Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Flyers hit New Year with Canadian sweep

Calgary, AB --There are a lot of good things many wouldn't have been able to imagine for the Flyers back on November 1, but that doesn't mean they weren't going to be deserved.

Brayden Schenn posted a goal and two assists as Philadelphia took a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on New Year's Eve at the Saddledome, completing the club's first Western Canadian sweep since December 27-31, 1996.

In that season, wins at Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in order stoked the fires of a 14-0-3 swing which vaulted Terry Murray's club to the top of the NHL standings. This season, it puts Craig Berube's club once again in the thick of the playoff hunt in a Metropolitan Division whose teams are confounding all predictions.

Braydon Coburn, Scott Hartnell and Mark Streit all scored for the Orange and Black, who continue this six-game road trip in Denver on Thursday. Ray Emery made 23 stops in the win, a team-record fifth straight in Calgary since 2002.

"We've had some big efforts so far to start this trip," said Emery. "These last two wins are a great way to end the year off."

Sean Monahan had the only goal of the game for the Flames, who have dropped three straight and seven of eight. Reto Berra gave up three goals on 20 shots in the loss.

"We're building a new culture and we have some young players who we want to give some ice time and learn what to do out there," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "But right now is a tough time because we're not scoring goals."

Philly took a 2-1 lead into the third period as Schenn took a pass from Andrej Meszaros in
the slot and turned around to throw a shot on net for his ninth of the season with 1:29 left in the frame.

The Flyers padded their lead halfway through the third as Luke Schenn threw a shot on net from the right point that was tipped in by Hartnell for his eighth of the season.

Calgary pulled Berra with just under three minutes to play for an extra attacker and skated 6-on-4 as Streit was called for slashing at 17:59, but Coburn put the puck into the open net with 1:56 to play to seal the win.

"Right now, they're a confident team and they're finding ways to win," said Flyers head coach Craig Berube, whose spirits seemed lifted as opposed to Monday's shootout win in Vancouver where he decried the allowance of a ton of shots. 

The Flyers got the only goal of the first period as Streit faked a slap shot from the right point then glided over to the slot before snapping a wrister on net that beat Berra with traffic in front at 3:15.

Calgary took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone to tie the game, as Monahan wound up with the puck and took it down the left wing, beating Emery with a wrister to the right corner at 14:30 of the second period.

That score occurred several minutes after another Streit point offering clanged off the post. Schenn also had a goal earlier in the second wiped out after Hartnell made incidental contact with Berra outside his crease.

Notes: The Flyers had previously won four straight in southern Alberta from Dec. 29, 1981-Nov. 29, 1983 ... Calgary hosts Tampa Bay on Friday ... Philadelphia has won three of the last four against Calgary ... Prior to Monahan's goal, the Flames went 159:35 of game time without producing a red light ... Philly captain Claude Giroux had a nine-game point streak snapped. He had six goals and 11 assists during the run ... Matt Read left the game in the first period and did not return after appearing to take an elbow to the head, and the club only termed it an upper-body injury.
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