Raffl's SO goal caps Flyers rally over Oilers

December 29, 2013 4:16:28 AM PST
Michael Raffl had no idea he would be called upon to take a shot in the shootout for the Philadelphia Flyers

He made the most of it and gave his club a stirring road victory.

The 25-year-old rookie forward scored the winner on his first career shootout attempt, and the Flyers overcame an early deficit to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Saturday night.

"I didn't really expect to be sent out there," Raffl said. "I was ready to hold my helmet, and then I heard that I was going third, and I was like, 'Nice.' I really enjoyed it.

"It was nice to get the chance, and it going in made it even nicer. It's always nice to score a goal, and to have it be the winner was even better"

Wayne Simmonds had a pair of goals for the third straight game, and Scott Hartnell also scored for the Flyers (18-16-4), who have won four of five and snapped a five-game, road-losing streak at the beginning of a six-game trip.

"We've been struggling on the road, so to start off this long road trip with a pretty solid victory is very nice," said goalie Steve Mason, who faced only 16 shots. "We just need to carry it through to our next game and keep building on this."

Simmonds, who has seven goals in his last five games, is the first Flyers player to post three straight multiple-goal games since Reggie Leach in 1981.

"It has been a good stretch for me," Simmonds said. "It's been even better that the team has been starting to win and piling up the two points most nights. It feels good. I've just been getting the bounces."

Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Perron scored for the Oilers (13-24-4), who led 2-0 but had a two-game winning streak snapped. Edmonton has lost seven of nine.

"It wasn't our best game, that's for sure, but sometimes you have to take a look at what you've done," Hall said. "A back-to-back after a three-day break isn't necessarily the easiest thing to do.

"That's not really an excuse, but when you look back at the schedule, sometimes there are reasons for why you don't do well. When we have a schedule like that, we have to keep it as simple as possible and make sure we're not playing a mistake-filled game."

The Oilers got off to a quick start and took the lead 32 seconds in when Hall scored on Edmonton's first shot.

Hall took the puck from defenseman Braydon Coburn deep in the Philadelphia zone and beat Mason with a quick wrist shot high to the glove side for his 15th goal.

The Oilers made it 2-0 at 4:02 when Nugent-Hopkins made a nice move at the blue line and scored from the slot. Hall earned his 100th NHL assist on the goal, and Oilers captain Andrew Ference notched his 200th point.

The Flyers couldn't get any of their 11 first-period shots past Ilya Bryzgalov, who played his first game against Philadelphia since the club bought out his hefty long-term contract.

"I know they're not going to quit," Bryzgalov said of the Flyers. "I knew they were going to play hard and they were going to get lots of pucks to the net. That's the style they play, aggressive."

Bryzgalov stopped Sean Couturier on a pair of short-handed opportunities in tight, including one on a diving stick save, in the second period. The Oilers have allowed an NHL-high eight short-handed goals this season.

The Flyers cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 3:37 of the second. Simmonds tipped in a shot from the top of the circle by Claude Giroux, who extended his point streak to eight games.

Philadelphia tied it with 7:47 left in the second with another power-play goal. A pretty tic-tac-toe passing play had Bryzgalov spinning around before Simmonds scored his second of the night into a wide-open net.

Philadelphia held a 14-3 shots edge in the second period.

Edmonton regained the lead on its next power play with 8:08 remaining in regulation. Perron banked a shot from the side of the net off Flyers defenseman Niklas Grossmann and into the net for his team-leading 16th of the season and the 100th of his NHL career.

Philadelphia came right back and tied it with 5:32 left, netting its third power-play goal. Hartnell tipped Kimmo Timonen's shot past a frustrated Bryzgalov during a 5-on-3 advantage.

Mason kept it tied with two minutes left when he stopped Perron with a glove save during a breakaway.

The Flyers outshot the Oilers 38-16 through overtime.


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