Wayne Simmonds leads Flyers to rare romp

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Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Mason, left, and Wayne Simmonds celebrate after an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 4-0.

Jake Voracek said it was the first time in his nine-year career he was booed for scoring a goal.

"And hopefully the last," the good-natured right winger said.

Voracek and his Flyers teammates were smiling for the first time in a while Tuesday night. They had broken out of a long scoring slump and hammered the woeful Colorado Avalanche, 4-0, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Wayne Simmonds deposited two goals, Claude Giroux had two assists, and goalie Steve Mason (33 saves) was flawless as the Flyers notched just their third win in the last 10 games.

The Flyers recorded their most lopsided win of the season and scored more than three goals for the first time in their last 18 games. They moved to within four points of the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot, pending the results of Toronto's contest at San Jose late Tuesday.

"It's definitely a good step, but I think the biggest thing for us is not to get too high on one win," Mason said. "There's a lot of work to be done."

"The guys have been working hard as a team lately, and we haven't had the result and it's been frustrating," Giroux said after his first multi-point game since Jan. 14. "The mood is a little better now that we have a win, so let's keep 'er going."

Voracek was booed because he was credited with the game's third goal - after hundreds of hats were thrown onto the ice, celebrating Simmonds' apparent natural hat trick, scored in the first 10 minutes, 35 seconds.

"I hope some fans won't throw rocks at my car," Voracek kidded.

Simmonds was on the doorstep, and with the naked eye, it appeared he had tapped in Voracek's pass. But it turned out the pass deflected off the stick of Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin just before Simmonds took a swipe at it.

"Guys, sorry about the hats," Voracek said in an interview after the first period that was piped into the arena. "We'll keep feeding Simmer."

The Flyers scored three first-period goals for the first time in a little over a year.

"It kind of settles you down a bit, gives you a little bit of room for error," Mason said of the early eruption.

Simmonds started the scoring with his second shorthanded goal of the season. On a three-on-one, Simmonds took a feed from Andrew MacDonald, and his pass to Sean Couturier deflected off Beauchemin's stick and through the legs of rookie goalie Jeremy Smith with 15:56 left in the first.

A little over four minutes later, Simmonds tipped Shayne Gostisbehere's point drive past Smith while the Flyers were on a power play, padding the lead to 2-0.

"I'm lucky. I'm getting some bounces right now," said Simmonds, who has a team-high 27 goals and is on a 35-goal pace. "But the whole idea is to try to disrupt the goalie's flow and take his eyes away and get some rebounds."

Voracek's bizarre goal - the second one the Flyers scored off the stick of the 36-year-old Beauchemin - made it 3-0.

Jordan Weal's first career goal, a deflection of Radko Gudas's drive, increased the advantage to 4-0 with 12:44 left in the second.

"It's been a long time coming," Weal said after his first goal in 19 games, including five this season. "Finally popped one in there and it felt real good. I'll probably send her home."

Simmonds, who was nearly offside on Weal's goal, almost had his fourth career hat trick, but Smith stopped his right-circle drive with 8:11 to go in the second.

Mason, making his first start in the last seven games, was extremely sharp as he collected his first win since Jan. 25, a 2-0 victory over the Rangers. In addition to his 33 saves, he caused Mikko Rantanen to go wide and lose the puck on a second-period penalty shot.

The win was Mason's third in his last 13 games and his second shutout of the season.

The Flyers, who lost left winger Michael Raffl to an undisclosed second-period injury, entered the night with 21 games remaining and need a finish similar to last season's to sneak into the playoffs. They finished on a 13-5-3 run last year and earned a playoff berth in the season's next-to-last game.

"Pretty much every game is a must-win from now on," Giroux said.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull