Jakub Voracek Sudden Catalyst for Flyers Offensive Fortunes
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Looks like all the Philadelphia Flyers really needed for what ailed them was for Jakub Voracek to get going offensively.
Oh sure, team captain Claude Giroux got things started when he called out his teammates following a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Saturday and then scored 26 seconds into a 7-0 rout of the New York Islanders, Monday.
But it’s been the 23-year-old Voracek who’s been the scoring juggernaut for the Flyers in these last two games.
Following a four-assist performance on the Island, the Czech native collected his first NHL hat trick, including the game-winning goal with 1:31 remaining in regulation in Wednesday’s 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He notched the deciding score from behind the net, bouncing the puck off Penguins netminder Tomas Vokoun and into the cage just 33 seconds after Pittsburgh had tied the contest.
''I didn't want to turn it over or do something stupid, so I just tried to throw it to the net,'' Voracek said to The Associated Press afterwards.
Voracek scored a power-play goal with 10 seconds remaining in the second stanza to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. He then connected 18 seconds into the final period for his 200th career NHL point before later performing his last-minute heroics.
He now has six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 18 games this year and leads the suddenly resurgent Flyers in scoring after becoming the first Flyer to tally a hat trick in Pittsburgh since Bobby Clarke in 1980, according to the NBC Sports Network.
Including his assist at Montreal, Voracek has notched three goals and seven assists for 10 points in his last five contests. The Flyers are also 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and 3-2 in their last five outings.
To think Voracek was once a former first-round choice of the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets, with whom he played three seasons before joining the Flyers for the 2011-12 campaign. He collected 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points in 78 outings in 2011-2012 and then added two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 11 Stanley Cup playoff games as Philadelphia advanced to the second round.
The Flyers improved to 8-9-0 overall with Wednesday’s win and are now tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers, although those two teams each have a pair of games in hand on Philadelphia.
The Penguins fell to 11-6-0 overall and remain in second place in the conference behind the Montreal Canadiens.
The two Pennsylvania rivals will next meet on March 7 in Philadelphia.
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