — Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie, Linus Hogberg or Wyatt Kalynuk?

7:05 — Osmond discusses the Flyers' daily questionnaire with players

9:40 — Ivan Provorov has a unique style of working out

11:45 — The big adjustments Osmond has had to make with players in quarantine

15:45 — What will be the toughest challenge for the Flyers leading up to a possible resumption?

• 17:25 — The importance of a good diet for Carter Hart and the team

• 19:00 — "None of us have been through this" 

20:10 — Osmond loves the Flyers' victory song

24:50 — Is Sean Couturier the Selke Trophy winner?

29:20 — Who is Alain Vigneault's biggest competition for the Jack Adams Award?

40:00 — Which former Flyer would we pick to be our favorite teammate?

• 45:15 — A taste of the "Marathon on Ice"

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Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Two days after signing one of their 2016 draft picks to an entry-level contract, the Flyers lost the rights to a prospect from the same class.

The club opted to not sign David Bernhardt before Monday's 5 p.m. deadline. As a result, the 22-year-old Swedish defenseman has become a draft-related unrestricted free agent.

Bernhardt was a 2016 seventh-round draft pick of the Flyers, when Ron Hextall was general manager and Chris Pryor was director of player personnel. Linus Hogberg, another blueliner from Sweden who was taken by the Flyers in the fifth round of the same draft, inked his ELC on Saturday.

The Flyers' decision to let Bernhardt's rights expire is not considered surprising. Below the pro surface, the club is pretty well-stocked at defensemen with prospects Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie and Hogberg set to join AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in 2020-21, while the signing of Wisconsin product Wyatt Kalynuk could be around the corner. Kalynuk is an offensive-minded defenseman who has developed a ton with the Badgers. His rights were set to expire next summer. Now that it appears he will forgo his senior season at Wisconsin, it would be surprising if he's not signed soon by the Flyers. If, for some reason, both sides don't agree to terms, Kalynuk can eventually become a free agent.

Furthermore, the Flyers have unsigned blueliners Cam York, Mason Millman, Adam Ginning, Ronald Attard and John St. Ivany in the system. York, a 2019 first-round pick at Michigan, is the most touted, while Millman, a 2019 fourth-round selection, is coming off a 44-point, plus-31 junior season with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.

Bernhardt, a 6-foot-3, 203-pound, lefty-shot defenseman, had seven points (one goal, six assists) through 33 games in the Finland pro league Liiga after opening 2019-20 in the SHL.

Here's a look at the Flyers' 10-player 2016 draft class:

First round — German Rubtsov (Flyers/Phantoms)
Second round — Pascal Laberge (Phantoms/Royals) 
Second round — Carter Hart (Flyers)
Second round — Wade Allison (Phantoms) 
Third round — Carsen Twarynski (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fourth round — Connor Bunnaman (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fifth round — Linus Hogberg (Phantoms)
Sixth round — Tanner Laczynski (Phantoms) 
Sixth round — Anthony Salinitri (no longer in organization)
Seventh round — David Bernhardt (no longer in organization)

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