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POSTGAME 5: Off Like A Rocket

Five-goal first period powers Flyers to 6-3 win

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Video: Highlights and players speak after win over NYI

1. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

The Flyers had their best start in 5 ½ years, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and taking an eventual 6-3 win over the New York Islanders.

Philadelphia manufactured a 4-0 lead in less than 10 minutes, all at even-strength. The line of Dale Weise, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn was involved in the first three goals - Weise scored the first one 4:30 into the game, followed by a goal from Couturier 1:19 later. Brayden Schenn assisted on both tallies.

Radko Gudas made it 3-0 at the 8:06 mark off assists from Couturier and Schenn, giving Couturier a three-point game just over eight minutes into the night. The goal withstood a coaches challenge for goaltender interference, and Thomas Greiss's night ended very early as he was replaced by Jaroslav Halak.

Jordan Weal gave the Flyers a 4-0 lead with his seventh of the year at the 9:19 mark. The Flyers added one more with 4:18 to play, picking up a power play goal on a Shayne Gostisbehere shot that hit Wayne Simmonds square in the knee before bouncing off an Islanders defenseman and in.

The Islanders crawled back as much as they could, picking up their first goal from Cal Clutterbuck 3:14 into the second period as part of a 22-3 shot advantage in the frame, but it was the only goal that Steve Mason let in during that onslaught. New York added two more in the third, but Valtteri Filppula finished things off with an empty-netter with 1:41 to play. 

Mason ended up with 38 saves in the win. Greiss took a no-decision after allowing three goals on eight shots in the first 8:06, and Halak ended up absorbing the loss despite stopping 19 of 21 over 51:01 of action.

2. TURNING POINT

When Radko Gudas made it 3-0 just 8:06 into the game, it turned a simply fortunate start for the Flyers into a figurative flood. The goal gave Sean Couturier three assists in just over eight minutes of play and ended the evening of Thomas Greiss. The Flyers added two more in the period, and then Steve Mason was able to carry them through the final 40 minutes.

3. THREE STARS

1 - Sean Couturier: recorded his first career game of three points in a single period, setting up the first and third goals and scoring the second. Couturier ended up a plus-3 and went 8-for 17 on faceoffs.

2 - Wayne Simmonds: Reached 30 goals for the second consecutive season and recorded his fourth career Gordie Howe hat trick, taking care of it all in the first period. Simmonds is now tied with Brayden Schenn with 16 PPG, third-most in the league.

3 - Dale Weise: Recorded his second career Gordie Howe hat trick and the fastest one in Flyers history, accomplishing the feat in 8:28. Weise now has four goals in his last seven games.

Honorable Mention: Michael Del Zotto had a career-high 11 hits, marking the most for a Flyer in a single game in exactly four years since Zac Rinaldo had 12 on March 30, 2013 vs. Boston.

4. STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

The game featured several other firsts & fastests, according to the Elias Sports Bureau and Flyershistory.net, including the following:

  • Fastest Gordie Howe Hat Trick in any NHL game since November 27, 1985 when Kevin Dineen recorded one in 7:32 for Hartford
  • First occasion in team history for two Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in one period (Weise, Simmonds)
  • Third occasion in team history for two Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in one game (others: 1/9/1972 (Clarke, Dornhoefer); 1/5/1985 (Carson, Tocchet… Tocchet's in that game was previous Flyers fastest at 11:02)
  • First five-goal first period for the Flyers since November 5, 2011 vs. Columbus (9-2 W)
  • First five-goal period overall since 1/12/15 vs. TBL (five goals in second period)
  • Last time the Flyers scored four goals in 4:49 or less within one period was Nov. 29, 1998 vs. VAN (4 goals in 4:33 in third period)

5. THEY SAID IT

"You know Flyers fans enjoy that. The first period was exactly how we wanted to play. Coots' line did a lot of good things tonight. I can't say enough about what they did. They were dominant tonight." -Flyers captain Claude Giroux

"It's old time hockey. At the end of the day, it's about getting the two points. I stood here two nights ago and decided it's all about the next two points. Not many hockey games follow the pathway that this one did, but like I said, the most important thing is that we were absolutely ready to start this hockey game. We were hungry and the players did an outstanding job. Like I said, from there, the end result is a really good win and an important two points." -Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol

Video: Hear from coach Hakstol following win over NYI

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