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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM: FLYERS 4, SABRES 3

Hartnell a difference-maker for the Flyers for the past month
Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 11:30 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM: FLYERS 4, SABRES 3

BUFFALO – What a difference one month makes.

Scott Hartnell didn’t register a point in the month of October. He scored a goal on November 5 and over the span of the next 40 days had all of 12 points (a span of 20 games).

In the last month the Flyers have played 14 games. Hartnell has 14 points.

It’s his best stretch of this length since posting 15 points in 14 games in February and March, 2012.

That was accentuated by another stellar effort from the Flyers alternate captain against the Sabres as Hartnell had a hand in each of the first three goals, pumping in a power play one-timer and getting a pair of assists on the first two Flyers scores.

Ever since being dropped from the top line to the second, Hartnell has stood out as one of the Flyers best offensive players. Since being matched up with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, Hartnell has more than doubled his season output points-wise with 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in the 16 games they’ve been together.

Simmonds, who also had a pair of assists Tuesday, has also been on fire since that line was formed (10 goals, seven assists, 17 points) and although it took Schenn a little longer to get rolling, he’s putting the puck in the net as well and has five goals and seven assists for 12 points, scoring all five goals in the last nine games including a pair of third period, game-tying goals – Dec. 30 in Vancouver and Tuesday in Buffalo.

“It’s all about hard work and getting to the net,” said coach Craig Berube. “It’s not any simpler than that. Both Scott and Wayne work hard in the corners and then go to the net and get goals. They’re both good at it – very good at it.”

The 43 points combined from the line in the 16 games they’ve been together are second-best on the Flyers, and has kept pace with the top line of Michael Raffl, Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek, who have been pretty good in their own right. Raffl (2-6-8), Giroux (7-13-20) and Voracek (8-11-19) have combined for 47 points in the same span.

“We’re showing a lot of character,” Hartnell said. “We never give up. We believe in our system. We skate, win battles and get chances.”

Sounds simple enough.

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NOTES: The Flyers now have eight wins this season in which they trailed in the third period (seven in the past 20 games). That is only one shy of tying the franchise record of nine set in 1996-97… The Flyers killed off all four Sabres penalties and have now stopped 30 of 31 on the penalty kill in the past nine games… Hartnell blocked a shot in the second period just above his left ankle, but returned to be the star of the game following his three point night. Hartnell did have one stumble though, in the third period when he provided a classic #HartnellDown moment while skating with the puck. It was so amazing, his teammates were talking about it post game. “Did you see the most epic #HartnellDown ever tonight,” Giroux asked. “I’m going to go tweet about it.” Sure enough, he did.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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