Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal

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Flyers sign Petr Straka to three-year deal

After losing out at the last minute to Detroit on defensive prospect Danny DeKeyser in late March, the Flyers plucked an interesting forward Thursday night from the Czech Republic.

They signed 6-0, 194-pound right wing Petr Straka, an overage junior (20), who is playing for Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Straka signed a three-year entry level contract worth $2.775 million ($925,000 annual average value). He was an unsigned second-round draft pick from Columbus (2010).

“Our guys liked him in his draft year a couple years ago and had him in the second- or third-round mix,” said Chris Pryor, director of hockey operations for the Flyers. “Maybe he was a little bit inconsistent if you’re looking from afar.”

The inconsistency evaporated this season. Straka scored 82 points -- 41 goals, 41 assists and was plus-33 in 55 regular-season games -- 17th best in the league. He had just 18 goals with Rimouski the previous season.

Baie-Comeau is currently in the playoffs in which Straka is third in scoring with eight goals and 18 points in eight games played.

The Flyers’ Quebec-area scouts Simon Nolet and Todd Hearty had been following Straka, who was pursued by 12 clubs, according to his agent, Allan Walsh.

“We were fortunate enough to get him aboard,” Pryor said. “There was some hype and some teams on him. He’s a good, young player.

“The last couple of years he’s been a little inconsistent but you could say that about a lot of young guys. It looks like he’s figured it out.”

Straka will be eligible to play in the AHL next season, although you can expect he will get a look in training camp next fall for the Flyers, as well.

“We’re happy,” Pryor said. “We got [defenseman] Mark Alt earlier, another former second-round kid. We’re happy to add a couple young guys to our development.”

Best of NHL: Bryan Rust notches hat trick as Pens score 8 in win

Best of NHL: Bryan Rust notches hat trick as Pens score 8 in win

PITTSBURGH -- Bryan Rust had his first career hat trick, Sidney Crosby added his NHL-leading 17th goal and the Pittsburgh Penguins raced by the Ottawa Senators 8-5 on Monday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, and Matt Cullen and Justin Schultz also scored. The Penguins poured in six goals over the final 32 minutes after spotting the Senators a 4-2 lead. Matt Murray made 17 saves after coming in for an ineffective Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period.

Pittsburgh has won three straight overall and improved to 7-0-2 in its last nine against the Senators.

Matt Stone had a goal and two assists for Ottawa. Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone and Dion Phaneuf also scored for Ottawa, which lost in regulation for just the second time in its last eight games (see full recap).

Capitals rally late for OT win over Sabres
WASHINGTON -- Marcus Johansson scored the tying goal late in the third period and got the winner midway through overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

The goals were Johansson's third and fourth in his last five games. He has 11 for the season.

Jay Beagle added the Capitals' first even-strength goal in three games, as Washington snapped a three-game losing skid. Braden Holtby made 31 saves in the victory, the Capitals second over the Sabres in an 11-day stretch.

Kyle Okposo scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season to give the Sabres the lead in the second period. Zemgus Girgensons also scored early for Buffalo, and Robin Lehner made 30 stops for the visitors (see full recap).

Blue Jackets sweep series from Coyotes
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sam Gagner had two goals and two assists to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Arizona Coyotes for the second time in three days, 4-1 on Monday night.

Nick Foligno and Zach Werensky also scored for the Blue Jackets, who won for the fourth straight time and ninth of their last 12. Columbus picked up its 500th win in franchise history in sweeping the two-game season series with the Coyotes.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 17 shots for Columbus.

Arizona backup goaltender Louis Domingue had 30 saves, two days after the Blue Jackets hammered starter Mike Smith with a franchise-record 60 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory in Phoenix.

Arizona struck first 9:28 into the game when Alex Goligoski fed a pass on a power play to Tobias Reider, who slammed it past Bobrovsky's glove side from between the circles (see full recap).

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Updated: 7 p.m.

Flyers winger Matt Read will miss approximately a month with an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Predators when he was checked by Filip Forsberg. Sources tell CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio the injury is an oblique muscle pull in Read's upper torso.

The 30-year-old has six goals and four assists for 10 points through 27 games. Five of those goals came in the Flyers' first five games.

To replace Read's roster spot, the Flyers recalled Taylor Leier and sent Scott Laughton to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. That likely means penalty-kill specialist Boyd Gordon (back), who is eligible to come off long-term injury reserve, will be activated.

Leier, 22, has been playing well with the Phantoms, posting six goals and 14 assists in 22 games (see Future Flyers Report). This is Leier's second stint of the season with the Flyers, albeit his first was short — one game on Oct. 25 in which he was a healthy scratch. He made his NHL debut last season and played six games.

Laughton was a healthy scratch the past five games.

If for some reason Gordon is not activated, the Flyers can call up another forward from Lehigh Valley. Jordan Weal is tied for second in the AHL with 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 20 games, while veteran winger Colin McDonald is an experienced, bottom-six option.