GLENDALE, ARIZONA – The Philadelphia Flyers struggled to start the season and have seen one goalie after another go down with injuries.
They kept battling and now are back to .500 after earning seven of a possible eight points on a just-completed road trip.
Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist, Calvin Pickard stopped 35 shots and the Flyers beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Monday night.
Once 4-7, Philadelphia went 3-0-1 on a swing through California and Arizona to get its season headed back in the right direction.
“Tonight for sure wasn’t our prettiest game, but we found a way to win,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “There’s a lot of strengths that we like out of this road trip and there’s a lot of areas we can look at and try to improve as well.”
The Flyers jumped on the Coyotes early, going up 2-0 after first-period goals from Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere. Sean Couturier also scored and Oskar Lindblom added an empty-net goal to help the Flyers end Arizona’s five-game winning streak.
“We probably needed a little more from a couple of guys, but the main part, I thought we battled back,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “In the third period, we had our chances, they scored on theirs.”
Pickard made his second straight start after Michael Neuvirth was placed on injured reserve and Brian Elliott was injured in a collision with teammate Travis Konecny during practice Sunday.
Pickard was sharp most of the night, giving up Alex Galchenyuk’s power-play goal in the second period and Michael Grabner’s goal late in the third after giving up four goals in an overtime loss to San Jose on Sunday.
“It’s good to get in a rhythm for sure,” Picard said after his fifth start of the season. “I’m starting to get more comfortable and I thought the last two were my best two so far.”
Arizona went on a scoring binge during their win streak, outscoring opponents 24-7 over five games, including four straight games with at least three goals in the first period.
Philadelphia had the jump early in this one, though, scoring midway through the first on a shot by Giroux from the blue line that goalie Darcy Kuemper had trouble seeing through traffic.
Gostisbehere scored from near the same spot on a power play late in the period on a shot that caromed off Arizona center Derek Stepan’s stick past Kuemper.
“It was a tough bounce,” Kuemper said. “Everyone’s trying to do the right thing and it kind of takes a weird deflection, but what can you do? You just have to keep working and get back into it.”
Devils 5, Penguins 1
In Pittsburgh, Brian Boyle scored three times for his first career hat trick as New Jersey trounced the hosts.
Boyle got his natural hat trick on “Hockey Fights Cancer” night in Pittsburgh. It included two power-play goals and two redirections in front of the net.
The 33-year-old Boyle was diagnosed with a form of bone marrow cancer at the beginning of training camp last season. He underwent treatment, returned to the lineup last November and won the NHL’s Masterton Trophy, best exemplifying qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Will Butcher had a goal and two assists for New Jersey, and Travis Zajac scored his fourth goal. The Devils stopped a three-game slide with their first road win.
Jamie Oleksiak scored for the Penguins, who have dropped four in a row.
Capitals 4, Oilers 2
In Washington, Alex Ovechkin scored on the power play, backup goaltender Pheonix Copley made 31 saves and the Capitals ended their two-game losing streak.
The defending Stanley Cup champions came out flying two days after a mistake-filled overtime loss to Dallas. Jakub Vrana scored on his first turn with the fourth line after being demoted, and linemate Devante Smith-Pelly scored on the group’s second shift a few minutes later as Washington jumped all over Cam Talbot and Edmonton.
Ovechkin’s 11th goal of the season was his 234th career on the power play, tying him with Marcel Dionne for eighth on the career list. T.J. Oshie also scored by firing short-side on Talbot, who allowed four goals on 23 shots in his first start since Oct. 30.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his point streak to eight games with his 10th goal of the season. Leon Draisaitl scored for Edmonton, which lost for just the second time in seven games.
Bruins 2, Stars 1 (OT)
In Boston, Brad Marchand scored a power-play goal 4:29 into overtime, lifting the Bruins to the victory.
David Pastrnak also tallied on the power play for Boston, which had lost two of three. Tuukka Rask made 24 saves.
Radek Faksa had a short-handed goal for Dallas, which is 3-1-1 on a six-game trip. Former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 33 shots.
Canadiens 4, Islanders 3 (SO)
In New York, Joel Armia scored in the fifth round of the shootout to send Montreal to the road win.
The Canadiens rallied from two goals down to win for the fifth time in the last six meetings with the Islanders. Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin each had a goal and an assist, Artturi Lehkonen also scored and Noah Juulsen added two assists.
Antti Niemi started in place of Carey Price and made 21 saves before stopping all five of New York’s attempts in the shootout.