Flyers 6, Ducks 2: Loud start pushes point streak to 10 games



The Flyers left no doubt as they jumped back into the win column.

After having their eight-game winning streak snapped, the Flyers pounded the hapless Ducks, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Phil Varone, Sean Couturier, Michael Raffl and Oskar Lindblom all scored first-period goals for the Flyers (25-23-7), who extended their point streak to 10 games.

Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny tacked on third-period goals for good measure.

The Flyers have won 10 of their last 12 contests and entered the day eight points back of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot. Two teams they're chasing, the Penguins and Blue Jackets, have tough road matchups tonight as Pittsburgh visits the NHL-best Lightning and Columbus takes on the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

Give credit to the Flyers for besieging a bad Ducks (21-26-9) team that has lost 19 of its last 21 games. Anaheim is on a seven-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 37-8.

• How good has Couturier been?

He scored his fourth goal in as many games off a phenomenal play in which he played a pass off his skate right to his stick before whipping a shot past Ducks goalie Chad Johnson glove side.

With a three-point effort, Couturier has points in 12 of his last 13 games, a stretch in which he has put up eight goals, 11 assists and a plus-14 rating.

Since Oct. 30, the 26-year-old center has 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 42 games. He's on pace for a new career-high 35 goals.

Imagine if he had a full training camp and played more than just one preseason game?

• Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds went scoreless and the Flyers won by four goals.

That's a great sign and it was all possible because …

• A pair of fourth-liners were superb.

Varone played just 9:31 but had a goal, an assist and was a plus-3, while Raffl scored a shorthanded goal, tallied an assist and was a plus-3.

Raffl delivered the big blow to the Ducks when he took an excellent pass from Andrew MacDonald to net his shorty, handing the Flyers a commanding 3-0 lead 11:44 into the game as the rout was on.

When the Flyers are getting these types of contributions from role forwards, they're tough to beat.

• Speaking of Raffl, he's such an underrated player. He's one of the team's better puck possession forwards and he fully understands his role. He can kill penalties, he can play up and down the lineup — just a sound and steady guy.

With Raffl set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, he's an obvious trade chip for general manager Chuck Fletcher. Contending teams value players like Raffl, but the Flyers might not be so quick to move him because they're playing better and he's a reason why.

Raffl's pass to Varone was a perfect example of what he does best.

• Fresh off a game of rest, Carter Hart made a glove save on a breakaway attempt in the opening 1:15 of the game and you got the sense he would be sharp.

He made 30 saves and won his eighth straight start, matching Jocelyn Thibault's NHL record of most consecutive wins by a goalie before his 21st birthday.

• Defensive prospect Philippe Myers was in the house after being called up Saturday morning from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

His NHL debut is coming and here's why (see story).

• There were a lot of mascots hanging around Saturday.

A lot.

• The Flyers finish their five-game homestand when they welcome the Penguins Monday (7 p.m./NBCSP) before flying to Minnesota to play the Wild Tuesday (8 p.m./NBCSP), as Fletcher returns to his old stomping grounds.

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