Brayden Schenn's hat trick lifts Flyers over Calgary Flames, 5-3
For Eagles and Bradford, it’s all in the timing

Flyers-Flames: Postgame Perspective

Flyers top line heeds Hextall's call

Even in the best case scenario, the news was not welcome. Jake Voracek would be out for two weeks with a lower-body injury.

Ron Hextall spoke prior to Monday's game of the team playing without Voracek in the same sense as when they were without Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.

"We've found a way to kind of band together at times this year when a guy's out," Hextall said. "We did it when G was out. Now we've got to do it when Jake's out. I think everybody's got to add a little bit more."

The Flyers top line certainly heeded the call.

Giroux had four assists. Brayden Schenn picked up his first career hat trick. Wayne Simmonds added two goals. Overall, they combined for nine points in the Flyers 5-3 win over the Flames.

"We talked about that group making plays," head coach Dave Hakstol said. "They made a lot of plays offensively today; they could have had a couple earlier. But they were clicking. When you’re on, you get that feel out there. And that group was on tonight."

"They were doing a good job of getting open and working and getting the puck," Giroux said. "They played hard. Makes my job a lot easier."

Schenn and Giroux in particular were the stars. Giroux's passing was on point as he assisted on the first four Flyers goals, including all three of Schenn's. For Schenn, his hat-trick goal in the second set a new career high for him with 21 on the season.

In fact, Schenn was particularly active around the net before getting the two goals in the second that finished off his hat trick. In the first, a chance in close on Jonas Hiller didn't look like more than a nice save in real time. But on replay, it appeared Schenn's chance crossed the goal line. The play was revealed and ruled no goal.

It didn't stop Schenn from reaching the milestone.

"Goals are hard to come by in this league, teams are so good, and goalies are so good. It is nice to get rewarded," Schenn said. "I was the just the recipient of 3 good plays. G obviously on the first one beat the guy off the wall and I’m open in front and he gets it to me. [Andrew] MacDonald’s with the heads up play on the second and Streit on the third one with a great slap pass."

The win for the Flyers was their third straight, totaling six points on the homestand.

On a day when the Flyers were awaiting an unknown fate, as the trade deadline came and went without much fanfare, the team seemed to get more relaxed as the game went on. After opening up a 4-1 lead, that almost came back to haunt them as Calgary closed to within one goal with just under nine minutes to play.

"I think we got sidetracked a little bit," Giroux said. "We can’t put ourselves in a situation like that. We played a good game and then in the third, we start lying down like we think the game’s over. But it’s a good thing we got the win."

"We’ve been playing some really good hockey with an exception of 10 minutes there in the third," Simmonds said. "I think besides that we played a solid game and we got pucks and did what we wanted to do and we had a good game."

"More importantly we got the two points," Schenn said. "It was a little bit scary there in the third period, we let our foot off the gas and they took it to us. So like I said it is nice to come out with the two points against a team that can put goals in the back of it."

So a scary start to the day ended with a bit of a scary finish. After all, the Flyers were fighting to hold on to a win in the closing moments. But as a team, they finished the job after allowing Calgary to creep back in.

With the deadline now gone, this is the team the Flyers will roll out night after night, trying to make up the ground to get to the playoffs. Monday night, with the roster set, they got off to the right start by banding together.

"This group is pretty strong in the locker room; they’re a pretty tight group," Hakstol said. "You’d be better off asking the players that question. But with the ceremony here, honoring Mr. Watson, through the trade deadline day, I think we had a lot to play for."

The Flyers may not have gained on the teams they are chasing, but there are head-to-head games to come for that. Keeping pace was just as important. The Flyers top line led the way.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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