Feb 28, 2013, 12:14 AM EDT
Maybe all it took for Simon Gagne to become a point-a-game
player again was the right team.
We kid of course, but seriously the man has always had
impeccable timing. Gagne made his presence felt in his first game back wearing
orange and black since 2010, finding twine for the first time in 2013 for the
Flyers in front of a Wells Fargo Center crowd.
Brayden Schenn rightly picked up the assist by doing the
dirty work in front of the net, as well as Danny Briere for his puck handling
in deep. And reliable number 12 is right where he’s supposed to be finishing
the power play.
Gagne’s tally came early in the second period to put the
Flyers ahead of the Washington Capitals 3-0. Philadelphia would go on to win
4-1 in a game they controlled from the outset.
Claude Giroux got the scoring started 23 seconds into the
contest with his seventh goal of the season, giving him a six-game point streak. A few minutes later Wayne Simmonds
rammed home his eighth of the season on the man advantage, and the Bullies
never looked back. Scott Hartnell had a big hand in opening up the scoring, picking up helpers on both plays.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 stops, but lost his bid for the shutout
with about three more minutes to play. Nick Grossmann was his best friend, four hits to go along with the seven blocked shots that increased his league-leading total to 61 – even though the force was most definitely with Bryz in this one.
But Gagne was the story of the night obviously. He finished
with one goal on four shots and two hits in exactly 16 minutes of ice time –
not bad for a senior citizen. Peter Laviolette didn’t exactly try to hide him,
either. Gagne skated on the second power-play line for crying out loud.
He spoke to reporters after the game in a “lucky” green
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