Flyers Score Seven Goals, More Than Twice as Many in Previous Four Games Combined

Flyers Score Seven Goals, More Than Twice as Many in Previous Four Games Combined

With their season on the line, the Flyers’ offense suddenly
came to life toward the end of March, averaging more than four goals per game
during a stretch where they grabbed nine points out of a possible 10. And with
their season still on the line, Philly’s offense just as abruptly went ice cold
less than two weeks ago, only able to muster three scores over a four-game
span, essentially eliminating the squad from playoff contention.

The combination of which makes their seven-goal outburst in
Montreal on Monday all the more perplexing – against the second-place team in
the East and one of the better defensive clubs in the NHL at that.

It was just another example of how maddening it has been to follow
the Orange & Black this season. On any given night we might be treated to hockey
at or near its highest level, but too often only for a period or two at a time,
and some nights not at all.

The ability is in there though, as evidenced in
their 7-3 win over the Canadiens.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 of 28 shots, getting stronger as
the contest went along, perhaps even making a couple of his toughest saves of
the season. With the bench shorthanded defensively due to injuries and numerous
penalties, Luke Schenn skated a career-high 33 minutes, continuing to prove he
can be relied upon to carry the load at the back end. And Claude Giroux and
Jakub Voracek each had a goal and two assists, the one top-line connection for
the Flyers that has yet to lose its luster.

Quite possibly the biggest difference between this outing
and the previous 40 was Scott Hartnell finally re-emerging as a
difference-maker. Hartsy banged home a hat trick, giving him just seven goals
for the season after netting a career-high 37 a year ago.

Of course it is a condensed schedule, plus Hartnell
did lose around one month to a foot injury.

Injuries have been a theme all season long though. Multiple
players were missing for stretches, which at this point includes nearly all of
their defensemen who began the season in Philadelphia. Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon
Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, and Bruno Gervais were scratches for Montreal, and the group was stretched further after Kent Huskins was knocked out of the game in the first period and
Kurtis Foster received a 10-minute misconduct for coming to his teammate’s aid.

Yet not everything is about who isn’t in the lineup.
Injuries only explain away some of the inconsistencies. Take the Flyers’ power
play for instance. At one point it had ascended to number one in the NHL, only
to go six consecutive games without lighting the lamp, streak they finally snapped by converting on 3 of 4 chances in the victory.

Both the first and second PP units have remained largely intact of late. Maybe it was nothing more than a slump. Whatever the reasoning, they were firing on all cylinders here.

The Flyers found a way to win this one – and big – even though the occasion provided a few excuses to fail. Sure, Carey
Price hasn’t been sharp in net recently for the Canadiens, but the Orange &
Black got to him, chased him from the game, then continued pouring it on. Seven
goals match Philly’s highest output of the year.

What the front office is going to have to figure out in what
will surely be a taxing offseason is what causes these rapid mood swings. During wings like this the Flyers' level of talent is on full display. Now how do they
go about sustaining it from one game – or even one period – to the next?

>> BOX SCORE [Flyers.com]

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NFL notes: Jordan Reed, Trevor Siemian ruled out for Week 13

NFL notes: Jordan Reed, Trevor Siemian ruled out for Week 13

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed will miss Sunday's game at the Arizona Cardinals with a sprained left shoulder.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced Friday that Reed would sit out. It'll be the third game missed this season by Reed, who leads the Redskins with 59 catches. He has 630 yards receiving and five TDs.

Reed hurt his shoulder in Washington's Thanksgiving Day loss at Dallas, then was sidelined for practice all week.

Gruden said he hopes that with an extra week of treatment, Reed would be available to play at NFC East rival Philadelphia on Dec. 11.

Also out for Washington (6-4-1) against Arizona (4-6-1) is defensive end Anthony Lanier (lower leg).

Starting offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Ty Nsekhe, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, running back Chris Thompson and long snapper Nick Sundberg were all listed as questionable for Washington.

Broncos: Trevor Siemian ruled out against Jacksonville
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos ruled out Trevor Siemian for Sunday's game at Jacksonville, meaning rookie Paxton Lynch will make his second start.

Siemian had hoped to return to practice Friday but the training staff put him right back in his walking boot and informed coach Gary Kubiak the second-year pro was a no-go against the Jaguars (2-9).

Lynch lost to Atlanta in Week 5.

The Broncos (7-4) are scrambling for a playoff spot after their loss to Kansas City in which Siemian threw for a career-best 368 yards with three TDs and no interceptions but was sacked six times.

The Broncos also promoted speedy punt returner Kalif Raymond from the practice squad with rookie fullback Andy Janovich going on injured reserve following ankle surgery.

Bills: Sammy Watkins expected to play against Oakland
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play in his second consecutive game though questions persist about the severity of his left foot injury.

On Thursday, Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Watkins still has a broken bone in his left foot. Watkins returned from injured reserve last week after missing two months of action.

Watkins spoke with reporters Friday but was vague when pressed about Lynn's comments. Asked if he still has a broken bone in his foot, Watkins responded: "Not necessarily. You hear a lot of things."

Buffalo's top receiver had surgery in April to repair a stress fracture in the injured foot. It was aggravated in Week 3 when a teammate stepped on Watkins' foot at a walk-through.

Watkins returned against Jacksonville on Sunday and provided a major spark to the league's worst passing attack, catching three passes for 80 yards. He missed Wednesday's practice due to foot soreness but participated on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday.

"Playing the game, you come out a little bit sore being out for eight weeks," Watkins said. "So we expected that, I expected that myself. I'm fine. I got through the game last week, I felt pretty good, didn't have any hiccups, and really just keep doing the things in the training room."

Watkins said the soreness did not come until after the game against the Jaguars, not during. He's expected to again be on a snap count this Sunday at Oakland.

Watkins was also asked about the possibility of a second surgery, along with his status for the rest of the season.

"Right now I'm really just focusing on the Raiders," Watkins said. "After the season, if I need to get that done then we will, and if I don't we'll be fine."

The Bills are depending on Watkins to contribute due to reduced personnel at wide receiver. Robert Woods (knee) and Percy Harvin (illness) are out. Marquise Goodwin is expected to play after suffering a wrist injury in practice Thursday.

Starting cornerback Ronald Darby (concussion) is out. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is expected to play after leaving Sunday's win over Jacksonville with an abdominal strain.

Dismissal deal done in Johnny Manziel's domestic case
DALLAS -- Prosecutors say they have an agreement with Johnny Manziel to dismiss a domestic violence charge against the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office said Friday that Manziel will have to meet certain conditions for a year before the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed. The former Cleveland Browns player was accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley during a night out in January.

Brittany Dunn, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors, said the agreement was filed Friday without Manziel present.

Details of the agreement weren't immediately available. A spokeswoman for the former Texas A&M star didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Judge Roberto Canas said at a hearing last month that the sides had reached a tentative deal on a conditional dismissal (see full story).

Jaguars: Ivory, Hurns ruled out; Thomas doubtful vs. Denver
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without two offensive starters Sunday against Denver and maybe a third.

Coach Gus Bradley ruled out running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) and receiver Allen Hurns (hamstring) on Friday. He also listed tight end Julius Thomas (back) as doubtful to play against the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos (7-4).

Receiver Rashad Greene (Achilles tendon) and defensive end Jared Odrick (shoulder) also are out, leaving the Jaguars (2-9) with four healthy receivers heading into the game. Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee will start, with Arrelious Benn and Bryan Walters serving as backups.

Without Ivory, T.J. Yeldon is expected to handle the bulk of the carries. But Yeldon (ankle) was limited in last week's game and again in practice this week.

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.

The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.

Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.

Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers. 

Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.