PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Flyers had hoped to get off a good start. Devin Smith Jersey . Even they couldnt have predicted just how dominant they would be to open the game.Sean Couturier had a goal and an assist in the first period, Jakub Voracek continued his offensive surge, and the Flyers cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.The Flyers led 2-0 less than 7 minutes into the game. Couturier deflected in a shot from Brayden Schenn at 3:53, and Michael Del Zotto made it 2-0 less than 3 minutes later with his first goal with the Flyers.We talked about needing to get off to a good start, said Schenn, who had two assists. We tried to jump on them early, and theres a couple of plays we capitalized on.Voracek got his sixth goal of the season to pull into tie with Pittsburghs Sidney Crosby with a league-leading 19 points, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for Philadelphia, which has won four straight at home.Nick Bjugstad scored his first goal of the season for the Panthers, who had earned at least one point in their previous seven games.Nobody was very good for us tonight, Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. We just werent sharp enough, we werent hungry enough and we didnt battle enough.Steve Mason made 35 saves, including a big third-period stop on Bjugstad, to pick up his second straight win for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots for Florida.The Flyers dominated the first period with Couturier opening the scoring. The play developed when Schenn won the puck with a forecheck and Matt Read slid a pass from the corner to him and Schenn one-timed a shot toward net.The same line struck again at 6:38 as Del Zotto scored after rifling a tough-angle shot past an out-of-position Luongo with Schenn and Couturier getting the assists.Schenn, who started the season on the teams first line, believes that getting Couturier and Read going on the third line could turn out to be a huge boost for the team.Youre going to need some secondary scoring, the defenceman said. With the three of us, weve got some good chemistry. As long as we play good defence, the offensive chances will come.Flyers coach Craig Berube has liked what hes seen out of that line as well, saying that he wants to keep Schenn in that spot rather than move him back to the top line to replace Michael Raffl, who will miss six weeks with a foot injury.I like him where hes at, Berube said. I didnt find that (Read) and (Couturier) were shooting enough pucks and getting it to the net. Hopefully Schenn can force that a little and get to the net himself, like he should.The Flyers picked up right where they left off early in the second period with Bellemare one-timing one over Luongos shoulder following a turnover and feed from Carlo Colaiacovo. The assist marked Colaiacovos first point in two games with the Flyers.The Panthers pulled to 3-1 with 8:10 remaining in the second period on a power-play goal from Bjugstad, who pounced on a rebound. Jimmy Hayes, who split the Flyers penalty kill to put a backhander on net, and Dmitry Kulikov got the assists after Phillys Chris VandeVelde was sent to the box for high-sticking.Bjugstad, who had 16 goals and 22 assists last year, was relieved to finally get his first goal of the season.I mean, yeah, you dont really think about how long its going to take, he said. Obviously you dont want it to take that long but you just have to stay positive throughout.It was the first power-play goal the Flyers allowed at home this season, snapping their streak at 19 straight penalty kills.Just 39 seconds later, the Flyers regained their three-goal cushion when Voracek scored as Claude Giroux set him up with a perfectly executed 2-on-1 break.Voracek extended his scoring streak to seven games, with four goals and eight assists during the stretch.It was a great breakout, Voracek said. Obviously (Giroux) is one of the best playmakers in the league. So I was ready for that pass. It was an easy tap-in.NOTES: The win for the Flyers evened a 2-1 loss they suffered to the Panthers five days ago in Florida. ... Thursdays game was the second of a four-game homestand for Philadelphia. . The Panthers have totalled a league-low 16 goals all season. ... The Flyers wore fatigues during warmups for Military Appreciation Night at the Wells Fargo Center, and U.S. servicemen were honoured throughout the game. Emmitt Smith Jersey . He still wanted out. "It just seemed like the direction they were going didnt fit what I thought my career was going to be," Kesler said. "At the end of the day I want to win a championship and I want to win it now, and four years is a little too long for me. Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop . The 40-year-old midfielder was put in charge on Tuesday when David Moyes reign ended after 10 months with the defending champions in seventh place in the English Premier League.TORONTO -- Dont expect Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen to shed any tears for cs current crisis in defence. "Weve lost far more than them over the first eight games of our season and nobody felt sorry for us," Nelsen said prior to Friday nights game in Kansas City. "Just because theyre missing two or three, were missing three in our midfield. So actually were probably hurting more than them, to tell you the truth." Nelsen notes he has been able to use his starting lineup once this season, a reference likely to the D.C. United game back in March. While Toronto (4-4-0) has question-marks in midfield, the defensive cupboard is almost completely bare for Kansas City (5-4-2). Matt Besler is with the U.S. World Cup team while Lawrence Olum has been summoned by the Kenyan national team for a two-legged Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Aurelien Collin is nursing a hamstring injury and Ike Opara is out for the season after ankle surgery. To make matters worse, 17-year-old defender Erik Palmer-Brown was sent off for two yellow cards in his MLS debut last weekend, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire that saw Kansas City give up two penalties. So Palmer-Brown is suspended for Fridays game. Kansas City is also without key attacking midfielder Graham Zusi, whos with the U.S. team. Manager Peter Vermes started the Chicago game with a 3-5-2 formation, with Palmer-Brown between fullbacks Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic at the back, in a bid to work around his lack of defensive options. He had to return to a four-man backline after Palmer-Browns ejection. Palmer-Brown, reportedly a target of Juventus, still made history by becoming the youngest defender to start an MLS game. He turned 17 on April 24. Collin and defensive midfielder Uri Rosell, who could drop back in defence, may be healthy enough to play Friday. But with three games in eight days -- Kansas City hosts the Red Bulls next Tuesday and visits D.C. United on May 31 -- Vermes will likely not want to rush players back. While the MLS champions are still a quality team, they have lost two straight. And a makeshift defence would seem like catnip to Torontos Jermain Defoe, who has five goals in all competitions. Nelsen has questions of his own, facing five games in 15 days. He has lost American midfielder Michael Bradley and Brazilian goalie Julio Cesar to the World Cup. Tavon Austin Jersey . . Brazilian Jackson (concussion) is not expected to play and fellow midfielder Jonathan Osorio is doubtful (hamstring, hand injury). Nelsens other questions are selection-related. Rookie defender Nick Hagglund had a strong game against New York in place of Doneil Henry while Bradley Orr, pushed up into midfield, also impressed. Henry, 21, already has 40 MLS starts under his belt but has made some costly errors in recent games. Nelsen, perhaps easing the blow, said he was moved to the bench against the Red Bulls because he had played 120 minutes midweek in Vancouver and had a few knocks. Hagglunds fine play against French star Thierry Henry and Englands Bradley Wright-Phillips, the leagues leading scorer, may extended Henrys time on the sidelines. "Nick was brilliant," said Nelsen. Nelsen, while not showing his hand, rejected the suggestion that time on the bench might offer a mixed message to Henry whom he regularly talks up. "I sat on the bench at D.C. United and I was three years older than Doneil. They sat me," said Nelsen. "Its going to happen. Its going to happen when youre 20, its going to happen when hes playing in the Premier league or in the top level." "Theyre not bumps, theyre life experiences that youve got to deal with. Everyone deals with them in any job, in any profession ... its just how you react." "Generally the best ones find a way on the field pretty quickly," he added. The 21-year-old Hagglund has already won kudos on the field for his no fear approach. Off the field, his bubbly personality is also appreciated. "Hes a massive part of this squad, this changing room, for such a young kid," said captain Steven Caldwell. "He takes a lot of stick. He laughs, he smiles. His personality rubs off on everybody, Hes a pleasure to have here." Nelsen could retain Orr in central midfield and has newly acquired Collen Warner available, although he may have to play on the flank if Osorio, as expected, cant go. Warner was the last man off the practice field Wednesday, chatting with Nelsen en route to the locker-room. Rookie Daniel Lovitz, who has impressed since returning from loan in Wilmington, is another midfield option. Torontos career record against Kansas City is 4-10-4, including 1-7-1 on the road. ' ' '
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