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

victory.

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

game.”

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,

aggressive.”

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

career.

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.