Confident Flyers come back East with 8 points

Confident Flyers come back East with 8 points

Jackson and Jones recap Flyers' win over Coyotes

January 5, 2014, 9:00 am
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Wayne Simmonds (left) has a point in eight of his last nine games. (USA Today Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- They won four of five games.

They improved their record against the Western Conference to 8-7-1.

Their special teams got a boost from a penalty-kill unit that did not give up a power-play goal over the final four games of their nine-day, five-game Western road swing.

Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes sent the Flyers back to Philly with a 4-1 record on the trip and also saw them advance to second place in the Metropolitan Division over Washington (see story).

“It was a real good trip because of the wins,” said coach Craig Berube. “We played a real team road trip. Everyone contributed. We did a lot of good things for the wins.”

Brayden Schenn had three goals on the trip. Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist against Phoenix, marking his sixth multi-point game over the last 11.

“It was huge wins, we came back in the last minute against Vancouver and if someone had said before the trip we would get eight points, we would have taken it,” Voracek said.

“This was a huge win for us and we moved up in the standings. Now we go back and get ready for New Jersey.”

The Flyers meet the Devils in Newark on Tuesday.

Wayne Simmonds scored a goal, giving him at least one point in eight of the last nine games and a total of nine goals and 13 points over that span.

When this trip began, the Flyers had a losing record against the West.

“We played the majority of the teams in the West [earlier] when we were struggling,” Simmonds said. “We’ve gotten a lot of confidence since then. Playing a lot better hockey. We’ve been resilient of late.”

The win against the Coyotes represented the Flyers' fifth third-period comeback victory since Dec. 4.

On this trip alone they had comeback wins at Edmonton, at Vancouver and now at Phoenix, as well.

“This was great, especially considering our record before the Florida trip (10-10-2),” said Scott Hartnell, who began the comeback in the final game against Phoenix.

“We talked about it before the Edmonton game. Chief had a meeting about playing the right way.

“For the most part, I felt we played solid. Didn’t have our best games, but we got some points and put ourselves in a good position.”

You can’t underestimate what that does for a goaltender, such as Steve Mason, who earned his 17th win, saving 26 shots.

“It’s something that wasn’t happening at the beginning of the year and we almost had to be perfect [as goalies],” Mason said. “Ray [Emery] and I both know that if we give up a goal, this team is going to come back for us.

“This was a perfect example, tonight. Not a very good second period for us (trailed 3-1) but the confidence in the room at the second intermission was great. We did exactly what we had to do to close out this leg of the trip.”

How important is it for a goalie to know he doesn’t have to be perfect and pitch a shutout?

“It’s extremely important,” Mason said. “There’s enough pressure as it is to be consistent. When you know that your team has the ability to come back from not just one but two goals, even three sometimes, you know you can play with a little more calm in your game. It’s a nice feeling.”

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