Couturier, Flyers spoil Schenn’s return to Philly in 6-3 win
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A couple of hours before his first game back in Philadelphia, Brayden Schenn thought the biggest trash-talking ex-teammate would be Claude Giroux.
“He’s pretty witty out there,” Schenn said. “We’ll see what he comes up with.”
Giroux ended up decking his buddy on the first shift, setting the tone in the Flyers’ 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
“He gave me a shot and I just gave him a shot back. I think he just fell,” Giroux said with a smirk.
Sean Couturier scored two goals, Giroux had a goal and two assists, and the Flyers spoiled Schenn’s return with a second straight offensive outburst.
Scott Laughton, Jordan Weal and Wayne Simmonds also scored, Jakub Voracek earned his NHL-high 41st assist and Brian Elliott made 28 saves against his former team.
The up-and-down Flyers have won three of four and have tallied 12 goals in the past two games.
“We have a couple good games and then we slack off with how we play,” said Giroux, who has 51 points. “So we’ve got to keep going.”
Ivan Barbashev, Paul Stastny and Colton Parayko scored and Jake Allen made 33 saves in a sluggish performance by the Blues, whose three-game win streak ended.
“We didn’t start really well. It was bad,” Barbashev said. “We had a lot of turnovers.”
After seeing a 4-0 lead cut in half, Simmonds scored on a tip-in on the power play at 11:18 of the third period. Couturier’s empty-netter gave him a career-high 21 goals.
Schenn scored 109 goals in six years in Philly, including 25 last season. But with general manager Rn Hextall embarking on a youth movement, he was dealt to the Blues in June for two first-round draft picks and center Jori Lehtera.
Schenn said before the game it was “weird” walking past the Flyers locker room. He had dinner with seven Flyers players Friday night.
“I stay in touch with them,” Schenn said.
The Flyers played a video tribute at the first timeout, drawing cheers as Schenn waved to the crowd.
By then the Flyers were already up 2-0, with Tyrell Goulbourne making a quick impression during the first shift of his NHL debut.
Goulbourne leveled Alex Pietrangelo with an open-ice hit, allowing Laughton to collect the puck and beat Allen at 2:15.
“I was scared before the game. My legs were shaking,” Goulbourne said. “It felt really good after that first shift.”
Giroux made it 2-0 at 6:42 when his shot deflected off the sprawled-out Parayko’s backside and over Allen’s shoulder.
With another game Sunday in Washington, Blues coach Mike Yeo started Allen ahead of hot backup Carter Hutton, who had won three straight starts.
“Not his fault,” Yeo said of Allen. “We gave up so many big-time chances.”
Weal made a nifty move around Allen and scored on a backhand at 8:32 of the second period, and Couturier made it 4-0 when he tipped in Giroux’s pass just over three minutes later.
Yeo tinkered with his lineup, moving Dmitrij Jaskin to the top line with Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. Scottie Upshall dropped back to the fourth line with Magnus Paajarvi and Barbshev, who scored his first goal of the season in the second period.
Stastny beat Elliott 12 seconds into the third period on a feed from Tarasenko.
The Blues have scored 26 goals in the 14 games Jaden Schwartz has been sidelined with a right ankle injury. Schenn has two goals during that stretch and none in the past eight games.
“Today wasn’t good enough,” Yeo said. “That wasn’t our level, so w have to make sure we understand that, see that, and get back.”
NOTES: The Blues placed D Vince Dunn (flu) on injured reserve and recalled D Jake Walman, who was a healthy scratch. … Goulbourne replaced Dale Weise on the fourth line. … Philadelphia honored late Flyers founder Ed Snider for his philanthropy on what would have been his 85th birthday. His foundation provides after-school support for thousands of children.
“Ed would never have asked for a birthday gift, except for perhaps a Flyers win,” Snider Hockey president Scott Tharp said. “But a special day that coincides with his birthday, I think he’d be smiling from ear to ear.”
Blues: Hutton will start in goal Sunday at Washington.
Flyers: Home vs. Buffalo on Sunday.
More NHL hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey