Flyers

Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier (banged up?) deliver in Flyers' show-me win over Devils

Joel Farabee, Sean Couturier (banged up?) deliver in Flyers' show-me win over Devils

BOX SCORE

The Flyers exhibited plenty of character Friday night to pick up a 4-3 shootout win over the Devils at the Prudential Center.

Head coach Alain Vigneault challenged his group, specifically the core pieces, following consecutive losses to divisional opponents by a combined score of 12-4.

It wasn't pretty, but the Flyers (6-5-1) answered behind Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee and Carter Hart to beat the Devils (2-5-4) for the second time this season.

• Couturier might be banged up and he still came through in a show-me game for the Flyers.

The do-it-all center put up a goal, an assist and scored the only tally in the shootout.

Couturier, who had the second-best faceoff win percentage (57.1) among the NHL's top-20 players in draws taken last season, took just three faceoffs Friday. Travis Konecny was in the dot more than Couturier, who never took fewer than six draws in a game last season.

Couturier lost his only three faceoffs Friday, while Konecny went 7 for 9. It's something to watch.

"I'm not feeling 100 percent," Couturier told reporters in Newark, New Jersey. "It's part of the season, it's a long season, you've got to battle through injuries. I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team win.

"Just cautious, being day to day … should be fine."

• Farabee picked a clutch time to score his first career NHL goal. The Flyers had just fallen behind, 3-2, on a deflating marker in the final frame.

The 19-year-old got everyone up a minute and a half later. At Boston University last season, Farabee ranked among the country's top 10 in game-winning goals. He has a knack for timely playmaking, exactly what the Flyers needed when they summoned him from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

• Hart, who had a 5.56 goals-against average over his previous four games and hadn't won since Oct. 9 against the Devils, made 23 saves on 26 shots. He responded well and two of the three goals came when the Flyers were shorthanded.

On the first tally, Philippe Myers let Wayne Simmonds backdoor him for a 1-0 New Jersey lead in the opening period. On the second marker, Travis Sanheim lost his footing, which allowed Nico Hischier to attack the net, shrink the Flyers' coverage and set up a wide-open shot for Sami Vatanen, tying the game at 2-2 in the middle stanza.

• Justin Braun has had a rough go 12 games into his Flyers career. He has an excellent stick, but he's 32 years old and not moving well.

It really showed Friday night on Taylor Hall's go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Braun is a team-worst minus-9 on the season and the Flyers need him to be better.

• Konecny and Oskar Lindblom have not skipped a beat this season.

The two have 24 combined points through the Flyers' first 12 games.

Last season, they had eight combined points through the Flyers' first 12 games.

• During the first period, Matt Niskanen delivered a clean check on 18-year-old center Jack Hughes. But if you put the 2019 first overall draft pick on his backside, Devils teammates are going to stand up for the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. Directly after the check, Niskanen had to drop the gloves with Kyle Palmieri.

• It's only fitting that Simmonds' first goal with the Devils came against the Flyers.

The 31-year-old scored 91 power play goals with the Flyers, third most in the NHL since 2011-12, behind only Alex Ovechkin (153) and Steven Stamkos (98).

Simmonds got his first man advantage tally with New Jersey by beating Hart.

• German Rubtsov made his NHL debut, while Myers made his season debut. Rubtsov had an early turnover behind the Flyers' net and Myers wasn't sharp on the Simmonds goal, but both played well overall and made positive contributions.

• The Flyers are back home Saturday to play the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Dave Hakstol returns to the Wells Fargo Center as an assistant coach with Toronto (see story).

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Flyers vs. Senators: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Senators: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

For just the fifth time in the last 23 games, the Flyers failed to pick up at least a point when they lost to the Coyotes, 3-1, Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Before a three-game road trip, the Flyers (16-8-5) will look to get back into the points business Saturday as they host the Senators (12-16-1).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• For the most part, the Flyers were pleased with their game Thursday despite leaving the night empty-handed. Their points were valid, though.

The Flyers held the Coyotes to only 18 shots while putting up 29 themselves. On the season, the Flyers have recorded the NHL's 10th-most shots per game (32.8) and have allowed the fourth fewest (28.9). They own 10 wins when outshooting their opponent, tied for second most in the league.

What's most important is they're playing head coach Alain Vigneault's preferred style, which, more often than not, will result in points. It's a big reason why they're 14-5-4 since Oct. 21.

When you look at all the numbers after tonight, we’ll be double in possession, double in shots, double in everything. But we couldn't find a way to beat their goaltender. I like the way we worked, but execution-wise with the puck, we were a little off. A lot of people say they defended well, we had the puck all night. So that's what happened.

- Vigneault after loss to Coyotes

• Carter Hart is 7-2-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in his last 11 starts. The 21-year-old has allowed more than two goals in only two of those 11 outings.

• The Flyers have only two regulation losses at home (9-2-4) and haven't gone back-to-back games without a point since Oct. 27-29.

• The Senators are 1-5-0 in their last six games, a stretch in which they've scored 1.83 goals per game.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Mikhail Vorobyev-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Philippe Myers-Shayne Gostisbehere

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

 

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Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19

Flyers brought back to earth by Coyotes, suffer a first since Oct. 19

BOX SCORE

Despite putting up 21 goals over their five-game winning streak, the Flyers had a propensity to score them in bunches when an opponent started derailing.

On Thursday night, the Flyers never got going and were pulled back to earth in a 3-1 loss to the Coyotes at the Wells Fargo Center.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper was the biggest difference. The 6-foot-5 netminder who brought an NHL-best 1.97 goals-against average and .936 save percentage to Philly stopped 28 shots.

With 4:43 left, Matt Niskanen scored the Flyers' lone goal and it ricocheted off a Coyote. Arizona iced the game with an empty-netter (see highlights).

The Flyers (16-8-5) suffered just their second regulation loss at home (9-2-4). The last time they failed to pick up a point at home was Oct. 19 when they lost to the Stars, 4-1.

Thursday night's defeat halted the Flyers' winning streak at five games and their point streak at seven. The Flyers had earned at least a point in 18 of their previous 22 games.

The Coyotes (17-9-4), who were allowing the NHL's second-fewest goals per game at 2.31, improved to 10-3-3 on the road.

• The Flyers went on two power plays in the final six minutes of the second period but could not solve Kuemper.

During those two man advantage opportunities, the Flyers put five shots on Kuemper and also misfired three times.

James van Riemsdyk found Morgan Frost with a slick backhanded pass from behind the net but the 20-year-old missed wide.

• Speaking of Frost, he had a tough game. The rookie had a turnover and some difficulty making plays.

He has gone scoreless over his last seven games following his loud start in which he scored three points in his first two games.

Maybe head coach Alain Vigneault takes him off the first line to relieve some pressure.

"Young player, in my estimation, has got a lot of confidence in himself, which is real good," Vigneault said postgame. "Tonight, there were a couple of plays with the puck, like some of our other guys, that the execution might have been a little bit off. But I think overall, the young man is working hard and trying to get better."

Will he stay on the top line?

"I'm going to watch the game and make [changes], if I have some changes to make, [Friday]," Vigneault said. "I like what the young man can bring to the game."

• Vigneault opted to play seven defensemen instead of slotting call-up Mikhail Vorobyev in at fourth-line center.

It's not a bad approach when you have seven healthy blueliners playing well. It also could mean the Flyers aren't ready to trust Vorobyev on the fourth line again.

The Senators game on Saturday looks like a better matchup for Vorobyev, who is in his fifth stint with the club since the start of last season.

• Brian Elliott hadn't lost in regulation since Oct. 29. The Flyers' backup goalie finished with 15 saves.

He allowed a first-period power play goal to Phil Kessel after Claude Giroux was whistled for a ticky-tacky slashing penalty. He then yielded a backbreaking third-period goal to Conor Garland with 7:03 left in the game.

The goalie was not the problem, though.

Sean Couturier was not a problem, either.

• The Flyers wrap up their three-game homestand Saturday when they welcome the Senators (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Next week, the team opens a three-game road trip, which features matchups with the Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

 

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