Flyers say brawl has united team

(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Several Flyers said their brawl in a blowout loss against Washington on Friday has unified the team and served as a much-needed spark and rallying cry.

The Flyers received lots of negative national coverage for the four simultaneously fights - one in which Ray Emery pummeled the opposing goalie, Washington's Braden Holtby, who didn't want to participate. The fights occurred eight seconds after visiting Washington took a 7-0 third-period lead.

Left winger Scott Hartnell said the team "fed off" the brawl and it carried into Saturday's 1-0 win in New Jersey, a game in which the Flyers (4-9) allowed just 14 shots and had no turnovers.

"Obviously, fighting is part of the game. It's been a while since you see three or four fights in one stoppage and a goalie going down and attacking another team's goalie," Hartnell said after Monday's practice in Voorhees. "People are all over Razor [Emery] for doing that.

"But look what he did. He played solid for us and got us a shutout. We were excited. Even though the crowd booed us the whole game, it felt like a win after that little scrum. We love it, fans love it here in Philly. It's part of our heritage. We definitely fed off it. We got to keep doing it. We can't win one and lose two every time. It's got to continue."

"You can definitely build from that. It's team bonding," forward Vinny Lecavalier said of the carryover effect from the brawl. "You see your teammates going at it and they played a great game that next game and did other things to play as a team. Hopefully, it will snowball and we'll start a streak here and get going."

Lecavalier suffered facial injuries - believed to his mouth - while fighting the Caps' Steve Oleksy on Friday and did not play Saturday. He will return to the lineup Tuesday in Carolina wearing a half shield, half cage. The Flyers will face a 4-7-3 Carolina team that has lost five straight - and has won just one of seven home games (1-3-3) this season, with the lone victory a 2-1 decision over the Flyers.

Coach Craig Berube is expected to keep Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros as a defensive pair for the second straight game, which would make Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson healthy scratches.

"Anytime a team sticks together and does things like that - and cares about each other - good things happen after that," Berube said. "[But] we definitely have to play more consistent, better hockey to get on a roll."

Breakaways. Emery was at the White House Monday with his former team, the Blackhawks, who were honored for winning the Stanley Cup.....Steve Mason is expected to return to the nets Tuesday, though Berube said he was undecided.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.