Instant Replay: Flyers 5, Red Wings 0

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Instant Replay: Flyers 5, Red Wings 0

BOX SCORE

After getting beat up pretty bad over the weekend, the Flyers enacted a little payback on unsuspecting Detroit on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center with a 5-0 rout over the Red Wings.

They also restored a little bit of normalcy Tuesday night to their infrastructure.

Goalie Steve Mason bounced back from his recent struggles to stop 33 shots in recording his second shutout of the season.

It was a strong offensive game from a number of players, including Scott Hartnell, who had two early goals.

Now comes the real hard part -- a six-day, three-game road trip to California where the Flyers will face the top three clubs in the Pacific Division.

Mason badly needed to have a good game after being yanked twice in his last three starts and he turned in a pretty good one against the Red Wings.

It snapped a six-game streak in which Mason had given up at least three goals in a game.

There was, however, potentially real bad news for the Flyers. Kimmo Timonen, who has had his share of foot injuries as a Flyer, took a shot early in the game, left after the mid-point of the second period, and did not return. Timonen will be reevaluated on Wednesday, but coach Craig Berube said the defenseman should be fine.

Timonen's exit forced Berube to rotate his remaining five defensemen the rest of the night.

Despite a slow start, the Flyers actually scored first and held the lead, even fattening up on it in the second period.

Hartnell, bothered by an aching left foot that isn’t fractured but it still causing him pain, didn’t seem too bothered as he scored twice for the Flyers for a 2-0 lead.

It was 3-0 after two period before Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier really put it away in the third period.

The Flyers, who beat a depleted Red Wings team earlier this season at Joe Louis Arena, got the same break in this one.

Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Henrik Zetterberg (back) and Johan Franzen (concussion) all missed the game with injuries.

Injuries
Timonen blocked a shot in the first period and skated gingerly to the bench. He missed the final 8:46 of the second period and did not return. The last thing this club needs is to be missing one of its few defensemen who can move the puck.

Banged up
The Red Wings came into the game with a stunning 230 man games lost due to injury. Nineteen different players have missed games this season. Only Drew Miller and Kyle Quincey have played in every game for them.

Big line
Hartnell and linemates Giroux and Jakub Voracek had a very good game together, combining for three goals and four assists for seven points.

First whistle
Who would have guessed it came at 6:44? Pretty good given the state of things with the Flyers.

Breakout
It’s been a huge problem for the Flyers, of late, and might be why they dropped all three forwards back into the zone to help the defense. It didn’t help but only congested things even worse.

Best chances
Wayne Simmonds had a gift rebound from goalie Jonas Gustavsson early in the game with an open net but the puck appeared to jump past his stick. Matt Read flubbed a pass into the slot on another scoring chance as the Flyers seemed skittish early in the game.

Penalties
All the talk about eliminating them … the Flyers had three in succession late in the first period, including back to back four-on-four situations.

Special teams
As bad as the Flyers were in the opening period, they grabbed the lead at 13:42 with a power-play backhand tip from Hartnell for a 1-0 lead. The Flyers were 1 for 2 on the power play in the game, while Detroit was 0 for 4.

Four-on-three
Detroit had one late in the opening period and Mason made a terrific glove save on Gustav Nyquist.

Saved by the post
Detroit had a shot hit the left post in the second period that dangled dangerously on the goal line before Mason tied it up for a faceoff.

Tricky shot
Adam Hall’s turnaround backhander in the slot with 8:58 left in the second period gave the Flyers a 3-0 and forced Wings coach Mike Babcock to call his timeout. Hall has two goals in January and just three all season. His shot seemed like a curveball the way it wrapped around Gustavsson inside the post.

Stone cold
Mason was sharp in the final seven minutes of the second period with a point blank save on Luke Glendening, then while sitting on his fanny. Now he appeared to block Quincey’s follow shot into the netting above, but replays showed it hit the crossbar first. He had several fine saves in the game and faced 33 shots.

Scratches
Defensemen Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros; forward Jay Rosehill. All were healthy. Zac Rinaldo (left ankle sprain) missed his 10th straight game.

NHL Playoffs: Vernon Fiddler provides big lift as Predators take 1-0 series lead on Blues

NHL Playoffs: Vernon Fiddler provides big lift as Predators take 1-0 series lead on Blues

ST. LOUIS -- One nifty little flip by Vernon Fiddler provided a big lift for the Nashville Predators on a rough night.

Fiddler scored with 5:05 left and P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists, powering Nashville to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday.

The Predators lost Kevin Fiala to an ugly leg injury in the second period and blew a 3-1 lead before Fiddler poked a loose puck by Jake Allen in the third.

"They had a little push there," Fiddler said. "We got 3-2 and then 3-3 and the building's rocking. You have to give our guys credit. We just regrouped and went back at them and found a way to get the two points."

It was the fifth goal in 43 career playoff games for the 36-year-old Fiddler, who did not play in the Predators' first-round series sweep against the Blackhawks.

"He's a veteran guy so he's been in these situations before and he stepped up and got us a big goal," Subban said. "That was the toughest game of the season for us and they fought so hard and had so many chances, but we found a way to get it done."

Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves.

Game 2 is Friday night (see full recap).

2016-17 Flyers evaluation: Part 2 of the forwards

2016-17 Flyers evaluation: Part 2 of the forwards

We conclude our series reviewing the Flyers' 2016-17 roster with the second part of evaluating the forwards. You can find Part 1 here, as well the goaltending here and defensemen here.

Matt Read
Age: Turns 31 on June 14
Stats: 63 GP; 10G, 9A, 19 Pts.; plus-3; 13:46
Cap hit: $3.625 million

No Flyers forward has been more disappointing than Read during his six seasons here. Signed out of college, he scored 24 goals and had 47 points his first season and hasn't come close to matching those numbers again. Read broke his right forearm late in the season and missed the final five games. He missed 11 games earlier in the season with an oblique injury. He has averaged fewer than 10 goals over the past three seasons, which doesn't cut it with his salary. Will undoubtedly be exposed in the expansion draft.

Brayden Schenn
Age: Turns 26 on Aug. 22
Stats: 79 GP; 25G, 30A, 55 Pts.; minus-13; 17:48
Cap hit: $5.125 million

Often criticized for not fitting in or not delivering enough offensively, Schenn has demonstrated continued improvement every season as a Flyer. He was four points under last season's point total, yet among all forwards except Wayne Simmonds, he was the closest Flyer to having a season as good or better than his previous season. Tied for the NHL lead in power-play goals (17). Has a long way to go at 5-on-5 in terms of goal production. After years of being tried at various positions under three head coaches, it appears the organization has finally settled on Schenn as a winger, not center. And like so many others on this team, coach Dave Hakstol used him all over the lineup. If GM Ron Hextall decides to break up his core this summer, Schenn offers the most possibilities for a trade given his offensive output at a young age.

Wayne Simmonds
Age: Turns 29 on Aug. 26
Stats: 82 GP; 31G, 23A, 54 Pts.; minus-18; 18:58
Cap hit: $3.975 million

Led the Flyers in goal scoring for the fourth consecutive season and was right behind Schenn in power-play goals with 16. Simmonds was unquestionably the club's MVP this season and many feel he should be wearing the "C," because he's often the guy on the ice intervening with the officials. He offers the most bang for your buck on the Flyers. By his own admission, Simmonds is the "bad" cop to Claude Giroux's "good" cop. He plays a hard, power forward game despite his skinny legs. If he were an NBA player, he'd be a shooting guard. Simmonds wears his heart on his jersey and sometimes avoided the media this season after games because he was fearful of saying something he would later regret. Every Flyers club has had at least one player who defines orange and black and Simmonds is this team's rep. Was very effective on Valtteri Filppula's line with Jordan Weal this season. Like Giroux, however, Simmonds can't afford to be a minus player next season.

Chris VandeVelde
Age: Turned 30 on March 15
Stats: 81 GP; 6G, 9A, 15 Pts.; minus-5; 11:33
Cap hit: UFA who earned $712,500

For whatever reason, VandeVelde was totally immune from being benched by Hakstol this past season while others suffered at the drop of a puck. It wasn't until the very last game that Hakstol sat him. The fact is, VandeVelde tended toward disappearing in many games this season and his overall effectiveness with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on the penalty kill was muted because he simply didn't generate shorthanded chances like he had done in the past. Although he tied his career high with the Flyers in terms of points, it's unlikely the club re-signs him. The Flyers have too many grinders and need scoring at this point with others waiting in line. 

Jakub Voracek
Age: Turns 28 on Aug. 15
Stats: 82 GP; 20G, 41A, 61 Pts.; minus-24; 19:05 
Cap hit: $8.25 million

The only number fans are going to remember from Voracek's lost season is "minus-24." That was worst on the Flyers. Since signing that gargantuan, eight-year, $66 million contract in 2015, the Czech winger has had two poor seasons in succession. Everyone -- himself included -- assumed a bounce-back year this past season, and while Voracek had 20 goals and more points -- five more than 2015-16 -- he remained well short of what he should have provided for his salary. This truly was a season in which the Flyers' big guns -- Simmonds and Schenn being the exceptions -- came up fairly lame. Even more distressing, however, was Voracek's being bounced off the second power-play unit, and not finding a set line. Truth is, his best production came with Michael Raffl and Giroux -- 24 points. He had six goals playing right wing on Giroux's line and six playing there on Sean Couturier's line. Hakstol needs to find Voracek a permanent line.

Jordan Weal
Age: Turned 26 April 15
Stats: 23 GP; 8G, 4A, 12 Pts.; plus-4; 14:18 
Cap hit: UFA who earned $650,000

Weal was more or less a "throw-in" as part of the Luke Schenn-Vinny Lecavalier deal with L.A. in January 2016. He got his chance this season when Travis Konecny suffered his knee and ankle injury in February against St. Louis. The Flyers discovered that Weal can play. And play above his size, with grit and skill, and an attitude that resembles a pit bull gnarling on a puck. Weal could get a contract close to or right at $2 million from someone this summer if he elects free agency. Hextall says he wants to re-sign Weal but isn't sure when. Weal can't be exposed because he's a free agent. Yet under the expansion draft rules, Vegas will have a 48-hour window prior to the expansion draft to sign free agents. Weal would be a perfect player for Vegas GM George McPhee to sign and grow with an expansion club. If Hextall signs him before that window opens, he will have to protect Weal on June 21. If he waits, he is potentially competing with a lot of clubs. Filppula's line with him and Simmonds was very good in the second half. Hextall has no choice but to re-sign this kid. The Flyers are already lacking in the skill/creativeness department and Weal provides both. 

Dale Weise
Age: Turns 29 on Aug. 5
Stats: 64 GP; 8G, 7A, 15 Pts.; plus-1; 12:52 
Cap hit: $2.35 million

Essentially, Weise was signed last summer to replace Ryan White. Things began poorly for him -- a three-game suspension and no goals through the club's first 20 games. His game never picked up until late in the second half when Hextall admitted he was disappointed in the production he had gotten from him. That's when Weise came alive -- after sitting six straight games -- with some excellent play on Couturier's line with Schenn. Weise scored six goals with four assists (10 points) over his final 14 games. He was vocal and noticeably moody much of the second half because of his benchings (twice for multiple games) and lack of production. It didn't seem to have an impact in the room. The Flyers need more from him next season. Will be exposed in the expansion draft.