Flyers finally get scoring help, win consecutive games

There are a myriad of reasons why the Philadelphia Flyers are 3-0-2 in their last five games, have rebounded from their recent 1-8-2 stretch and won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streak in the first week of November.

For instance, between Steve Mason and Ray Emory they have received stellar goaltending that has not only kept them in games but stolen points in the process.

Jumping out to a lead in the first period in five of their last six games, they have temporarily shed their slow-start label. They have taken 2-0 leads in their last two games, and when they initially did so on Thursday against the Devils it was the first time in 15 games.

And with a win over the defending champion Kings on the road and garnering a point in five straight contests, the Flyers have finally regained some confidence and swagger.

While all of the aforementioned reasons have been keys, none are bigger than the secondary scoring the Flyers have gotten from the second and third lines.

After Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek carried the offense for weeks, 16 of the last 20 goals have been scored by players other than the two forwards.

“A lot more guys are starting to contribute offensively now and it’s helping,” Wayne Simmonds said. “It’s definitely helping.”

Simmonds has been one of the biggest contributors. He’s tallied five goals in as many games and leads the club with 13.

Sean Couturier has three goals and four assists in the last six games to complement his defensive game.

R.J. Umberger and Matt Read ended double-digit game scoring droughts, and even rookie Scott Laughton joined the mix with his first NHL marker during Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes.

“I don’t think a lot of the guys were shooting the puck, and everyone’s starting to shoot the puck now,” Simmonds said. “When you have shots on net, you’re going to get a lot of second and third opportunities and that’s when you’re going to score. … I think that’s happening now.”

It’s taken the burden off Giroux and Voracek, who still both rank in the top six in the league in points heading into Sunday’s action, and helped balance out the lineup.

“I really believe it’s because we are playing as a team,” said Giroux. “I think when we are all on the same page, it makes everybody’s job a lot easier.”

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