Philadelphia Flyers

Goalie nods: Luongo hopes to blank Buffalo once again

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Bobby Lou loves facing Buffalo

As many point out, Roberto Luongo has really pumped up his numbers against the Buffalo Sabres lately, as he carries a three-game shutout streak into Saturday’s game. That streak includes his past two starts versus Buffalo as a member of the Florida Panthers, so it’s not merely a matter of his days with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo’s been quite effective for Florida, in general, even if he hasn’t always received the best bounces (judging by the six in his 8-5-6 record). His .924 save percentage is a strong argument that he can make things work under most circumstances, even as people focus on a contract even he grew to hate.

The Sabres rode a hot streak with Jhonas Enroth pretty recently, yet it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the nod today.

Elsewhere …

Flyers at Kings: Steve Mason for sure on Philly’s end, probably Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles.

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby seems most likely, Cory Scheider for sure.

Canucks at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed.

Rangers at Red Wings: Cam Talbot vs. Jimmy Howard.

Canadiens at Stars: Likely Carey Price vs. Kari Lehtonen.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Ben Bishop.

Blackhawks at Pekka Rinne: Best guess right now is Scott Darling vs. Pekka Rinne.

Bruins at Coyotes: Possibly Tuukka Rask, definitely Devan Dubnyk.

Sharks at Flames: Expected Antti Niemi vs. Karri Ramo.

Video: Flyers’ road woes continue


Philadelphia held 1-0 and 3-1 leads Wednesday night, but still needed a last second goal from Wayne Simmonds just to force overtime.

The Flyers were unable to get that elusive second point falling 5-4 in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks.

Philadelphia is now 1-8-2 in its’ last 11 and 0-7-2 in their last nine on the road.

Corey Perry had the shootout winner.

The Ducks, who have won five of seven, got regulation goals from Cam Fowler, Ryan Getzlaf, Sami Vatanen and Patrick Maroon.

Simmonds had a pair for the Flyers in the loss while Michael Raffl and R.J. Umberger had the others for Philadelphia.

Flyers’ defenseman Luke Schenn was a minus-2 in the loss.

Steve Mason, who was making back-to-back starts, made 29 saves while Frederik Andersen stopped 31 shots in the win.

Vincent Lecavalier was a healthy scratch for a second straight night.

Philadelphia now has two days off to prepare for an afternoon tilt with the L.A. Kings on Saturday.

Sharks’ leading scorer Couture misses practice following Raffl collision

On Wednesday, San Jose head coach Todd McLellan gave an update — or, depending on how you look at it, non-update — on the health of Logan Couture, who was forced from last night’s win over Philadelphia after colliding with Flyers forward Michael Raffl.

“Felt better today,” McLellan said, per CSN Bay Area. “There’s still protocol that we need to adhere to. He’ll get through the day. We’ll see how he is in the morning. I can’t even venture to guess which way it will go.”

Couture missed Wednesday’s optional skate and his status for tomorrow’ game against the Bruins is unclear.

We obviously want him in [Thursday vs. Boston] and we know he wants to play,” McLellan explained. “But we have to make sure that he is in a good state and feels good.”

Here’s the hit in question, which occurred early in the third period:

Couture left the ice immediately and didn’t return, spending the final frame undergoing parts of the protocol testing. Prior to getting hurt, he assisted on San Jose’s opening marker and with it took over the team’s scoring lead, with 22 points, one more than both Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.


Flyers’ Mason: ‘Everybody is frustrated and ticked off’


The Philadelphia Flyers lost their fifth straight game on Tuesday to drop to 8-13-3. Combined with the fact that San Jose Sharks forward Matt Nieto scored in the dying seconds of the third period to deny Philadelphia at least one point, it becomes easy to view this as a very tough loss for Philadelphia to swallow.

Even still, there was clearly a silver lining for the Flyers as they, for the most part, played a solid game.

“We played one of our best games in a while,” captain Claude Giroux told CSN Philly. “We played as a team. We had chemistry out there. Obviously, the results won’t show how well we played. … If you can build off a game we lost, we can keep our heads high.”

Not everyone wants to look at the bright side though, given the gravity of Philadelphia’s situation.

“We’re all tired of moral victories,” goaltender Steve Mason said. “The team played a good game but you don’t win it. It’s not good enough. Enough of the moral victories.

“We got to go out and start winning hockey games. Everybody is frustrated and ticked off, but it’s a matter of going out and winning now.”

Philadelphia will have a chance to end its slump Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks. In the meantime, here are the highlights from Tuesday’s contest:

Video: Couture leaves game after running into Raffl

San Jose center Logan Couture left the Sharks’ 2-1 win over Philadelphia early in the third period after a big collision with Flyers forward Michael Raffl.

There was no penalty on the play.

Post-game Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Couture went through concussion protocol, which forced him to miss the remainder of the third period.

“He was checked during the game. I saw him after, he looks OK. But he’ll be re-evaluated in the morning,” said McLellan. “Any time a player gets hit like that, there are protocols that we are obligated to follow and that’s basically what he was doing (in the third period) and that took up the time.”

McLellan was OK with the fact there was no penalty on the play calling the hit “coincidental”.

Couture, 25, has 10 goals and 21 points in 25 games this season while averaging just under 20 minutes in ice time.

San Jose gets back to action on Thursday when they play host to the Boston Bruins.