Playing an inferior opponent on Black Friday, the Flyers took care of business at home by beating the Red Wings, 6-1.
The Flyers (14-7-5) started slowly but Carter Hart did not and the team turned it on behind him.
Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Oskar Lindblom, James van Riemsdyk, Shayne Gostisbehere and Scott Laughton all scored goals for the Flyers, who are 9-2-4 during November, earning at least a point in all but two games (see highlights).
Since Oct. 21, the Flyers are 12-4-4 with 28 points, second most in the NHL over that stretch. There are still games to play Friday across the NHL, but impressive nonetheless.
With the victory, the Flyers are 8-1-4 at home and will finish the first two months of the season with only one regulation loss at the Wells Fargo Center. The last time the Flyers pulled that off was the 2003-04 season, before the days of the shootout when games could end in a tie.
The NHL-worst Red Wings (7-18-3) have lost eight straight games.
• Steady veteran defenseman Matt Niskanen, who has been integral to the Flyers’ improvements, had a Dylan Larkin shot deflect off his face 7:23 into the game, drawing a good bit of blood.
Fortunately for the Flyers, Niskanen returned at the start of the second period with some new gear.
"Tis but a scratch!" - Matt Niskanen, probably pic.twitter.com/DNhvxW8llE— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 29, 2019
• Niskanen, with the cage, lifted a sharp pass to Couturier for an important goal in the second period, giving the Flyers a 3-1 lead right before intermission.
Jakub Voracek pointed at Niskanen as the Flyers celebrated.
The accomplished 32-year-old finished with two assists and has been a massive acquisition by general manager Chuck Fletcher (see story).
Niskanen and Ivan Provorov were a combined plus-7.
• Gostisbehere returned to the lineup following three healthy scratches and exhibited the offensive skill head coach Alain Vigneault has wanted to see from the 26-year-old defenseman.
On a first-period man advantage, Gostisbehere made a strong play to spin and fling the puck back toward the net, which found its way past Detroit goalie Calvin Pickard.
👻🐻👻🐻👻🐻👻🐻👻🐻👻🐻 pic.twitter.com/y0YdQX3X4E— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 29, 2019
The marker was his second goal and seventh point on the season. He was solid and the Flyers suddenly have internal competition on the blue line.
“It’s refreshing to get back into the lineup with a nothing-to-lose mentality,” Gostisbehere said at first intermission, via Flyers public relations. “Just go out there and be the player that I know I can be and have fun again. I was putting a little too much pressure on myself and maybe not being the best teammate.”
• Hart was one of the Flyers’ best players Friday — and all of November, as well.
The 21-year-old made highlight-reel saves (32 stops in total) against the Red Wings and was reliable with the Flyers not at their best, especially early in the game.
During the month, Hart is 6-2-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average and has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of 10 starts.
Carter Hart with a big save just moments before. pic.twitter.com/5MAplXp760— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 29, 2019
Pickard, who played 11 games for the Flyers last season, converted 29 saves in his first game with the Red Wings.
• Laughton has been a stud since returning after a 13-game absence because of a broken finger.
The valuable depth piece scored the game’s opening goal and slung a nice pass to Hayes for a tally to begin the third period, when the Flyers took over.
SCOTTY LAUGHTON ON A BREAKAWAY! pic.twitter.com/Siwya6tE9s— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 29, 2019
KEVIN HAYES WITH SOME 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ocHTO553Pp— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 29, 2019
• Travis Konecny appeared to be hampered by some sort of ailment as he labored throughout the game. He played from start to finish but didn’t have his usual speed.
He recorded a season-low 13:39 ice time. Something to watch moving forward.
• Jakub Voracek had three assists, while Couturier had another multi-point game with a goal and an assist. The do-it-all center has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) and a plus-10 rating in his last 16 games.
• The Flyers' penalty kill is 53 for 59 (89.8 percent) since Oct. 21, best in the NHL over that span.
• The Flyers wrap up November on Saturday when they visit the Canadiens (3 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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