CALGARY — The Flyers ended nearly a month of frustration and halted a 10-game losing streak Monday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl, and Wayne Simmonds scored second-period goals 71 seconds apart as the Flyers defeated Calgary, 5-2, and registered their first win since Nov. 9 against Chicago.
Using four new lines in an attempt to energize their offense, the Flyers avenged last month’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Flames. In that game, Calgary had three power play goals.
Former Flames goalie Brian Elliott made 43 saves for the Flyers, who were outshot, 45-21.
“First and foremost, Moose played great,” said Simmonds, referring to Elliott by his nickname.
“It’s a big streak to end, and in doing it the way we did tonight with punctuation is really good for our group,” Elliott said. “We have to take that and harness that and take it to the next game.”
“But we have to enjoy this; we waited a little too long for it,” he added.
Jake Voracek, who had three assists and is now tied for second in the NHL with 26 helpers, said a huge weight was lifted off the team’s collective shoulders.
“You have no idea,” he said. “I felt like when I won the world championship in 2010.”
His Czech Republic team won the IIHF title that year.
“That’s what it feels like tonight,” he said. “It’s such a relief; you have no idea.”
Voracek was on a new, physical line with Val Filppula and Michael Raffl. That unit combined for two goals, four assists and a plus-8 rating and did an effective job when matched against Calgary’s top unit of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Micheal Ferland.
The Flyers changed their defense and went with 1-2-2 trap, and although Calgary fired 45 shots, most of them were from the perimeter.
“We played a little bit of a different system and I think it worked for us,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We needed to change things up, obviously.”
Simmonds, who replaced Voracek on the top line, scored on a power play by tapping in a slick pass from Sean Couturier and giving the Flyers a 4-1 cushion with 11:18 left in the second.
Laughton, who had two goals, and Raffl had scored 25 seconds apart before Simmonds notched just his second goal in the last 19 games. All three goals were scored from in front as the Flyers did a great job crashing the net.
“We’ve been working hard and everyone’s been staying positive,” Laughton said. “It’s nice to get this one and we have to go into Edmonton (Wednesday) and start a little streak of our own and get back in the swing of things.”
“The guys stuck together during a pretty tough stretch here,” coach Dave Hakstol said.
Filppula knocked in a rebound with 44 seconds to go in the opening period, knotting the score at 1-all.
In the first 40 minutes, the Flyers held a 4-2 lead despite being outshot, 35-15.
Laughton made it 5-2 by scoring on a rebound with 18:09 left in regulation.
The Flyers were 0-5-5 in their previous 10 games.
“Through this stretch, the hidden thing is we’ve played a lot of really good hockey,” Hakstol before the game. “You have to really remain confident. You have to remain together, and on a day like today, when we’ve had a day and a half in between [games], just come back to the rink with a real purpose. Almost a sense of simplicity in how we want to approach our game.”
Hakstol said his players need to “trust each other and know your linemate and teammate is going to do his job very well, and make sure you go out and do your job very well and things will be fine.”
Captain Claude Giroux said the losing streak had left the Flyers feeling unsure about themselves.
“When we get that confidence and that swagger back, we’re going to be a good team again,” he said before the Flyers scored more goals in any game since a 5-1 win over Florida on Oct. 17. “… At the end of the day, we do believe we’re a good team. We believe we can fight for a playoff spot. Now we just have to prove it on the ice.”
As he was doing an interview earlier in the day, a smiling (but annoyed) Giroux said: “I can’t focus with that music right now.” “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls was blaring in the background, and a Calgary reporter asked Giroux that, if the Flyers won Monday, the group’s music would be adopted by the team.
“We might have to do it more often,” he said.
Somewhere, Kate Smith isn’t happy.
Breakaways. Dale Weise was hit in the head by Calgary’s Travis Hamonic early in the third period and did not return. Hamonic received a match penalty….Brandon Manning and Andrew MacDonald each blocked four shots, and Ivan Provorov had four hits…The Flyers won 58 percent of their faceoffs and they continue to lead the league in that category. Giroux won 12 of 15 (80 percent).