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
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."