Hartnell, Leino spark Flyers for 3-0 lead

After Brian Boucher left the game a bit over 4 minutes in the second period and the Flyers protecting a 1-0 lead, you would think the Bruins would amp up their play and take advantage of a goaltender who hasn’t seen the ice since the middle of March.

Instead, we witnessed the Flyers press the Bruins even harder and score two more goals to take a 3-0 lead into the second intermission.

Michael Leighton stopped all six shots he faced, and Scott Hartnell scored his second first goal of the game, cashing in on one hell of a shift by Ville Leino. The former Red Wings forward has been a force for the Flyers tonight, using his skill and physicality to control the play all throughout the second period.

Meanwhile, the Bruins (and their fans) look disinterested and a bit defeated, as the Flyers are threatening to turn what was once a 3-0 series into a pivotal Game 6 in Philadelphia.

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    Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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    Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

    Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

    It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

    Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

    Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

    Peter Chiarelli

    It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

    Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

    You can see and hear his full comments below:

    If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

    Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

    Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

    Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

    Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


    It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

    The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

    It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

    Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

    Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

    Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

    The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

    The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

    Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

    The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

    The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.

    Video: Flyers lose Schultz after big hit from McIlrath


    It looks like the injury bug has taken another chunk out of the Philadelphia Flyers.

    The Flyers, who are already without Mark Streit, Ryan White and R.J. Umberger, have now lost Nick Schultz to injury.

    Schultz left Saturday’s game against the Rangers in the first period after taking a hit from Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath.

    Luke Schenn went after McIlrath right after he delivered the hit and both players dropped the gloves.

    Schultz did not return.

    You can watch the entire sequence by clicking on the video at the top of the page.

    The 33-year-old has just one assist in 23 games, but he leads the Flyers in blocked shots with 54.