Simon Gagne Lights the Lamp in Philadelphia Return as Flyers Rout Capitals

Simon Gagne Lights the Lamp in Philadelphia Return as Flyers Rout Capitals

Maybe all it took for Simon Gagne to become a point-a-game
player again was the right team.

We kid of course, but seriously the man has always had
impeccable timing. Gagne made his presence felt in his first game back wearing
orange and black since 2010, finding twine for the first time in 2013 for the
Flyers in front of a Wells Fargo Center crowd.

Brayden Schenn rightly picked up the assist by doing the
dirty work in front of the net, as well as Danny Briere for his puck handling
in deep. And reliable number 12 is right where he’s supposed to be finishing
the power play.

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Gagne’s tally came early in the second period to put the
Flyers ahead of the Washington Capitals 3-0. Philadelphia would go on to win
4-1 in a game they controlled from the outset.

Claude Giroux got the scoring started 23 seconds into the
contest with his seventh goal of the season, giving him a six-game point streak. A few minutes later Wayne Simmonds
rammed home his eighth of the season on the man advantage, and the Bullies
never looked back. Scott Hartnell had a big hand in opening up the scoring, picking up helpers on both plays.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 stops, but lost his bid for the shutout
with about three more minutes to play. Nick Grossmann was his best friend, four hits to go along with the seven blocked shots that increased his league-leading total to 61 – even though the force was most definitely with Bryz in this one.

But Gagne was the story of the night obviously. He finished
with one goal on four shots and two hits in exactly 16 minutes of ice time –
not bad for a senior citizen. Peter Laviolette didn’t exactly try to hide him,
either. Gagne skated on the second power-play line for crying out loud.

He spoke to reporters after the game in a “lucky” green
Flyers cap.

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Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

Tonight's lineup: WIth only RHP left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.

He might also start the entire Braves series.

The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.

Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P

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Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.

The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.

But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.

Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.

Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.

The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.