Couturier, Laughton help Flyers rout Red Wings 6-1
Kevin Hayes, Oskar Lindblom, Shayne Gostisbehere and James van Riemsdyk also scored and Jakub Voracek had three assists for Philadelphia. The Flyers haven’t lost in regulation during the regular season to Detroit since Jan. 25, 1997, going 16-0-1 over that stretch.
Robby Fabbri scored for the slumping Red Wings. They have lost eight in a row and are an NHL-worst 7-18-3.
Detroit was within a goal and had outplayed the Flyers for much of the contest before Couturier scored his eighth with 11.9 seconds left in the second to make it 3-1.
“That third goal obviously hurt them,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.
After a pass from Niskanen, Couturier got in all alone on Calvin Pickard and followed up Pickard’s initial save.
“I don’t think we played that great and it could’ve went one way or the other,” Couturier said.
Hayes and Lindblom scored 30 seconds apart early in the third period, making it 5-1. Hayes’ goal was of highlight-reel variety, receiving a pass from Laughton through his legs before finishing with a backhander from close range 27 seconds into the third.
“For a team that’s had trouble like us, it becomes a big hill,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have to keep the game more in reach.”
Pickard was called up from Grand Rapids of the AHL after Jimmy Howard injured his midsection in Wednesday’s 6-0 home loss to Toronto. Regular backup Jonathan Bernier was in uniform but has been battling flu-like symptoms. Pickard made 28 saves.
Carter Hart stopped 32 shots for the Flyers. Hart was especially strong in the first period when he stopped 12 of 13 Detroit shots.
“We got some big saves that enabled us to find our legs,” Vigneault said. “The expectations are that it’s going to be easy, but it’s never easy. You have to earn your wins. It took us awhile to get going, but in the second half (of the game) we earned it.”
Gostisbhere, two seasons removed from a 65-point season, was a healthy scratch the last three games and entered Friday with just six points in 22 games. But he notched his second of the season on the power play with 57.1 seconds left in the first period on a backhander from the left of the crease.
Fabbri tied it at 1 with 11:51 left in the first on a slap shot from the top of the left circle, ending a long drought for Detroit. The Red Wings hadn’t scored in 164 minutes, 37 seconds prior to Fabbri’s fourth goal in eight games since joining the club in a Nov. 8 trade with St. Louis.
Notes: Detroit D Mike Green returned after missing four straight games with an upper body injury. … The game was delayed for several minutes in the first period to clean the ice of blood from Niskanen after he took a puck off the face. Niskanen returned wearing a full cage mask as a shield. He had a pair of assists. … Philadelphia improved to 8-1-4 at home.
Red Wings: Host Washington on Saturday night.
Flyers: At Montreal on Saturday.