Rob Zepp

Flyers add depth in goal, sign LaBarbera

6 Comments

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a one-year, two-way deal, the club announced.

The 35-year-old split the 2014-15 season between the Anaheim Ducks and Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

In five appearances with the Ducks, LaBarbera went 2-0-1 while posting a 2.61 G.A.A. and a .909 save percentage. He was 9-16-7 in 34 games with the Admirals to go along with a 2.62 G.A.A. and a .912 save percentage.

LaBarbera became expendable in Anaheim after the Ducks signed Matt Hackett.

With the signing of LaBarbera, Rob Zepp’s time in the Philadelphia organization is likely over. The 33-year-old is currently an unrestricted free agent.

LaBarbera will likely be tasked with helping Anthony Stolarz develop with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. LaBarbera would be the Flyers’ first call up should an injury occur to Steve Mason or backup Michal Neuvirth.

Video: Del Zotto, Flyers edge Capitals

28 Comments

Michael Del Zotto scored the game-winner with 4:13 remaining in the third as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Washington Capitals 3-2 Sunday afternoon.

Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds had the other Flyers goals. Giroux’s goal snapped a 12-game drought.

With the win Philly improves to 9-2-4 in its last 15 games and for the time being move two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Jakub Voracek had two assists to set a new career-high for points (63).

Tom Wilson and Joel Ward had the goals for the Capitals who saw their four-game win streak end.

Braden Holtby, who made his league-leading 51st start, stopped 25 shots in the loss.

Rob Zepp made 21 saves to improve to 5-1-0.

Alex Ovechkin, who leads the league with 38 goals, and Nicklas Backstrom, who began the day as the league-League with 64 points, were held off the score sheet.

Flyers top Preds with a shootout victory

10 Comments

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.

PHT Morning Skate: Miss Canada…really loves hockey

8 Comments

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

During a Miss Universe pageant, Miss Canada wore the outfit you see on your right as her “national costume.” (CBC.ca)

Joni Ortio has been sent to the AHL, but he might be back up after the All-Star break. (Calgary Sun)

Scott Clemmensen hasn’t been able to stick with the New Jersey Devils this season, but he’s “having fun” in the AHL. “I can’t complain too much. I still get paid to play hockey,” he noted. (The Bergen Record)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met Connor McDavid and Bobby Orr:

Speaking of which, Orr had some advice for McDavid. (Toronto Sun)

It’s possible Rob Zepp has played in his last NHL game, but for now he’s waiting to see what happens after the All-Star break. (CSN Philly)

A hockey dad got so mad at a referee’s call that he punched through the safety glass:

Get your game notes: Penguins at Flyers

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

The City of Brotherly Love Hosts Steel City

• Trouble in Philly: The Flyers are coming off a 7-4 loss to the Islanders yesterday afternoon – the most goals allowed for the Flyers since last February.

• Potentially worse than the defeat though, defensemen Nick Schultz (out for tonight) and Carlo Colaiacovo (questionable) suffered upper-body injuries in the loss.

• The Flyers now have four injured defensemen (also Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann), and GM Ron Hextall made two call ups from Lehigh Valley yesterday as a result.

• Brandon Manning, 24, played 2 games for PHI earlier in the season, recording 1 assist. He was selected to the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic.

• Oliver Lauridsen (LAW-rihd-suhn), a 2009 7th-round pick from Denmark, played in 15 games for the Flyers in 2012-13 and had 2 goals & 1 assist.

• The Flyers have allowed 14 goals in the last 3 games, and now sit 11 points back of BOS for the final Wild Card spot having lost 9 of the last 13 games (4-8-1 record).

• Penguins losing ground: PIT is coming off a 5-2 loss vs. the Rangers on Sunday, continuing their winter slump. Since Dec. 22, the Penguins have lost 8 of 12 games (4-6-2 record), and have seen a 2-point Metropolitan Division lead turn into a 2nd place standing, 5-points back of 1st.

• The Penguins won the Metro last season and the Atlantic Division in the 2012-13 season, but the Penguins have never won their division in 3 consecutive seasons.

• The Penguins are coming off consecutive losses (to NYI and NYR) in which they allowed a combined 11 goals, which is their most goals allowed in a 2-game span since they gave up 14 in Feb. 2011 (also against NYI and NYR).

• Voracek and Giroux are the only 2 Flyers on the All-Star roster, while Crosby and Malkin are 2 of the 3 Pens headed to Columbus (Marc-Andre Fleury).

• The last time two teammates finished 1-2 in the scoring race in a full season was in 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr (PIT) accomplished the feat (Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were 1-2 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season for TB).

• PHI has never had a player lead the NHL in scoring by himself in the 46+ seasons of the franchise (in lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, Eric Lindros shared for the NHL lead in pts…70 – w/ Jaromir Jagr).

• On the other hand, Crosby (2014) & Malkin (2012) have won the Art Ross trophy for PIT in the last 3 years. Those two have also combined to win 4 of the last 8 scoring titles.

PITTSBURGH TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• All David Perron and Crosby: These two linemates have scored all 5 of PIT’s goals in the past 2 games.

• Perron enters on a 3-game point streak (4G-2A), and has 7 points in 6 GP since being traded from EDM.

• Crosby scored a goal against NYR, and is riding a 4-game point streak (4G-4A).

• Crosby career vs. PHI: 75 points (30G-45A) in 49 GP. The only team Crosby has more points against in his career is the Islanders (88 pts).

• Evgeni Malkin has 9 points (3G-6A) in last 7 games.

• Malkin is one of just 3 Pens to have played in all 44 games this season (Nick Spaling, Rob Scuderi).

• Malkin career vs. PHI: 59 points (22G-37A) in 44 GP.

• Marc Andre-Fleury was pulled from the Penguins last game vs. NYR early in the 2nd period after allowing 4 goals on 17 shots.

• Power play back on track: PIT has broken out of its recent power-play slump…

• Last game vs. NYR: 1-3 on PP

• Last 4 games: 5-11 on PP (at least 1 PP goal in each)…….7 previous games: 1-19 (5.3%) on PP

• The Pens are 17-3-1 when scoring on the power play this season, but have lost the last 2 such games.

• Overall this season: 23.4% on PP (5th in NHL).

FLYERS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Giroux has 7 points (2G-5A) in his last 8 games after a goal yesterday on Long Island.

• Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Giroux has the most points in the NHL (277 in 253 GP), followed closely by Crosby and Malkin.

• Simmonds slumping: Though 2nd on the team in goals (16), top forward Wayne Simmonds has 0 goals in his last 7 games, and just 1 goal in his last 13.

• Inconsistent goaltending lately: 33-year-old first-year goaltender Rob Zepp became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 1926-27 when he beat WPG on Dec. 21, but his numbers have not been great overall this season.

• Zepp was pulled in the 2nd period on Monday vs. NYI, after allowing 4 goals on 20 shots. He was not credited with the loss (did not surrender the GWG), but in 6 GP Zepp now has a 2.92 GAA and .889 SV% (3-1-0 record).

• Ray Emery took the loss in relief yesterday, and he has now lost 5 straight decisions in regulation (0-5-0 record), with a 4.71 GAA in that span. Emery has not won in nearly a month (Dec. 23: 5-2 win at MIN).