Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds scored in the shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
The win against the league-leaders comes after Philly dropped back-to-back games against teams below them in the standings. With the victory the Flyers move to within four points of the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Simmonds also scored in regulation opening the scoring with his 23rd of the season. Ryan White gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead near the midway mark of the second.
Despite registering just three shots on goal in the first period, Colin Wilson’s 19th of the season had the Preds and Flyers tied 1-1 after 20. The Predators, who have now failed to pick up a win in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 29 and 30, had just four shots on goal in the second period.
Craig Smith had the other Nashville goal while Pekka Rinne made 31 saves in the loss.
Rob Zepp improved to 4-1-0 on the season with a 20 save performance.
The game was the first for both Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli since their trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs last weekend.
Franson had two shots on goal and a hit in 17:52 of ice time while Santorelli was a minus-1 with a shot on goal and two hits in 12:11 of ice time.
Raffl (pictured to the left of Wayne Simmonds) has been sidelined since Jan. 20 with pneumonia, missing seven games in that span.
It sounds like this swap will mean a new look for the Flyers’ scoring lines, as Raffl, 26, is expected to be back with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek while Brayden Schenn moves back to center between R.J. Umberger and Ryan White.
Laughton remains a work in progress at the NHL level, as he only has two goals and four assists for six points in 31 games this season. At 20, he still has plenty of time to blossom, but it sounds like it’s back to the drawing board for now.
The audition for Philadelphia’s fourth-line center position has become a little more open.
On Friday, the Flyers announced that free agent signing Ryan White would miss the next five months with a pectoral tear. The news comes just weeks after White underwent a procedure to fix the ailment — it’s unclear what’s transpired since then, but GM Ron Hextall made the announcement just a short while ago, ruling the gritty forward out for a significant amount of time.
White, 26, inked a one-year, $575,000 deal with the Flyers this summer after spending his first five NHL seasons in Montreal. An energy guy that’s not afraid to drop the mitts (here he is fighting now-teammate Wayne Simmonds), White posted career highs last season in games played (52) and points (six), but was injured during offseason training in late August.
When healthy, White projected to be battling the likes of Scott Laughton, Chris VandeVelde, Blair Jones and Nick Cousins for a spot down the middle.