Raffl’s SO goal caps Flyers rally over Oilers
Michael Raffl had no idea he would be called upon to take a shot
in the shootout for the Philadelphia Flyers.
He made the most of it and gave his club a stirring road
The 25-year-old rookie forward scored the winner on his first
career shootout attempt, and the Flyers overcame an early deficit
to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Saturday night.
”I didn’t really expect to be sent out there,” Raffl said. ”I
was ready to hold my helmet, and then I heard that I was going
third, and I was like, `Nice.’ I really enjoyed it.
”It was nice to get the chance, and it going in made it even
nicer. It’s always nice to score a goal, and to have it be the
winner was even better”
Wayne Simmonds had a pair of goals for the third straight game,
and Scott Hartnell also scored for the Flyers (18-16-4), who have
won four of five and snapped a five-game, road-losing streak at the
beginning of a six-game trip.
”We’ve been struggling on the road, so to start off this long
road trip with a pretty solid victory is very nice,” said goalie
Steve Mason, who faced only 16 shots. ”We just need to carry it
through to our next game and keep building on this.”
Simmonds, who has seven goals in his last five games, is the
first Flyers player to post three straight multiple-goal games
since Reggie Leach in 1981.
”It has been a good stretch for me,” Simmonds said. ”It’s
been even better that the team has been starting to win and piling
up the two points most nights. It feels good. I’ve just been
getting the bounces.”
Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Perron scored for the
Oilers (13-24-4), who led 2-0 but had a two-game winning streak
snapped. Edmonton has lost seven of nine.
”It wasn’t our best game, that’s for sure, but sometimes you
have to take a look at what you’ve done,” Hall said. ”A
back-to-back after a three-day break isn’t necessarily the easiest
thing to do.
”That’s not really an excuse, but when you look back at the
schedule, sometimes there are reasons for why you don’t do well.
When we have a schedule like that, we have to keep it as simple as
possible and make sure we’re not playing a mistake-filled
The Oilers got off to a quick start and took the lead 32 seconds
in when Hall scored on Edmonton’s first shot.
Hall took the puck from defenseman Braydon Coburn deep in the
Philadelphia zone and beat Mason with a quick wrist shot high to
the glove side for his 15th goal.
The Oilers made it 2-0 at 4:02 when Nugent-Hopkins made a nice
move at the blue line and scored from the slot. Hall earned his
100th NHL assist on the goal, and Oilers captain Andrew Ference
notched his 200th point.
The Flyers couldn’t get any of their 11 first-period shots past
Ilya Bryzgalov, who played his first game against Philadelphia
since the club bought out his hefty long-term contract.
”I know they’re not going to quit,” Bryzgalov said of the
Flyers. ”I knew they were going to play hard and they were going
to get lots of pucks to the net. That’s the style they play,
Bryzgalov stopped Sean Couturier on a pair of short-handed
opportunities in tight, including one on a diving stick save, in
the second period. The Oilers have allowed an NHL-high eight
short-handed goals this season.
The Flyers cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 3:37
of the second. Simmonds tipped in a shot from the top of the circle
by Claude Giroux, who extended his point streak to eight games.
Philadelphia tied it with 7:47 left in the second with another
power-play goal. A pretty tic-tac-toe passing play had Bryzgalov
spinning around before Simmonds scored his second of the night into
a wide-open net.
Philadelphia held a 14-3 shots edge in the second period.
Edmonton regained the lead on its next power play with 8:08
remaining in regulation. Perron banked a shot from the side of the
net off Flyers defenseman Niklas Grossmann and into the net for his
team-leading 16th of the season and the 100th of his NHL
Philadelphia came right back and tied it with 5:32 left, netting
its third power-play goal. Hartnell tipped Kimmo Timonen’s shot
past a frustrated Bryzgalov during a 5-on-3 advantage.
Mason kept it tied with two minutes left when he stopped Perron
with a glove save during a breakaway.
The Flyers outshot the Oilers 38-16 through overtime.
NOTES: It was the second and final meeting between the teams
this season. The Flyers, who won 4-2 at home on Nov. 9, hadn’t won
in Edmonton since March 19, 2001. … The Flyers owe Bryzgalov $1.6
million per year through the 2026-2027 season. … Oilers D Corey
Potter (groin) didn’t play. Recent AHL call-up Martin Marincin was
in the lineup in his place. … Flyers RW Steve Downie returned
from an upper-body injury. RW Adam Hall also played after missing
practice on Friday because of the flu.