Saturday, February 13, 2016

PK keys Flyers' comeback

DETROIT _ The continued excellence of Sean Couturier’s line paved the way for the Flyers’ 6-3 comeback win in Detroit on Wednesday night.

PK keys Flyers' comeback

Red Wings center Darren Helm is held by Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. (Paul Sancya/AP)
Red Wings center Darren Helm is held by Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. (Paul Sancya/AP)
HIGHLIGHTS: Flyers Rally Past Red Wings Video: HIGHLIGHTS: Flyers Rally Past Red Wings

DETROIT _ The continued excellence of Sean Couturier’s line paved the way for the Flyers’ 6-3 comeback win in Detroit on Wednesday night.

But give an assist to the team’s penalty-killing units.

Detroit was given seven power plays _ five in the second period _ and it managed to score just once, converting a five-on-three.

The Flyers, on the other hand, were 3 for 3 on the power play, and it triggered just their second win in Detroit since 1988.

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“I wasn’t even born back then,” cracked Couturier, who turns 21 on Saturday. “I didn’t really know that (stat). I don’t think we really thought about that. We just wanted to play our game, come out strong and play a 60-minute game.”

The PK units steadied the Flyers after an undisciplined second period. Kimmo Timonen (9:01) and Braydon Coburn (7:38) were the defensemen who logged most of the PK time, while Adam Hall (6:08), Couturier (5:59) and Matt Read (5:37) led the forwards. 

In the last four games, the Flyers have killed 19 of 20 penalties.

The Flyers got a goal from Read to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 3:22 left in the second period.

“It was actually real positive,” goalie Steve Mason said of the Flyers’ mood in the locker room heading into the final period. “We got a big goal by Reader to have this game within reach. We knew we set ourselves back in the second period with all the penalties we took, and realized if we just come back in the third period with a strong effort, we could be rewarded for it _ and we definitely were.”

Couturier has four goals over his last four games.

“I’ve said a few weeks ago that I thought Coots was one of our best players, and he continues to be,” Mason said. “Their line is working hard in the corners and really taking it to teams’ top lines, shutting them down, and right now they’ve definitely carried us through what could have been a tough stretch. They’re doing all they can to keep us afloat.”

The Flyers (13-13-2) are 2-1 on the six-game road trip that continues Saturday afternoon in Dallas, and they have moved into a virtual tie for third place in the Metro Division.

Quite an accomplishment when you consider their 1-7 start.

Breakout line. In their last 10 games, Couturier (5 goals, 5 assists), Read (5-3) and Steve Downie (1-6) have combined for 25 points (10 goals, 14 assists). Read is now tied with the injured Vinny Lecavalier for the team lead with nine goals.

Passing Homer. Claude Giroux’s goal was his 310th career point as a Flyer, moving him past Paul Holmgren for 25th on the franchise’s all-time list.

Turnaround. The Flyers had been 1-4 and had scored a total of six goals in the five games Lecavalier had missed _ until erupting for a season-high six goals Wednesday.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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