Flyers take minds off woes, attend Eagles game

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Flyers take minds off woes, attend Eagles game

So what does a 1-7 hockey team do when looking to break out of the doldrums from a poor start and have a little fun?

They all show up at Lincoln Financial Field to watch a now 3-4 football team.

That’s what the Flyers did Sunday as a group -- they watched the Cowboys beat the Eagles in South Philly.

Even coach Craig Berube was there.

“I went down just for a bit with those guys,” Berube said. “They had a workout [at Wells Fargo Center] as a team, and we just got some food after, but I didn’t go to the game.

“Anytime they can get together as a team and do things, it’s good. This team’s got good chemistry with each other. They’ve just got to do it on the ice.”

Captain Claude Giroux liked the idea of going to a game as a team.

“Get the mind off [things], get the boys together and watch the Eagles play,” Giroux said. “Obviously, it wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but it’s good to be around and a chance to meet fans.”

Virtually the entire Flyers team was at the game. And while fans’ discontent and vitriol may be all over the Internet, players said they didn’t get any of that from fans at the Linc.

No one was berating them.

“Our fans are frustrated and disappointed,” Giroux said. “Let’s be honest. We’re disappointed in ourselves too with this start. We have to go game-by-game and get a win Thursday against the Rangers and move on.”

Braydon Coburn said fans treated the Flyers very well and had positive thoughts to share.

“I enjoyed being there,” Coburn said. “When you are out in Philadelphia, people are always so nice. Everybody was, honestly. Everyone knows we had a tough start. They had kind words, told us to get it going and it’s a long season.

“I like watching those guys. Those guys are athletes. They are really athletic. That’s one of the things I really enjoy watching in person -- seeing the kind of athletes they are, the big guys who can run, then guys like DeSean Jackson in a snap from zero to 10. It’s really cool to see.”

Loose pucks
Kimmo Timonen (undisclosed injury) returned to practice and is fit to play against the Rangers, Berube said. ... Vinny Lecavalier (suspected groin/abdomen) and Scott Hartnell (suspected rib cage) practiced on their own. Though Lecavalier said Sunday he felt he might play on Thursday, Berube said his sense is that neither player is ready and he wants to be sure both are 100 percent healthy before putting them back in the lineup. ... Lecavalier did not participate in any of the speed skating drills that the team went through Monday. This week is all about skating and up-tempo, and Lecavalier might not be in game shape by Thursday. ... Hal Gill did extra laps. Punishment? “He’s dedicated,” Berube said. “He wanted to do extra.” So he wasn’t laps behind? “That’s not nice,” Berube laughed.

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

Best of NHL: Canadiens avoid winless California trip with SO win over Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Byron scored the clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens avoided a winless swing through California with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist for the Canadiens, who won for just the second time in seven road games. Montreal had only one win in its previous 11 games in California before scoring three times in the four-round shootout.

Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw also scored and Carey Price made 27 saves for the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens.

Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist apiece for the Kings, who lost for only the second time in eight games. Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots (see full recap).

DeKeyser gives Red Wings OT win over Isles
NEW YORK -- Danny DeKeyser scored 1:02 into overtime to give Detroit a victory over New York.

Mike Green scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and assist for Detroit, which improved to 4-1-2 in its last seven games. Peter Mrazek stopped 32 shots to improve to 3-0-2 in his past five starts.

Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk and Josh Bailey scored for New York, which had won a season-high three straight. Jaroslav Halak finished with 30 saves.

Detroit's Frans Nielsen had an assist while facing his former team for the first time since leaving the Islanders for a six-year, $31.5 million deal with the Red Wings last summer. The 32-year-old Danish center was selected by the Islanders in the third round of the 2002 draft and had 119 goals and 230 assists over 10 seasons in New York (see full recap).

Late goal lifts Jets over Blackhawks
CHICAGO -- Andrew Copp scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:45 left, Bryan Little got his third goal in three games and Winnipeg edged Chicago.

Copp beat Scott Darling on the stick side with a shot from the right circle that slipped just inside the left post.

Chicago's Artemi Panarin scored with 6:54 remaining to tie it at 1, moments after Copp hit the post, to spoil Connor Hellebuyck's bid for a second shutout against Chicago in less than a month. Panarin completed a give-and-go with Patrick Kane, beating Hellebuyck to the glove side.

Hellebuyck finished with 25 saves and outdueled Darling, who started his second straight game for the Blackhawks in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford. Darling made 30 saves, including three on breakaways.

Little's power-play goal with 43.4 seconds left in the second period was his fourth point in four games since missing 23 with a lower-body injury (see full recap)

Wayne Simmonds stars as Flyers top Predators, push win streak to 5 games

Wayne Simmonds stars as Flyers top Predators, push win streak to 5 games

BOX SCORE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dave Hakstol likes Wayne Simmonds’ net-front play more than that of any player in the league.

The Flyers' power forward showed on Sunday why his coach thinks that way.

Simmonds’ two power-play goals in front of the crease helped extend the Flyers’ win streak to five, their longest of the season, in a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night (see Instant Replay).

“If there’s a better guy in the league at net front, whether it’s on power play or 5 on 5, I don’t know who that is,” said Hakstol said after Sunday's victory. “He did a great job there tonight.”

Simmonds’ first goal came when he deflected Jake Voracek’s shot past Juuse Saros, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 18:12 of the first period.

“They had great movement around the top of the box and Jake told me to go back door if he was going to get it for a one-timer,” Simmonds said. “So I stuck my stick out back door and he hit it, and it went in the net.”

Then Simmonds batted a puck through Saros' legs for a 2-1 advantage at 6:47 of the second period for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.

“It was kind of a little bit of a cluster and the puck comes to me, and I’m alone in front of the net so I just put it five-hole and it worked,” Simmonds said.

The right wing’s father was watching in the sellout crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena during the Flyers' annual father-son trip.

“It was nice, obviously,” Simmonds said. “I just went outside and saw him. He didn’t really say much to me, but I know he’s glowing on the inside.”

Simmonds has now scored 10 career goals in 20 games against Nashville.

“What I really like about Simmer is he’s at net-front, he’s scoring goals, he’s on the power play, but he’s a great, hard-nosed, 200-foot player,” Hakstol said.

Simmonds’ goals gave the Flyers an early spark on Sunday.

“It was huge,” said Flyers left wing Michael Raffl, who scored the winning goal at 16:37 of the second period when made a power move on a rush and tucked the puck past Saros. “That gives us all the momentum.”

The Flyers improved to 7-3-1 in their last 11 games.

“We’re just trying to take care of pucks and maintain the pressure that we have,” Simmonds said. “The next shift up every game is the most important shift and that’s how we’re trying to play it here.”

Predators coach Peter Laviolette, a former Flyers coach, wasn’t surprised by his former team’s power-play success. The Flyers entered the game tied for the third best power play in the league cashed in twice on seven chances on Sunday.

“We knew going in that their power play was really good,” Laviolette said. “Their players have a lot of time together and cohesiveness and they’re pretty set in what they do. They bring pucks to the net and when they do that, things can happen. That was a difference in the game tonight.”

Winning goalie Steve Mason has started 10 of the last 11 games. He made 30 saves Sunday to improve his record to 8-8-3.

“This is the situation I want to be in, so it’s a workload that all summer you prepare for even when I was not getting the work load I wanted,” Mason said. “You prepare for it and now that it’s here I’m making the most of it.”