Flyers, Gagne show heart in 4-1 win

Maybe Peter Laviolette should talk to the Sixers next.

After all, like Doug Collins’ crew, his club had been playing listlessly and digging big holes for itself, and not showing much urgency to reverse the momentum as the losses have mounted.

But, after watching them storm out of the gates with two goals in the first four minutes in a convincing 4-1 victory Wednesday night over the Washington Capitals, it looks like at least one of the teams that plays in the Wells Fargo Center still has a pulse.

And if the return of Simon Gagne can inspire efforts like this — flying all night from L.A. to get here, then scoring a power-play goal — can Eric Lindros’ Legion of Doom or the LCB Line (Reggie Leach, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber) be far behind?

“I thought guys from the first shift played hard and played smart,” said Laviolette, as the Flyers dominated from start to finish to improve to 10-11-1. “They were tight defensively. I thought that Simon had a real good game both defensively and offensively for us. Under those circumstances, flying through the night and getting here, I thought he did a good job.”

He had plenty of company, as the Flyers finished February 8-6-1 and climbed into the No. 8 spot in the East with 21 points, though they’ve played three more games than their nearest pursuers, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg (19 apiece). But after captain Claude Giroux got them going at the :23 mark, followed by a Wayne Simmonds’ rebound on the power play at 4:04, Gagne was the one who stole the show. It was a homecoming even he found hard to believe.

“I was flying late last night and tried to sleep a little bit,” said Gagne, wearing his familiar No. 12, “but I was so excited it was hard to fall asleep. At the end I wanted to come in here and get a big win. Scoring that tap-in goal (off a perfect feed from Brayden Schenn) it’s a good scenario for sure.”

Scoreless in 11 games this season Gagne, who turns 33 Friday, believes there’s still plenty of gas left in his tank.

“I’ve been in the league 13 years, but I still have some good hockey left in me,” said Gagne. “I may not have played a lot in L.A., but every time I was in the lineup, I felt good.”

His teammates picked up the cue and played their most dominant home game of the season.

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers
Gagne scores power-play goal in first game back as a Flyer in 4-1 victory.

“He definitely adds a lot more excitement to the dressing room and it showed right from the get-go,” said Hartnell, who assisted on the first two goals in his strongest game since returning to the lineup. “We’ve talked the past couple days how we wanted to have a great start and continue that through 60 minutes. It helps when we score first shift.”

Now if only they can pass that mindset to the team down the hall.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.