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game recap

Elliott makes 16 saves, Flyers defeat Red Wings

Philadelphia 6-1-1 in past eight; Detroit shut out for second straight game

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Elliott shuts out Red Wings

PHI@DET: Elliott earns second shutout of season

Brian Elliott stopped all 16 of the shots he faced against the Red Wings, collecting his second shutout of the season

  • 01:58 •

DETROIT -- Brian Elliott made 16 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 3-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Monday.

It was Elliott's second shutout of the season and 40th of his NHL career.

"Brian didn't have a lot of saves to make, but he had some tough ones and he made them all," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I thought the guys in front of him also played a really good game."

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Red Wings highlights]

 

Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes and Matt Niskanen scored for Philadelphia (29-17-7), which is 6-1-1 in its past eight games.

The win moved the Flyers into the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Islanders.

"When we were out in California [at the end of December], I thought we were chasing too many games," Laughton said. "Right now, we're doing what we need to do and finding ways to get two points. We need every point we can, because everyone is going to be fighting down the stretch."

Detroit (12-38-4) was shut out at home for a second straight game and is 0-8-1 in its past nine. Jonathan Bernier made 28 saves.

"I just focus on my own job, but this isn't an easy situation," said Bernier, who has a .939 save percentage in his past 10 games. "Two games with no goals, and today (Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula) has an empty net and hits the guy's skate. I can't think about having to keep out every goal for us to have the chance. I just have to play shot by shot."

Video: PHI@DET: Laughton fires wrist shot by Bernier

The Red Wings have three losing streaks this season of at least eight games.

"We weren't good tonight," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "Some teams can play at 90 percent and some can even play at 85 percent and win, but we have to understand that if we're not close to 100 percent, we're not good enough."

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead at 9:31 of the second period when Michael Raffl forced a turnover and set up Laughton for his ninth goal. He has scored in three straight games.

"I don't think any of those three shots have left the ice, but I'll take them," Laughton said. "I'm just trying to find positions where I can make a play."

The Flyers made it 2-0 when Hayes intercepted a pass and scored his fourth shorthanded goal of the season at 2:47 of the third period.

Video: PHI@DET: Hayes buries breakaway shot for SHG

Flyers center Tyler Pitlick preserved the shutout with 12:23 remaining when he made a skate save against Filppula while Elliott was caught out of position.

"This shutout probably has an asterisk next to it," Elliott said. "I wasn't even sure who stopped it; there was a mad scramble in front and I was just trying to play the guy who went around me. That's how this team is playing right now. Guys are doing all the little things."

Niskanen scored a shorthanded empty-net goal at 17:43 for the 3-0 final.

"I think we got to a point where we knew what we were doing was unacceptable if we wanted to make the playoffs," Hayes said. "We've harped on getting off to a good start, and that's what we did tonight."

Philadelphia outshot Detroit 10-5 in the third period.

"I told our guys to press more in the third, but I thought we undershot things again tonight," Blashill said. "[Elliott] is a very good goalie in this league, but we needed to make him make saves and create some rebounds."

Video: Elliott records Monday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

 

They said it

"I don't think you can ever downplay games like this, no matter who you are playing. The race is so tight that you can't take a team lightly and lose points. We know we're going to have to be ready for every game down the stretch because we're going to need every point we can get." -- Flyers forward Scott Laughton

"For a multitude of reasons, we're asking a lot of young players to play higher up the lineup than the spots they need to be in right now, and that's tough. Maybe some of our guys are ready for their spots, but a lot of them are playing above their spot and when you do that, you can't afford to slip the littlest bit. It's sink or swim every night." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill

 

Need to know

Philadelphia is 9-0-2 against Detroit since the start of the 2016-17 season. … Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou had one shot on goal and was minus-3 in 16:42 of ice time after missing 16 games with an lower-body injury. … The 16 shots on goal were the fewest by Detroit this season.

 

What's next

Flyers: Host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Video: Hayes, Elliott lead Flyers to 3-0 win over Red Wings

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