Schenn reaches milestone with 2-goal game

Schenn reaches milestone with 2-goal game
April 7, 2014, 9:30 am
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Brayden Schenn became the sixth Flyer to notch 20 goals this season with a two-goal game against the Sabres, Sunday. (USA Today Images)

Like the rest of his teammates, Brayden Schenn was relieved when the Flyers snapped their four-game losing streak Sunday night.

But he was also relieved to have snapped his own tough stretch of seven games without a goal. Schenn scored twice in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres -- and felt a big weight lift off his shoulders.

“It was nice to get that first one, especially,” Schenn said. “It’s felt like I’m getting a lot of chances lately, but hitting the post or just not scoring on my opportunities. So it was nice to get the one, for sure.”

Schenn became the sixth Flyer to hit the 20-goal mark on Sunday, when he moved to the left wing on a slightly altered second line with Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds.

It was his fifth career two-goal game and second of the season, matching a career high.

And while he’s played primarily at center in recent months, Schenn didn’t have a tough time with the adjustment. That showed on his third-period even-strength goal, as well as his second-period marker on the power play.

“I’ve been bounced around between center and wing all year,” he said. “Wherever I’m put, I just try to make the most of the opportunity. Tonight was wing.

“I thought we had some good chemistry, playing at times with Raffl and Vinny [Lecavalier] and Simmer.”

That the Flyers now have six 20-plus goal-scorers is a feat that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially considering how they started the season. Back in November and December, practically all of the Flyers’ forwards were struggling to hit the back of the net.

Now, though, their scoring is as balanced as some of the league’s top teams. The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, by contrast, have four 20-plus goal-scorers. The St. Louis Blues have five.

“It means that we have good balance,” coach Craig Berube said. “We have depth in scoring. That’s what it means.”

By the time the regular season comes to an end next Sunday, the Flyers could easily have seven players with at least 20 goals. Lecavalier is knocking at the door with 19, having scored his third goal in five games Sunday night.

The Flyers could also wind up with 10 players who’ve scored double-digits -- something that help them a great deal should they reach the playoffs as they’re expected to.

“We have great offensive depth,” Matt Read said. “Any line can score any night. It’s something that to go deep in the playoffs, you need two or three lines going every night.”

Schenn has now beaten his previous career high in goals by eight; he netted 12 in 2011-12. His focus, though, isn’t at all on personal stats.

“It’s nice to score and help the team out as much as you can and contribute,” he said. “At the same time, at the end of the day, the wins are more important. It’s nice to score two goals in a win.”

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