NHL: Gagne scores in return to Philly

2013-02-28T00:00:00Z NHL: Gagne scores in return to PhillyThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHILADELPHIA - Claude Giroux scored 23 seconds in, and Simon Gagne added a goal in his first game back with the Flyers as Philadelphia rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Wayne Simmonds gave Philadelphia a 2-0 lead less than four minutes later, and Gagne scored his first goal of the season in the second period, one day after being reacquired by the Flyers from the Los Angeles Kings.

Max Talbot stretched the advantage to 4-0 in the second, chasing goalie Braden Holtby to the bench just one day following his home shutout of Carolina. Talbot's slap shot hit the camera inside the net and quickly ricocheted out.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves and was in line for a shutout until Joel Ward tipped in his own deflection with 2:09 left to cut the Capitals' deficit to 4-1.

Gagne, who will turn 33 this week, was acquired Tuesday from the defending champion Kings for a conditional draft pick. He took a red-eye, cross-country flight and appeared in his first game after being a healthy scratch for the past five games with the Kings.

Gagne, who hadn't scored since Nov. 17, 2011 - a span of 28 games. He missed the final 46 games of last season because of injury.

A highlight video of Gagne's first stint with the Flyers was shown during the first period, officially welcoming the popular forward back to Philadelphia, where he spent his first 10 NHL seasons before being traded to Tampa Bay in 2010.

He seemed unaware of the video, at first, but then acknowledged the cheering crowd with a half-wave. Gagne received a louder ovation when he took a pass from Brayden Schenn and slammed a shot past Holtby for a 3-0 lead.

The Flyers have trailed 1-0 in 12 of their 20 games this season, but Giroux and Scott Hartnell combined to give them a quick strike on Wednesday. From his knees, Hartnell flipped the puck back to Giroux, who fired a rising shot past Holtby. It was the fourth time this season the Flyers scored in the first minute.

• Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2: In Toronto, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta scored third-period goals in the Montreal's win.

Gallagher scored his sixth of the season 9:08 into the third to break a 2-2 tie. Pacioretty cemented the win with his sixth goal - and second of the game - at 14:26. Gionta added an empty-net tally with 2:26 left.

Pacioretty also scored in the second period, and defenseman Alexei Emelin got Montreal on the board in the first period. Carey Price made 21 saves for his 11th win.

Frazer McLaren and Clarke MacArthur scored for Toronto (12-9), which had won three straight at home.

This victory was payback for the Canadiens (13-4-3), who were routed by the Maple Leafs 6-0 in Montreal on Feb. 9. Since then, the Canadiens have gone 7-0-2.

Slap shots

• The Oilers placed Nikolai Khabibulin on injury reserve after the 40-year-old goaltender injured his groin. Khabibulin was hurt in Edmonton's 3-2 overtime loss to Chicago on Monday.

He has a 2.11 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in five games this season, the last on his four-year deal with the Oilers.

• Columbus placed defenseman James Wisniewski on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 24 and he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken right foot.

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