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POSTGAME 5: Five's Wild

Flyers take 3-1 win at Minnesota to extend winning streak over Wild to five straight games

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

1. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

After surrendering the first goal early, the Flyers scored the next two and hung on the rest of the way, eventually scoring an empty-netter, for a 3-1 win over the Wild on Thursday.

The Wild jumped out to an early lead, scoring 2:07 into the first as Steve Mason mishandled a bouncing puck and Zach Parise was in the right place to knock it in. Sean Couturier countered with a goal between the legs of Devan Dubnyk with just over two minutes to play sending the teams in the locker room with a 1-1 tie after 20.

Matt Read kept the Flyers momentum going by scoring in his second straight game, just 21 seconds into the period to give the Flyers a one-goal lead. The Flyers shut down the Wild for the rest of the period, including the NHL's best power play on home ice.

The Flyers held the Wild to just four shots in the third period, which included a minute's worth of power-play time, while Jakub Voracek scored an empty net goal to seal the win.

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OTF: Manning returns, Mason back in

News, Notes & Quotes from the morning skate in Minnesota.

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

A light optional skate this morning at XCel Energy Center gave way to some lineup news for tonight's game.

The first of which was that defenseman Brandon Manning will re-enter the lineup after missing the last five games. Manning has 10 points (3g-7a) on the blueline this year while averaging 17:50 of ice time. 

"I'm feeling good. Feeling strong and I did some contact a few days ago so I'm not even thinking about that," said Manning on recovering from his upper-body injury.

Manning is also third on the team's defense in hits at 105, despite missing 15 games this season. He will be paired alongside Radko Gudas, who leads the team, and ranks third overall in the NHL, averaging 4.2 hits per-game. 

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5 THINGS: Flyers vs. Wild

The Flyers and the Wild face off tonight 8PM, at the Xcel Energy Center.

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

GAME NOTES

WILD CARD TRACKER

  1. NYR: 94 pts, 8 games remaining

  2. BOS: 82 pts, 9 games remaining

  - - - - - 

  3. NYI: 80 pts, 10 games remaining

  4. TBL: 77 pts, 10 games remaining

  5. CAR: 75 pts, 11 games remaining

  6. PHI: 74 pts, 10 games remaining

  7. FLA: 73 pts, 10 games remaining 

 

1. FAREWELL TO THE WEST

Tonight is the final game against the Western Conference for the Flyers, who own a 13-10-4 mark, as well as a 7-5-1 record against the Central Division… Last season, the Flyers posted a similar record against the West, going 14-11-3, but owned an 11-3-0 mark against the Central… This season against Western Conference opponents, Claude Giroux leads the team in assists (2g-19a), Wayne Simmonds leads in goals (15g-7a) and Jakub Voracek leads in overall points (6g-18a, 24pts).

 

2. A WILD MARCH

After going 41-14-6 through the first five months of the season, the Wild have stumbled in the month of March, going 3-8-0, and have dropped five of their last six games… On a per-game basis, the Wild averaged 3.33 goals-for and 2.33 goals-allowed from Oct-Feb, compared to 2.36 goals scored and 3.00 goals allowed in March thus far… Despite the fall, the Wild continue to rank second in the Western Conference and tied for fifth in the NHL standings with 94 points… The Wild also come into tonight's game looking to clinch a playoff berth with their magic number to clinch being two points.

 

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Practice Update: The Minnesota Shuffle

Wednesday's full team practice in Minnesota saw changes up and down the lineup

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

A full practice in between games saw a shuffle of lines by Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol on Wednesday at XCel Energy Center in Minnesota.

One of the biggest saw a pair of wingers bumped up to play alongside Claude Giroux - Matt Read and Jakub Voracek. Jordan Weal and Wayne Simmonds move on a line with Valtteri Filppula anchoring the second line, while Travis Konecny took rushes on the right side with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde.

"It's looking at different things coming off a road performance from yesterday," said Hakstol of the changes. "The lineup we had Tuesday, we played an excellent game at home two nights before and we're just looking at a way to inject a little bit more into our lineup for a real tough road game here tomorrow night."

TOP GUNS REUNITED?
The move, if implemented for Thursday night's game at Minnesota, sees a reunion of Voracek and Giroux, who have been a successful pair before, and are the top two leading scorers on the team with 55 points and 53 points respectively.

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Flyers Sign D Mark Friedman to Entry Level Contract

Flyers drafted Friedman 3rd round, 86th overall in 2014 NHL Draft

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

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed defenseman Mark Friedman, the club's 2014 third round draft pick (86th overall), to an entry-level contract for the 2017-18 season, according to GM Ron Hextall.

Additionally, Friedman will report to the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

Friedman spent the last three seasons in the NCAA at Bowling Green State University of the WCHA. Below are some news & notes:

MARK FRIEDMAN (FREED-man)

POSITION: Defense

DRAFTED: 3rd Round, 86th overall (2014)

TEAM/LEAGUE: Bowling Green State University (NCAA: WCHA)

AGE: 21 (12-25-1995)

BORN: Toronto, Ontario

VITALS: 5'11", 185 pounds

 

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5 THINGS: Flyers vs. Jets

The Flyers and the Jets face off tonight 8PM, at the MTS Centre.

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

GAME NOTES

WILD CARD TRACKER

  1. NYR: 93 pts, 10 games remaining

  2. TOR: 81 pts, 11 games remaining

  - - - - - 

  3. NYI: 78 pts, 11 games remaining

  4. TBL: 77 pts, 11 games remaining

  5. PHI: 74 pts, 11 games remaining

  6. CAR: 73 pts, 12 games remaining

  7. FLA: 73 pts, 11 games remaining 

 

1. ON THE ROAD AGAIN

The Flyers hit the road for a seven day, four-game road trip… They also play their sixth road game in a span of playing nine road games in a 12-game stretch to the end of this trip… The Flyers have won two of their last three games, but are hoping to snap a three-game losing skid on the road… Winnipeg has played seven of its last nine games on home ice, dropping three of their last four at MTS Centre… Despite the losses, Winnipeg has scored at least four goals in each of their last three games and have won two straight overall - they are looking for just their second three-game win streak of the season.

 

2. LUCKY #7

The Flyers are looking for their seventh straight win against the Jets, coming into tonight's game on a six-game win streak where they have outscored Winnipeg, 22-10… In addition to the six-game streak, the Flyers have earned points in 11 out of their last 12 games, going 9-1-2… When they last met, the Flyers earned a 5-2 win on Nov. 17 in a game where five different players recorded goals and 12 different Flyers recorded at least a point, led by Radko Gudas with two assists.

 

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Phantoms Profile: Sanheim rounding out his game

2014 First Round draft pick gaining valuable experience in a winning environment

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Even before Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman Travis Sanheim skated the initial shift of his first full season of pro hockey, there was no doubt over whether he possessed NHL-caliber skating prowess, raw size and ability to generate (whether by distributing or finishing) scoring chances by joining the rush.

If those were the only traits it took for a player to be ready for the NHL, the organization's 2014 first-round pick perhaps even could have fast-tracked to the Flyers in the same fashion as 2015 first-rounder Ivan Prorovov. Where Provorov had an edge on Sanheim in their respective levels of development was in terms of the maturity of their overall games; physical play, refinement of positional play without the puck, the pace and accuracy of decision making on defensive coverage reads and offensive zone pinches. 

Provorov's maturity in these latter areas was (and remains) rare for a player his age.

It was not that Sanheim was a one-dimensional player. Indeed, from the time he was drafted, the Flyers have strongly believed that he had shown distinct potential to become a complete defenseman who is an asset in all three zones. A fast-riser whose stock took off in meteoric fashion in the second half of his draft-eligible season and his first season thereafter, Sanheim's potential was to become one of those rare 5-S (Speed, Skill, Size, Strength, and Sense) players that NHL teams long to find at any position but especially on the blueline.

As Sanheim's 6-foot-4 frame has filled out to north of the 200-pound mark - with room to perhaps add even a little bit more muscle - the size and strength part of the equation have started to round into place along with his skills. The remaining pieces of the puzzle before becoming NHL-ready: learning to use his size to his advantage in the physical game and continuing to refine his two-way play.

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GREENBERG: The best of the week

A look at the best goals, plays and moments from this past Flyers week

by Jay Greenberg @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Shots - Travis Konecny circled off the left boards to just below the right faceoff dot and buried the puck under the crossbar on Sergei Bobrovsky's short side to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead on Columbus. Ivan Provorov did much the same on Cam Ward to open the scoring against Carolina.

Passes - Brayden Schenn backhanded one from along the sidewall over two lines to spring Claude Giroux into the Devils zone to set up the opening score in Newark.

Schenn also pinpointed one from the corner thorough traffic to Dale Weise, whose tip on goal was put back by Sean Couturier for the first score of the 4-0 win over the Penguins.

Play - By Giroux. Set up as above by Schenn, the captain beat a flatfooted Jon Merrill and backhanded a pass to Jake Voracek, who hit a wide-open Michael Del Zotto coming up the slot. It's rare to see that much open space created at even strength anymore.

Flyer - Schenn. Set up the two aforementioned goals with impressive passes, scored on a power play one-timer rocket against Columbus, and had the overtime winner to defeat the Hurricanes. That would make him the Player of Any Week.

Video: CAR@PHI: Schenn cleans up loose puck for OT winner

Hustle Plays - Both on forechecks by Couturier, outracing the Penguins' Justin Schultz and the Hurricanes' Jordan Staal to reach dump ins and start plays that led to goals. 

Play at the Blueline - Provorov made a skate save of a Penguins' hard-around to feed Shayne Gostisbehere, whose rebound was converted by Wayne Simmonds.

Leap - By Simmonds to get out of the way of Gostisbehere's point drive, before stashing the rebound for the 200th goal of No. 17's career.

Video: PIT@PHI: Simmonds buries rebound for 200th NHL goal

Power Move - By Couturier to the net in overtime against the Hurricanes to enable Schenn to put in the winner.

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POSTGAME 5: Better late than never

Flyers storm back in final seconds, win 4-3 in overtime over Hurricanes

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

1. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Travis Konecny tied it with 43 seconds left in regulation, then Sean Couturierrushed up the ice and Brayden Schenn putt the finishing touch on the rebound to give the Flyers a much needed two points and 4-3 overtime victory against the Hurricanes on Sunday night.

The Flyers outshot the Hurricanes 15 to 4 in the opening frame and finally got on the board in the final minute as Ivan Provorov blasted a shot over the shoulder of Cam Ward to take a 1-0 lead into the lockeroom.

The second period saw the Flyers extend their lead, but the Hurricanes battled back to tie it, 2-2, heading into the third period, where Jordan Staal capitalized on a power play to give the Canes their third straight goal and take the lead.

After Konecny's goal sent the game to overtime, the Flyers took advantage off an end-to-end rush by Couturier, who went around Teuvo Teravainen but was stopped by Ward. Trailing just behind, Schenn stormed in and cleaned up the rebound to give the Flyers their seventh victory in overtime this season.

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Game Story: Flyers Alumni 8, Pens Alumni 6

Second alumni game showdown supports good cause in Reading

by Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

While the competitive instincts of old rivals never die, the primary reason why the Philadelphia Flyers Alumni and Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni teams organized a rematch of their 50th Anniversary Game was not to settle up the 3-3 tie played at the Wells Fargo Center on January 14. Rather, the reason the two squads - with some of the same players, and some new but familiar faces in the lineups - faced off at Santander Arena in Reading, PA on March 18 was to raise even more funds for worthy causes.

The Flyers Alumni Team won, 8-6. More important, all proceeds from the rematch game went to Reading Royal Charities, which serves the local community, and toward the Flyers Alumni Association making good on its pledge to donate $2 million to the construction of the Ed Snider/ Flyers Alumni Hockey Rink to be operated by the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation in the Philadelphia area.

"These games are always fun for us, getting together, but they are also for a good cause," said Eric Lindros, who served as the Flyers captain in the rematch game. "I was happy to participate."

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