Flyers snap 10-game skid with 5-2 win over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Brian Elliott’s return to Calgary went much better than his last playoff game there.
Scott Laughton scored twice and Elliott made 43 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers snapped a 10-game losing streak Monday night with a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
”That’s a big streak to end, and in doing it the way we did tonight with punctuation was really good for our group,” Elliott said.
Elliott lasted just 5:38 during Game 4 of Calgary’s opening-round playoff series with Anaheim last spring before being pulled. The Ducks went on to win 3-1 to sweep the series, and Elliott left in the summer as a free agent.
”Whenever you’re coming to a city you lived in for a year and played and enjoyed yourself, you really look at it as an opportunity to show your stuff again one last time,” he said.
Calgary held a wide edge in play, outshooting Philadelphia 45-21, but the opportunistic Flyers scored three times in a 1:11 span of the second period to break open a 1-all game.
Valtteri Filppula, Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Philadelphia (9-11-7), and Jakub Voracek had three assists. The Flyers have points in six of their last 11 games because five of the losses during their skid came in overtime.
”Guys have worked real hard and more importantly than that, guys have really stuck together through a pretty tough stretch here,” coach Dave Hakstol said.
Troy Brouwer, with his first of the season, and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary (14-12-1). The Flames lost three of four on their homestand and now head out East for games on back-to-back nights in Toronto and Montreal starting Wednesday.
Mike Smith made 16 saves in defeat.
”Any time you lose there is cause for concern, but there are no big issues,” Brouwer said. ”Our effort was there. It was one of those nights that we weren’t rewarded.”
A key moment came early in the second when a misplayed puck by Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov enabled Johnny Gaudreau to race off on a breakaway. Elliott stopped the dangerous Flames winger with a sharp glove save, then stopped four more shots on the ensuing power play after defenseman Andrew MacDonald was whistled for hooking Gaudreau.
”He faced a lot of shots, he ate a lot of pucks and didn’t let many rebounds. He was outstanding,” Voracek said.
It was right after that penalty kill that the Flyers took the lead for good. Shayne Gostisbehere’s slap shot from the blue line hit the post, deflected off the back of Smith’s leg and was knocked over the line by Laughton.
Just 25 seconds later, Voracek set up Raffl on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-1 – and then Philadelphia took advantage of a mistake by the officials.
With Michael Frolik off for high-sticking, when it was actually a teammate’s stick that caught Sean Couturier in the face, Simmonds scored 10 seconds into the power play to make it 4-1.
The outburst came during a second period in which the Flames outshot Philadelphia 21-7.
Monahan’s 15th goal at 18:45 of the second got Calgary back within two. However, just 1:51 into the final period, Laughton scored again, putting in Jordan Weal’s rebound to restore the Flyers’ three-goal cushion.
Calgary took the lead at 18:15 of the first when Brouwer knocked in Curtis Lazar’s rebound. Dating to last season, it was the first goal in 33 games for Brouwer, who immediately looked up in an expression of relief.
Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic received a match penalty and a game misconduct in the third period for his open-ice hit to the head on Dale Weise, who left the game briefly but later returned.
”Those hits happen. It’s unfortunate,” Hamonic said. ”I felt like I stayed in my tracks and I kept my arm down. I was going for his chest and he kind of moves, not jumps but moves out of the way, maybe to try and protect himself or whatever it is and you kind of hit each other, but no malicious attempt.”
NOTES: Flames captain Mark Giordano played in career game No. 700. … Calgary made one lineup change, inserting Lazar at center and scratching veteran Matt Stajan. … Philadelphia also made one change, with Taylor Leier drawing in for Jori Lehtera. … Philadelphia won for just the second time (2-8-4) when giving up the first goal.
Flyers: Wednesday night at Edmonton.
Flames: Wednesday night at Toronto.
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