jakub voracek

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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With help from Jakub Voracek, Carter Hart got his bed, is comfortable and here to stay

With help from Jakub Voracek, Carter Hart got his bed, is comfortable and here to stay

VOORHEES, N.J. — It didn’t take long for Carter Hart to prove his early jump to the NHL was not just a temporary leap.

He won his first two starts with the Flyers.

Not long after, he ripped off eight straight victories to match Jocelyn Thibault's NHL record of most consecutive wins by a goalie before his 21st birthday.

And he went 13-6-1 with a 2.53 goals-against average and .924 save percentage over his first 20 starts, sparking hope in a lost 2018-19 season.

Today, Dec. 18, marks the one-year anniversary of Hart’s NHL debut in which he beat the Red Wings, 3-2, at the Wells Fargo Center. In a year, the 2016 second-round pick has become the Flyers’ No. 1 between the pipes, playing like the goalie of the future the franchise has desired for quite some time.

“I’m comfortable here, this is my home away from home,” Hart said Wednesday. “I love playing here and living here in Philly.”

Around mid-February, Hart was told to seek permanent residence.

“That was a pretty cool moment for me,” he said. “It’s kind of like, ‘Alright, you’re here to stay.’”

Oh, and need to find a place … and a bed.

Good thing for Jakub Voracek.

“When he realized he was going to be staying, you don’t want a kid that didn’t make much money to spend so much money on rent,” Voracek said. “I had a free apartment in Old City and nobody was using it, so I just told him to get cable and everything else was there. I went to buy a bed with him. He was a little worried about the price tag, but I was like, ‘That’s the best investment you can make.’ So we went and bought a bed and that was all he needed.”

Voracek made sure they got the bed.

“Well, f---, if it were up to him, he would sleep on the sofa,” Voracek said. “I had to really talk him into it. Like, listen, if you want to spend the money, that’s good money to spend.”

The bed purchase was all part of Hart’s transition to the NHL at 20 years old. He came into professional hockey with impressive preparation and work habits.

But he’s always looking to learn and improve. After all, he’s only 21.

“It’s really important that you manage yourself and your time really wisely with getting enough sleep, eating the right things, staying on top of your physical shape, condition,” Hart said. “I think that’s been a really important part of my game.”

Since Hart’s arrival (or actually since he was drafted), the fans have embraced him.

He has grown to love the tough love.

“Sure, they get on us when we’re not playing well, but as an athlete in a big sports market, what more could you ask for?” Hart said. “They’re loyal and they’re passionate.”

And as much as he has stood out in the crease, Hart has also shined within the community.

“I have a lot of fun doing that, I’m sure a lot of other guys do as well,” he said. “We have the chance to be role models, people look up to us, especially younger kids, the next generation. I think it’s important that you set a good example for the leaders of tomorrow.”

What did Voracek, one of the Flyers’ leaders, charge the humble rookie?

“Thank God he charged me nothing,” Hart said. “He’s an awesome guy and it was a really nice place, too, it was huge. It was just myself in there. Unfortunately he’s selling it this year and I couldn’t even afford it anyways. But no, it was a really nice place.

“Really thankful that he let me stay there last year.”

Voracek was happy to set up Hart in Year 1. It meant the goalie of the future was beginning the present.

“He’s still young, he’s playing unreal since he got here,” Voracek said. “Obviously some ups and downs, but there are a lot more ups than downs. It’s scary to think that he can be way, way better.”

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Multiple fights, a potential costly injury to Travis Konecny and a different kind of Flyers win over Senators

Multiple fights, a potential costly injury to Travis Konecny and a different kind of Flyers win over Senators

Updated: 4:22 p.m.

BOX SCORE 

The win was ugly.

But a really good one for the Flyers.

A lesser opponent tried to work them up, throw them off, and the Flyers still found a way to pull out a 4-3 decision over the Senators on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

They did so while losing their best player during the first period and despite being outshot 30-21.

Scott Laughton was superb yet again with a multi-point game. He was physical when the game became physical and he scored the game-winning goal, his fourth marker in the last six games.

The Flyers (17-8-5) showed they can win when they’re far from their best, which is a good sign. They are 12-3-4 with 28 points since Nov. 1. The Capitals entered the day with an NHL-leading 28 points over that span.

The Senators (12-17-1) have lost six of their last seven games.

• The biggest storyline to come from Saturday’s game was Travis Konecny leaving the ice and never returning following a crushing hit by Mark Borowiecki in the first period.

The fights then broke out with Jakub Voracek and Joel Farabee doing the honors (see story).

The 22-year-old Konecny already had a goal in the game and has been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through two months of this season.

Konecny was presumably getting checked for a concussion. If he were to miss any time, it would be a significant loss for the Flyers, who are 2-4-4 when Konecny goes scoreless in a game.

After the game, head coach Alain Vigneault said Konecny had an upper-body injury and the Flyers would have further updates Monday.

• Ivan Provorov kept on humming Saturday, matching his goal total of seven from last season by sending home a third-period missile to put the Flyers ahead 3-2 (see highlights).

The Flyers are 15-5-4 since Oct. 21. Over that stretch, Provorov has six goals, nine assists and a plus-10 mark.

• The Senators’ game-tying goal in the second period was an inexcusable one to give up by the Flyers. Carter Hart and Shayne Gostisbehere misread each other terribly, which allowed Anthony Duclair to swoop in for a shorthanded marker.

Both Hart and Gostisbehere need to be more aware in that situation.

The good news is Gostisbehere continues to push offensively and Hart has been awfully good since Nov. 1 — really, all season for that matter.

Gostisbehere has three goals in five games following a three-game benching. The 26-year-old defenseman had one goal in his previous 22 games.

Hart finished with 27 saves.

• Morgan Frost picked up his first point in eight games on Konecny’s goal.

Before the game, Vigneault expressed his confidence in the 20-year-old center who is centering the Flyers’ top line.

The 2017 first-round pick deserves some patience just like a lot of young players.

• Next week, the Flyers open 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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