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Flyers wrap up 2013 by dousing Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Philadelphia Flyers might be sorry to see the calendar flip from 2013 to 2014.

The Flyers closed out the month of December -- and their year -- with their fourth straight victory by beating the Calgary Flames 4-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

"It's a good stretch," goaltender Ray Emery said. "It's a good way to end the calendar year, especially after the way we started the season. To be where we're at starting the New Year, I think we'll take it."

Emery stopped 23 shots and Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists as the Flyers closed 2013 by completing a three-game sweep through Western Canada for the first time since 1996 on the first half of a six-game trip.

"A couple big efforts," said Emery, whose Flyers are 7-1-1-1 in their past 10 New Year's Eve games. "Coming back in Edmonton and shootout wins, [Steve] Mason has a great one in Vancouver and then back-to-back against these guys, it's a tough place to come into. It's a great way to end the year off."

The Flames are 0-3-0 since the Christmas break despite giving up just eight goals -- mostly because they've scored only once in that span. It's a point of concern for captain Mark Giordano.

"I think we're playing well but we're not scoring goals and we have to find a way just to get some," Giordano said. "All of us, myself included, we're not finishing. We're getting some pretty good looks and it's not going in for whatever reason."

It did for Schenn, who broke a 1-1 tie with just 1:29 remaining in the second period. After Andrej Meszaros whiffed on his point shot, Schenn corralled the loose puck and blasted a shot past the blocker of Reto Berra for the eventual game-winner, his ninth of the season and second in as many games after going scoreless in 16 straight.

"I guess that happens to most guys," Schenn said. "They go through slumps and they get a little shot of confidence. Tonight, as a line, as a team, as a whole we worked hard and at times there we were obviously playing in our own end a bit, but that's two games in two nights. It was good to come out on top."

Schenn's goal came after Sean Monahan tied the game 1-1 at 14:30. It was Calgary's first goal in 159:35 after being shut out in back-to-back games on home ice after the Christmas break.

Paul Byron knocked down Vincent Lecavalier's neutral zone pass and sprung Monahan in 2-on-1 with Lee Stempniak. Monahan ripped a shot over Emery's glove for his 11th of the season and first in seven games to pull Calgary even.

"Putting the puck in the net gives you confidence and it's big for me to put the puck in the net, and that helps the team, but at the end of the day I want to win games," Monahan said.

Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers some breathing room at the midway mark of the third, deflecting Luke Schenn's point shot behind Berra to make it 3-1. Braydon Coburn slung the puck the length of the ice into an empty net with 1:56 remaining for a shorthanded goal after Sean Couturier won a faceoff in his own zone to finish the Flames.

The Flyers, riding the momentum of back-to-back shootout wins in Edmonton and Vancouver to start their six-game road trip, struck early. Mark Streit opened the scoring for a second straight game, firing a seeing-eye wrist shot through a screen in front that beat an unsuspecting Berra at 3:15 to put Philadelphia up 1-0.

He thought he had another near the midway mark of the period. On a seemingly identical play, Streit fired through traffic in front and beat Berra but struck the post. Schenn did sneak another over the goal line, but it was waived off after Hartnell impeded Berra in the crease.

The Flames didn't give Berra any support after 20 minutes, extending their scoring drought to seven periods plus a five-minute overtime. But it wasn't from a lack of chances.

Monahan knocked a blocked shot out of midair and launched it on the Flyers goaltender six minutes in, but Emery managed to get his body in front of it. He did the same on Mike Cammalleri's deflection with 5:19 remaining. At 19:52, he trapped David Jones' snap shot off the rush to temporarily extend Calgary's scoring woes.

The first wasn't all good news for the Flyers, though; they lost Matt Read after just seven shifts with an upper-body injury. The team didn't have an update on Read's status after the game.

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