PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nicolas Deslauriers, Noah Cates and Scott Laughton scored goals for the Philadelphia Flyers and Carter Hart stopped 24 shots in a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.
The victory was a needed respite from the bubbling unrest surrounding the franchise.
Flyers fans have been fed up for years — the Wells Fargo Center is no longer one of the more intimidating arenas in the NHL — and anger reached its zenith this past week when general manager Chuck Fletcher declined to make any major deals at the deadline. James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes were among the high-priced veterans that weren’t moved for any kind of prospects or draft picks.
One fan Sunday stuck a paper bag on his head and held signs that read “Fire Fletcher” and “Sell the Team.” Another fan wore a homemade Flyers sweatshirt with “FIRE FLETCHER” on the front. Fletcher was even booed Saturday at an event for season-ticket holders.
The Flyers were just plucky enough against the Red Wings — a day after Detroit lost 4-1 to the Islanders — to win for just the second time since early February.
David Perron scored his 16th goal for the Red Wings early in the first for a 1-0 lead.
Deslauriers stole the puck off a sloppy pass from Jake Walman at the far blue line and streaked all alone to score his fifth goal of the season. He put it past Ville Husso for a short-handed goal in the second period and stretched his arms out like a plane as he skated away in celebration.
The Flyers went up 2-1 in the second when Nick Seeler’s shot from along the boards was redirected by Cates for his 10th goal. The Flyers haven’t had much to celebrate this season, so both seldom-scorers were mobbed by their teammates for a rare reason to smile in a season that is mercifully near the end.
“It’s more about the team but to work hard and push defensively, but to get rewarded offensively, help the team and try to win a game here is huge,” Cates said. “So, if you can help offensively and defensively it’s a big game and you get some jump.”
Laughton scored an empty-netter in the final minutes in his 500th NHL game.
Flyers F Brendan Lemieux made his debut after he was acquired from the Los Angles Kings in a trade deadline deal. Lemieux, son of former NHL player Claude Lemieux, is known more as an agitator and did not score a goal in 27 games with the Kings this season.
“I love it. I’ve always wanted to play in Philly,” he said. “I’ve already had more of an opportunity than I’ve had all year so I’m enjoying it. It’s nice to be playing hockey again and I’m having fun right now.”
Detroit: Host Chicago on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports