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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…