Flyers

Devils inch closer to idle Flyers with rout

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Devils inch closer to idle Flyers with rout

LAS VEGAS -- Blake Coleman scored twice, Michael Grabner and Nico Hischier each had a goal and an assist, and the New Jersey Devils beat the Vegas Golden Knights 8-3 Wednesday night.

Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac, Stefan Noesen and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Devils, who improved to 9-6-0 in their last 15 and moved one point ahead of idle Columbus for the top wild card in the Eastern Conference. Keith Kinkaid stopped 39 shots.

Erik Haula had two goals and Colin Miller also scored for Vegas, which just completed a 4-1 road trip. The Golden Knights gave up eight goals for just the second time this season while suffering their worst home loss. They have dropped three straight games in regulation at home for the first time.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who earned his 400th career victory against Philadelphia on Monday, gave up four goals on 11 shots before being pulled early in the second period. Backup goalie Maxime Legace came on and also allowed four goals on 17 shots (see full recap).

Zibanejad helps rally Rangers for OT victory
NEW YORK -- Mika Zibanejad scored the tying goal late in the third period and then got the winner 2:53 into overtime to rally the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Chris Kreider had a goal and three assists for his first career four-point night, and Jesper Fast also scored to help the Rangers get their second straight win after a three-game skid. Neal Pionk had three assists and Alexandar Georgiev, making his second consecutive start, finished with 37 saves.

On the winner, snuck a wrist shot past Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith for his 100th career goal.

Bryan Rust, Riley Sheahan and Carl Hagelin scored for the Penguins, who lost for just the fifth time in their last 15 games (10-4-1). DeSmith, filling in for injured starter Matt Murray, stopped 29 shots in his ninth career start. Murray has missed eight straight game safter a concussion during practice Feb. 26.

Evgeni Malkin had a chance to win the game in the final 11 seconds when the referees awarded the Penguins a penalty shot because Georgiev knocked the net off the moorings with under two minutes remaining but the rookie goalie stopped Malkin with his right pad to force overtime.

The Rangers, who are likely going to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010, are 2-0-1 in their last three games, and 5-2-2 in their last nine. New York is seven points out of the last postseason spot in the Eastern Conference with 11 games remaining (see full recap).

SO win helps Maple Leafs extend home streak 
TORONTO -- Mitch Marner scored the winner in the shootout to lift Toronto to a 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, extending the Maple Leafs' franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games.

Marner beat Kari Lehtonen in the third round of the shootout, completing Toronto's comebacks from 4-2 and 5-4 deficits in the third period.

James van Riemsdyk had his third career hat trick, and Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau also scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs. Frederik Andersen allowed three goals on 20 shots before getting lifted just past the game's midway point with an upper-body injury. Curtis McElhinney came on and stopped 13 shots -- including two big saves on Jamie Benn during a power play in overtime -- the rest of the way to help Toronto improve to 3-2-2 overall since star center Auston Matthews went down with a shoulder injury on Feb. 22.

Tyler Bozak, who also scored in the shootout, and Marner each added two assists to keep the Maple Leafs perfect at home since losing to Colorado on Jan. 22.

Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists, Benn added a goal and an assist, and Radek Faska, Remi Elie and Brett Ritchie also scored in regulation for Dallas. Lehtonen made 26 stops through overtime (see full recap).

Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk click as Flyers deliver much-needed response with win over Kings

Travis Konecny, James van Riemsdyk click as Flyers deliver much-needed response with win over Kings

BOX SCORE

That’s more like it.

Head coach Alain Vigneault challenged his team to play on its terms and the Flyers responded with a 4-1 win Saturday night over the Kings at the Wells Fargo Center, just two days after a sloppy 4-1 home loss to the Canadiens.

The Flyers (26-17-6) have earned at least a point in 20 of 24 home games (16-4-4).

With the victory, the Flyers are two points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division and hold the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.

The Kings (18-27-5) have lost seven of their last eight games since beating the Flyers, 5-3, on New Year’s Eve.

• Vigneault was not happy with the letdown against Montreal on home ice after such a positive stretch in which the Flyers took down the NHL’s three best teams.

“We’ve got to execute, we’ve got to compete,” Vigneault said Saturday after morning skate. “We’re at our best when we’re on top of people, we’re taking people out of the equation.”

For the most part, the Flyers took the Kings out of the equation, a team that put up four first-period goals on the orange and black in the previous meeting.

• Vigneault put Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk on a line with Claude Giroux down the middle.

Konecny and van Riemsdyk instantly clicked. JVR found Konecny twice as the duo handed the Flyers a 2-0 lead (see highlights).

Konecny is eight goals and eight points away from setting new career highs in both categories, while the Flyers are 8-0-0 this season when the 22-year-old records a multi-point game.

Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk tacked on the Flyers’ fourth goal to give him a three-point game. The big winger has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last four games.

The Flyers go to a different level when he produces — 15-3-0 in games that he registers at least one point.

Giroux was sharp, as well, with two assists after he had scored just one point in his previous five games.

A good call by Vigneault.

• Brian Elliott received a rare home start with Carter Hart out (right lower abdominal strain) two to three weeks.

The 34-year-old goalie was reliable once again with 34 saves after knocking off the defending champion Blues with 30 saves Wednesday.

The Flyers will need him next Tuesday against the Penguins.

• Joel Farabee has two goals in the last two games after scoring two goals in his previous 30 games.

The 19-year-old climbed to the Flyers with a goal-scoring prowess and could be a crucial secondary option to the team down the stretch.

Expect his role to grow (see story).

• Justin Braun and Robert Hagg were solid as a new defensive pair.

• Nolan Patrick on Saturday got in more work with skills coach Angelo Ricci.

Patrick, who is recovering from a migraine disorder, has not been cleared for contact and there is no timetable for his return. Patrick and the Flyers have said the expectation is for the 21-year-old center to play this season.

“He’s been skating harder,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday. “Getting his heart rate up higher, I think he’s feeling a bit better. Again, it’s hard to predict. Once we have certain information, if he’s cleared for contact or anything like that, we will obviously let you guys know right away. I can just tell you from the on- and off-ice workouts he’s doing, he is progressing. But there certainly isn’t any clear path as to which way this will go.

“We still think he has a real good future ahead of him and speaking with a lot of the medical people that have dealt with him, they all anticipate him coming back and so that's why I'm optimistic he will, but I just can't give you a timeframe.”

• The Flyers host the Penguins Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN) before going on their NHL-mandated Jan. 22-30 bye week.

Konecny will represent the Flyers at the NHL All-Star festivities Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis (see story).

 

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As Jeff Carter's Kings make trip to Philly, is the former Flyer a trade deadline target?

As Jeff Carter's Kings make trip to Philly, is the former Flyer a trade deadline target?

Jeff Carter was back in Philadelphia Saturday night as his Kings played the Flyers.

After the Feb. 24 trade deadline, could he be somewhere else other than Los Angeles?

It's not outside the realm of possibility.

The Kings entered Saturday's action in the basement of the Western Conference and may be a team looking to sell some veteran parts to a contender.

Carter is 35 years old but under contract for next season and 2021-22 with a cap hit of $5,272,727, according to CapFriendly.com. The center brings a lot of pedigree as a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a four-time 30-plus goal-scorer. He can still score the puck a bit as he's projected to finish with 23 goals this season.

If Los Angeles wants to retool and shifts its focus to the future, Carter has the potential to earn it a decent return if contending teams are interested in his services.

Has he ever thought about playing in Philly again?

“I don’t want to leave L.A., I can tell you that right now," he said to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher on Saturday night's edition of Flyers Pregame Live. "But I loved playing in Philly, I had some great years here, I have a lot of friends and family. Whatever happens, happens.

"It’s been a long time since I played here but I still enjoy coming back, a lot friends here, my wife’s from here, so some family and stuff like that. Always enjoy coming back and seeing everybody.”

While the Flyers are a team that could be looking for depth and scoring down the middle, they're not exactly in position to trade for a player with the contract like Carter's deal. They would have to include players from their roster in the exchange or make other moves. Subtracting, or doing so significantly, is probably not their plan right now.

"It’s hard to trade a fourth-round pick for a $4 million player," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday (see story). "With our group right now, I don’t know that’s what we’re looking to do. If we can improve our team, we will."

But you never know. Carter certainly knows anything can happen in this business.

"I love playing in L.A. and being a part of this team," he said. "We’ll see where it goes.”

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