Wayne Simmonds had a pretty good game in Nashville a few weeks back. It must be something about the Predators because he followed that up with a dominant performance tonight to turn the game in favor of the Flyers this time.
Simmonds now has four points, three goals and an assist, against the Preds but points to his linemates for the success tonight.
"I don't know, I guess I like playing against them," said Simmonds. "I've played well against them. Our line tonight did really well and the same goes for the last game as well."
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette certainly likes the line, but also sees Simmonds' strong play coming through and producing results.
“His confidence seems to be growing," said Laviolette. "Right now he's a very difficult person to get the puck from. He hangs on to that puck and he's able to make plays. I think he's got a lot of confidence. He's playing extremely well for us right now.”
Wayne Simmonds recorded a career-high 10 shots tonight and posted his second two-goal game of the season, a feat he hadn't accomplished prior to joining the Flyers. Brayden Schenn, who now has points in three straight games (2G-1A) after assist on Simmonds' first goal, agrees.
"Tonight I thought me, Simmer, and Reader generated some chances and I thought Simmer had a good night.”
Matt Read’s goal made this the 13th out of the team’s last 15 games in which a rookie has scored a goal, including 10 of the last 11.
Claude Giroux was 11-for-18 (61 percent) in the faceoff circle. He has been 50 percent or better in 10 of his last 11 games.
Giroux’s two-point night pulls him within two points of Evgeni Malkin for the league lead in scoring.
The Flyers now have a power play goal in five consecutive games. They are 8-for-20 (40 percent) in that span. The unit is 16-for-66 (24.2 percent) in the last 17 games.
The Flyers outhit the Predators 30-19 on the night. Brayden Schenn led the Flyers with five hits.
Simmonds kicked things off for the Flyers by making a great play in the slot, shielding the defender, spinning around and getting off a shot that got past the screened Anders Lindback to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The goal was his 14th of the season, which tied his output of all last year. He would break that mark just two periods later when he gave the Flyers that extra cushion of a lead by recording a power-play goal with under five minutes left to play in regulation.
"We had a good cycle shift going. Schenner threw the puck down to me and I just stepped to the middle and looked at the net. Reno (Rinaldo) had the goalie screened so I just turned and tried to fire the puck and hoped that it would go in. The goalie didn't see a thing. Reno did a great job." -Wayne Simmonds
"It was going back-and-forth. I like the way that we played the game, it seemed like we had lots of chances to score, yet the game was tight. So they get one and come back after that. I thought was really important for us." - Peter Laviolette
Tonight's turning point came on an important penalty kill just past the midway point of the third period.
The Predators had hung around and even got to within one goal off a very pretty play by rookie Craig Smith to pinching defenseman Ryan Suter.
Minutes later the Flyers would find themselves on the penalty kill and a strong possibility that the game would soon be tied. After all, the Predators were just coming off a game in which they scored four unanswered goals in the third period to earn a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Flyers wouldn't let that happen tonight. They killed off the penalty, earned a power-play of their own and put the game to bed with a goal from Wayne Simmonds.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Net cam view of Wayne Simmonds scoring his second goal of the night.
Flyers 4, Predators 1 Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Wayne Simmonds is outplaying the former captain traded away for him.
Simmonds scored two goals, Matt Read and Claude Giroux also had goals, and the Philadelphia Flyers snapped Nashville's five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory over the Predators on Thursday night.