Wayne Simmonds, Flyers Find New Energy Heading Into Critical Game Vs. Devils

Wayne Simmonds is energized.
That's good because tonight the Flyers are in New Jersey for the back end of a back-to-back against the Devils after shutting out the Penguins on Wednesday night.
Prudential Center has not been an easy building for the Flyers in recent years -- 2-3 since 2014-15.
Wednesday's 4-0 rout over the Penguins cut the Flyers' wild-card deficit to five points and bolstered the Flyers' morale for tonight's critical contest in Jersey.
"It was huge for us," Simmonds said. "We're fighting for our lives. Every single game matters here.
"Mase [Steve Mason] had a big shutout for us. I thought we played well so we just have to continue it … going into Jersey."
On Wednesday, Simmonds notched his 200th career goal, his 161st as a Flyer. His next milestone is even bigger -- two points to hit 300 for his career.
"Yeah, it's pretty cool," he said. "I never would have thought I'd play in the NHL, never even thought I'd score 200 goals, so it's pretty cool. It's even better that we got the two points."
Simmonds scored his 29th goal this season the way he scores most of them -- at the net, off a rebound, at the border of the paint, looking at the goalie, who happened to be Pittsburgh's Matt Murray on Wednesday.
"Murray's a great goalie," Simmonds said. "He gets in there, take his eyes away, you may not score on him on the first shot, but if you keep at it, second and third opportunities, generally that's when you score your goals and we did a good job with that."
Several Flyers said they don't feel they're out of the playoff picture, regardless of the math, which is not in their favor. In terms of catching the Islanders, the Flyers need to counter the 92 points the Isles are on pace for.
"We've come back from it seems like insurmountable deficits before," Simmonds said. "So we're just going to keep our head down, keep grinding, and keep playing as hard as we can every game."
Ice time
Rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov played a season-high 27:17. It's the second-highest TOI for a rookie this season and the highest by a rookie in a regulation game. The only rookie to top that was Boston's Brandon Carlo (27:59) on Dec. 12 at Montreal. Provorov is just the third Flyers rookie to play 27 or more minutes in a game since the stat was first tracked in 1998. The others were Alexandre Picard (32:42, Feb. 1, 2007 vs. New Jersey) and Mark Eaton (29:26, March 8, 2000 at Tampa Bay). Provorov also had an assist and blocked five shots.
Loose pucks
Steve Mason's 4-0 shutout over the Penguins on Wednesday was his 33rd shutout of his career. Exactly three years ago to the very day -- March 15, 2014 -- he beat the Penguins 4-0 at Wells Fargo Center. … Dale Weise (goal, assist) had his first multi-point game as a Flyer. … Sean Couturier had a trifecta: a goal, an assist and career-high eight shots on goal.

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