Wayne Simmonds powers Flyers to victory over Coyotes

The Flyers entered Tuesday night looking to build off their previous victory against the Penguins, six days ago. The All-Star break gave most Flyers a much needed rest while Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek saw themselves in Ohio to take part in the all-star festivities. Another player had themselves an all-star night for the Flyers.

Wayne Simmonds was a man on a mission as he scored his 17th goal of the season, tying Voracek for the team lead in goals. It was a power play goal in the first period that cut a Coyotes lead to 2-1 en route to a 4-3 shootout victory. A second effort by Simmonds allowed him to put the Flyers on the board.

“We moved the puck really well during the power play,” Simmonds said in an interview on the Flyers website. “Streit was able to get a good shot off, I tipped the puck and was able to follow up on my own rebound and put it in.”

Simmonds also scored the only goal in the shootout. Giroux and Voracek were stopped on their chances while goaltender Steve Mason stopped all three shooters he faced.

The game did not start off in a positive way, though. Two early goals sent Emery to the showers just 5:50 into the game. Connor Murphy got the scoring started as his shot bounced off the shoulder of Emery and into the net. Martin Erat would score two minutes later off a rebound by Emery that fell right in to the slot. This is when head coach Craig Berube decided to make a switch. Steve Mason came into a game in which he hadn’t played since January 10th, almost three weeks prior.

The Flyers seemed to get the message as Simmonds would get the power play goal about four minutes later. The first period would end with the Flyers trailing, but scoring from an unlikely source allowed them to tie it early on in the second. R.J. Umberger would get his 9th of the season. Andrew MacDonald found Umberger wide open and sent a pass that would end up high glove-side on Smith and into the back of the net.

“Smith made a great save on me backdoor. We were able to win the puck on the rebound, and the puck found its way to Andrew MacDonald.” Umberger said in an interview on the Flyers website. “I stayed in that same spot and he found me. I just wanted to get it on net and was able to find that top corner.”

The Flyers would get a brief lead courtesy of a Michael Del Zotto goal with about a minute to go in the period. Voracek would find Del Zotto streaking up the left side of the ice and fired a pass that Del Zotto would make no mistake with. The lead was short lived, 23 seconds in fact, as Tobias Rieder would find himself on a breakway as a pass was taken off the stick of Flyers Luke Schenn by Shane Doan and sent up to Rieder.

The third period featured multiple scoring chances for both teams, but they were unable to get anything on the board. An overtime saw the same result as the third. It would take a shootout to decide the winner, something the Flyers had plenty of struggles with.

Steve Mason would stand tall in the shootout as he and a shootout goal by Simmonds would give the Flyers the 4-3 victory. Jakub Voracek would collect an assist in the game, his 40th on the year. This would set a new career high in assists for the all-star.

The Flyers will welcome in the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Ariel Melendez

Ariel Melendez is a junior, communication major at Cabrini College. Ariel is also the Sports Director for his school's radio station. Sports are a big passion of his and he loves watching and talking about every game that he sees.

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