Mason makes 33 saves as Flyers shut out Red Wings
Scott Hartnell was concerned he had broken his foot. He had been playing with pain for two weeks and wore a walking boot at a Flyers charity event over the weekend.
But after getting cleared to play following a negative CT scan, he looked as good as he has all season.
Hartnell and Claude Giroux each had three points, Steve Mason made 33 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the banged up Detroit Red Wings 5-0 Tuesday night.
"We needed a big win, we needed two points," Hartnell said. "We’re (about to go) on a really tough road trip against some big opponents out west and we needed to get our confidence back going into that trip."
Adam Hall and Sean Couturier also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a four-game losing streak. The Flyers (26-22-6) won an eighth straight game at home against the Red Wings (23-19-11), a franchise best against Detroit, which has not won in Philadelphia since the 1997 Stanley Cup final.
Mason turned in his best performance since signing a three-year extension with the Flyers last week. In the three previous games since inking the deal, Mason had allowed 11 goals and been pulled twice.
"These games are building blocks," said Mason, who recorded his second shutout of the season and the 21st of his career. "Over the course of the season, you’re going to have ups and downs, it’s just a matter of how you come out of it. This is a small step in a bigger picture and that’s how I’m going to look at it."
Flyers coach Craig Berube shuffled his lines before the game, moving Hartnell up with Giroux and Jake Voracek. Hartnell scored the Flyers’ first two goals of the game and Giroux netted one in third. Each time Giroux or Hartnell scored, the other picked up an assist.
"He’s pretty easy to play with," Hartnell said, referring to Giroux. "You get him the puck and you’re going to get it back."
Hartnell opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 6:18 mark of the first period when he redirected Kimmo Timonen’s drive from the point and notched his second of the night 8:08 into the second period when he scored off a cross-ice pass from Giroux, who assisted on both of Hartnell’s goals. Timonen later left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return. The veteran defenseman will be reevaluated Tuesday but, when asked after the game, Berube said Timonen was "fine."
The Red Wings aren’t nearly as lucky on the injury front. They played Tuesday night without three of their top forwards in Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk. Franzen missed 16 games with a concussion and returned to action against the Florida Panthers on Sunday but is once again dealing with concussion symptoms. Zetterberg missed his third game with a bad back and Datsyuk his 11th with a lower-body injury.
"We want to get our big guys back," Red Wings forward Drew Miller said. "A lot of the guys that are out right now are big leaders and guys we look to for scoring. But we’re not looking at that as an excuse. We’ve got guys who can step and play."
Starting in place of Jimmy Howard, who was back on the Detroit bench after missing three games with an injury of his own, Detroit goaltender Jonas Gustavsson stopped 23 of 28 shots.
In the second period, Detroit’s Luke Glendening, Kyle Quincey and Tomas Tatar all hit posts. Forward Riley Sheahan would have gotten the Red Wings on the board in the third, but his shot over the glove of Mason came after Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossman dislodged the net, stopping play. Grossman was whistled for delay of game but Detroit, which came into Tuesday night with the league’s top-ranked road power play, but failed to score on its four man-advantages.
"These are the times when you have to find a way, get a step," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "The power play has to be clicking. We have to find a way to get one goal. I thought we had good chances in the second period. (Quincey) had a grade-A chance right in the middle of the slot. I think (Tatar) had one off the crossbar. But the puck didn’t go in, and we have to find a way to be a lot better."
NOTES: Hartnell was cleared to play Tuesday after being seen in a walking boot at the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival on Sunday. The forward has been dealing with soreness in his left foot for the last two weeks, but a CT scan came back negative. … Out of the lineup Tuesday night for the Flyers was winger Zac Rinaldo (ankle). Defenseman Andrej Meszaros was a healthy scratch. … For the Red Wings, Howard missed his fourth straight game but was on the bench backing up Gustavsson. Todd Bertuzzi was a healthy scratch.