Saturday, March 14, 2015

A few games too late, but Flyers pour it on in rout of Red Wings

Philadelphia, PA -- There's really no sense in asking where the offense has been recently. You've just gotta sit back and enjoy the deluge when it comes because it's a rare occurrence -- and doesn't stand a chance of happening again this season.

Brayden Schenn channeled the forgotten Alexandre Daigle with his two-goal performance which should have been a hat trick, and the Philadelphia Flyers played inhospitable host once more in a 7-2 rout over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday afternoon.

Wayne Simmonds picked up a disputed goal and two assists while Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo, Nicklas Grossmann and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a four-game losing streak thanks to a four-goal third-period blitz.

Steve Mason turned aside 31 shots in the win, a game in which he didn't have to play contortionist like Thursday's shootout setback in St. Louis.

Justin Abdelkader and Erik Cole scored for the Red Wings, who have lost four of their last five and still haven't won here since Game 2 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. Jimmy Howard's first trip to Philadelphia turned into a full-on nightmare after he was tagged for all seven goals on 36 shots in the loss.
 
The hosts took a 4-1 lead just 11 seconds into the third. Jakub Voracek flew into the zone on the left wing  and missed wide of the short side with his shot, but the puck bounced off the boards back to Voracek, who merely chipped it over to the slot where Schenn snapped it home.

Immediately after the score, dozens of hats rained down upon the ice in celebration of the Flyers' first home hat trick since Scott Hartnell on Jan. 22, 2012 against Boston. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the official scoring of Schenn's first marker was changed, robbing him of his first career trifecta.

That was a bitter pill in an otherwise brilliant effort by the Orange and Black. Daigle had pumped home three scores against the then-defending Cup champion Wings exactly 17 years ago today in a 6-1 win which was also a matinee contest. 

Bellemare scored his fifth of the season off a Detroit turnover in its own end at 8:22 to give the Flyers a
four-goal lead, while Cole notched a nifty mid-air redirection marker on the power play with 9:03 left.

Read's power-play goal came off a redirect of an Andrew MacDonald pass with 3:20 to play and Rinaldo shocked the sellout crowd when he scored his first of the season less than a minute later. He was in perfect position to tap in a no-look Ryan White pass from the left side which accounted for the final margin.

The scoring was started at 5:22 of the first on the power play. Mark Streit's left-point blast from near the blue line appeared to clearly deflect off Schenn in the high slot and maybe grab a piece of Simmonds on the way past Howard. Official scoring kept it the former's goal for quite a while. 

The Flyers took a 2-0 lead with 2:53 to play in the first as Grossman took a pass from Sean Couturier and skated down the middle on a short break, snapping the puck into the left corner for his fifth of the season.

Detroit got on the board 4:14 into the second when Abdelkader slipped the puck between the pads of Mason on a short break for his 19th of the season, but the Flyers got it back with another power-play goal.

With Pavel Datsyuk in the box for tripping, Claude Giroux sent a shot on net from the left circle that was stopped, as was Simmonds' rebound chance. That rebound went out front and Schenn was able to backhand it home from his knees at 13:39 of the second.

Notes: Philly hasn't lost a regular season home game against Detroit since Jan. 25, 1997 ... The Flyers play their next four games on the road starting Sunday in Ottawa and continuing on to Western Canada ... The Wings continue their four-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Sunday ... Prior to the contest, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that forward R.J. Umberger will miss the remainder of the season with multiple injuries. A forward will be recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in anticipation of the road swing ... The Flyers were 3-for-4 on the power play, while the Red Wings went 1-for-3.
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