With friends and family in the stands, Brayden Schenn had a night to remember.
Schenn scored the game-winning goal and added two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.
“It’s obviously a good building to play in,” said Schenn, who hails from nearby Saskatoon. “I had friends and family here. It’s obviously nice to have a big night here.”
Among his cheering section at the Saddledome were his parents Rita and Jeff and sisters Madison and Macy.
“My immediate family drove down,” explained Schenn, whose older brother Luke also had an assist during the win for the Flyers. “It’s nice to have a good game in front of them.”
The 22-year-old forward also scored one night earlier during Philadelphia’s 4-3 shootout win in Vancouver over the Canucks to snap a 16-game goalless drought.
“I guess that happens to most guys,” said Schenn, who played in the Western Hockey League for both the Brandon Wheat Kings and Saskatoon Blades. “They go through slumps and they get a little shot of confidence. Tonight, as a line, as a team, as a whole we worked hard. At times there we were obviously playing in our own end a bit, but that’s two games in two nights. It was good to come out on top.”
Philadelphia coach Craig Berube was definitely pleased to see Schenn contribute with goals in back-to-back games.
“It helps,” Berube said. “Guys that score goals, they lose their confidence when they don’t score. You get a goal, it gets you going a little bit. He looked really good tonight.”
Mark Streit, Scott Hartnell and Braydon Coburn also scored for the Flyers (20-16-4), who have won four straight games and six of their past seven.
Wayne Simmonds chipped in with two assists, while goalie Ray Emery made 23 saves to improve his record to 4-7.
Rookie Sean Monahan scored the lone goal of the game for the Flames (14-20-6), who have now lost three straight after dropping a pair of 2-0 decisions at home to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
“Putting the puck in the net gives you confidence and it’s big for me to put the puck in the net, and that helps the team, but at the end of the day I want to win games,” Monahan said.
Calgary forward Lee Stempniak, who hasn’t recorded a point in 11 straight games, said the Flames have to start believing in themselves again in order to snap their losing streak.
“You certainly feel a little bit better if you’ve been scoring, but, to me, that’s a little bit of a cop-out,” he said. “You’ve got to take ownership of it and be ready for the next opportunity that comes.”
Starting his fourth straight game for the Flames, Reto Berra made 17 saves in a losing cause.
The game marked the debut of forward Kevin Westgarth, who was acquired by the Flames from the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday in exchange for centre Greg Nemisz. Westgarth played on a line with Joe Colborne and Brian McGratton.
“I’ve been a healthy scratch for a little bit here and coming and jumping in the game right away is awesome,” Westgarth said. “What I want to do is play hockey.”
Streit put the Flyers up 1-0 at 3:15 of the opening frame when his let go a wrist shot from the point that found its way into the top corner over the outstretched glove of Berra, who was screened by Simmonds and Hartnell on the play.
The Flyers continued to pour on the pressure as Streit rang a shot off the post before Brayden Schenn appeared to score to put Philadelphia up 2-0, but the goal was waved off because Hartnell made contact with Berra after taking the initial shot on goal.
Monahan tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal in seven games at 14:30 of the second. Monahan skated down the left wing into the Philadelphia zone on a two-on-one with Stempniak. Instead of passing, Monahan fired a shot to the far side into the net over Emery’s left pad to end Calgary’s goalless drought at 159 minutes 35 seconds.
Jakub Voracek then had a chance to regain the lead for the Flyers, but he fell down in the slot and Berra poke checked the puck out of harm’s way.
With 1:29 left in the second, Schenn put Philadelphia back up by one when he spun and fired a shot from the slot past Berra.
Hartnell added an insurance marker for the Flyers at 10:14 of the third when he tipped Luke Schenn’s point shot past Berra.
Coburn rounded out the scoring with a late empty-net goal while the Flyers were killing a penalty.
Notes: Calgary now has an all-time record of 12-8-3 on games played on New Year’s Eve. a Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Flames had won the last six times they have played on New Year’s Eve, including a 3-2 win at home over the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 31, 2010. a After playing 6:24 in the first period, Philadelphia forward Matt Read left the game with upper-body injury and didn’t return. a The Flyers have now won five straight games at the Saddledome against the Flames.