Simon Gagne Propels Philadelphia Flyers to Sixth Straight Win
Simon Gagne continued his comeback trail of domination last night with three more points (2 goals, 1 assist), and helped the Flyers win their sixth straight game.
Gagne scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season last night and assisted Matt Carle's first goal as a Philadelphia Flyer.
Flyers 18-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa made a game-changing play at the Flyers' blue line to break up an odd-man rush for the Hurricanes.
Sbisa laid down on the ice and poked a cross-ice pass away from Dennis Seidenberg to Simon Gagne, who quickly moved up the ice.
Carle, who was going off for a shift change, decided to stay on the ice and met up with Gagne, who fed the pass to Carle, and he beat Cam Ward for the eventual game-winning goal.
"I just tried to give (Seidenberg) an open lane so he thought he could pass, and then I laid down, put my stick there and he passed right into my stick," explained Sbisa about the play. "We got going the other side and scored a goal."
"The puck got turned over and I decided to see if I could get in the play," added Carle, who has been a Flyer since only Nov. 7. "Simon made a great play, and I knew the goalie was out of position, and I tried to get the shot off as quickly as possible."
The Flyers have won six straight, matching their longest streak since 2005-06. The last time you could find when this team went on a streak this long was when the Flyers, coached by Bill Barber, won eight in a row. The Flyers are now tied with the Devils for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points.
Going back to Gagne, he got the game started off for the Flyers by scoring the first goal of the game. The puck ended up on Gagne's stick after a mad scramble for the puck that involved Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell digging away in front of the net.
"I think there were four of their guys battling in front of the net, and we had Carts and Hartsy," Gagne said. "I thought there was no point of me to go in there and battle, so I waited where I was just in case the puck would come my way. That's just what happened."
The Flyers are now 10-1-2 when they score first. The Flyers have gone 11-3-1 after starting 0-3-3. They have rebounded themselves even though injured defensemen Randy Jones and Ryan Parent have yet to play a game this season. Also, center Danny Briere has missed 13 games with groin and abdominal injuries.
Coach John Stevens on whom to credit for his team's great depth:
"It's a credit to Homer and the staff for the depth we have here now," said Stevens, referring to his general manager. Stevens also spoke on how major a role a healthy Simon Gagne has meant to this team.
"Like I said in the summer, it's almost like getting a free agent that we didn't sign," Stevens said. "It's been big, especially with the absence of Danny Briere."
The Flyers will have off today for Thanksgiving, but will be right at it tomorrow afternoon in South Philadelphia to play yet again the Carolina Hurricanes on a special 1 p.m. start on Black Friday. The Flyers will then travel to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy and eat a lot of turkey, and maybe the Eagles will give us something talk positive about for change on the football end. Cherish your time with the family, everyone. I know I will.
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