Brayden Schenn latest top player to step up for Philadelphia Flyers during winning streak

ByJoe McDonald ESPN logo
Monday, December 12, 2016

What do you need to know about the weekend's big stories? Joe McDonald gives us his take on the biggest and best. This is where we say "Morning, Joe."

Flyers scorching-hot: The Philadelphia Flyers have won nine consecutive games for the first time since 1995, impressively extending the streak with the past two wins on back-to-back nights. Brayden Schenn scored in overtime for a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday after scoring a hat trick in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Schenn, who posted a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 80 games last season, has taken another step forward this season. It helps that the Flyers have three players among the league's top 15 in scoring with Jakub Voracek (11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points), Claude Giroux (9-20--29) and Wayne Simmonds (15-13--28). Voracek is having a bounce-back season and has 15 points in his past nine games to push him to a tie for second in league scoring. The Flyers showed grit and determination while earning a postseason berth last season but lost to the Washington Capitals in the first round. With their play lately, the Flyers are proving that was no fluke and are a playoff contender again.

Laine is learning: The Winnipeg Jets' Patrik Laine has enjoyed an impressive rookie season, with 17 goals in 31 games. He's also learned that every once in a while you're going to have one of those nights when you want to crawl under the Zamboni. On Sunday, with the Jets and Edmonton Oilers tied at 2 in the third period, Laine inadvertently scored an own goal that led to a 3-2 loss. The 18-year-old forward is a confident and emotional kid. He was obviously disappointed with the miscue, and you can bet he'll quickly bounce back and continue his offensive prowess. At the other end of the ice, Oilers captain Connor McDavid earned his 26th assist of the season and now has a league-leading 38 points in 30 games.

Wild bringing tighter D: The Minnesota Wild have won four consecutive games, and the majority of the focus has been on goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who is 6-0-2 in his past eight. Overall, he leads the league with a 1.66 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and four shutouts. Coming off Sunday's 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, Minnesota is in third place in the Central Division. The new coaching staff has been inspirational for the Wild. Coach Bruce Boudreau has done a terrific job on his own, but his addition of former NHL defenseman Scott Stevens to run the defense has paid dividends. Early on, the Wild had no problem scoring goals, but keeping the puck out of their own net was a challenge. It's evident that Stevens' message is being received because Minnesota has been sound as a five-man defensive unit, and it shows with Dubnyk's performance. And, honestly, who's going to argue with Stevens, a former bone-crushing hitter? When he talks, you listen.

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