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Flyers continue streak, top Flames

The SportsXchange

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Philadelphia Flyers will enjoy coming to Calgary more often with the new schedule.

At least they will if they continue their mastery of the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flyers completed a Western Canada sweep to ring out 2013 by dropping the Flames 4-1 on Tuesday night.

The Flyers won their fifth consecutive road clash against the Flames. Calgary last beat Philadelphia on home ice March 22, 2001. More importantly, the Flyers won a season-high four straight games.

"I think our team's real confident right now," said Flyers coach Craig Berube, who had a pair of stints with the Flames as a player during his career. "I think they believe they can win games whether you have your best stuff or not. Like in Vancouver (Monday), we didn't have our stuff but we still won. They're finding ways to win and they're a confident team right now."

Center Brayden Schenn scored for the second straight game to break a 1-1 deadlock late in the second period before the sellout crowd of 19,289, which sent the surging Flyers off and running and was a dagger for a flagging Flames team that has lost three straight games since the Christmas break and netted only one victory in eight outings.

"We did lots of great things around the net, but we couldn't get that big goal," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "I think their second goal, late in the second period, kinda hurt us. I felt that we were getting good momentum, we were skating better, and that goal ... we took a big hit. We kept working but just couldn't get back in the game.

"We need to support them. They're working. No one makes a bad read or a bad pass on person. The one thing we will not accept is a lack of effort, and that's definitely not the case."

Defenseman Mark Streit, left winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Braydon Coburn also scored for the Flyers, who collected shootout wins over both the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks to kick off their post-Christmas schedule that starts with a six-game road trip.

Goalie Ray Emery made 23 saves to net his fourth victory in 12 decisions this season for the Flyers (20-16-4).

"It's a good stretch," Emery said. "It's a good way to end the calendar year, especially after the way we started the season. To be where we're at starting the New Year, I think we'll take it."

Rookie center Sean Monahan's second period tally snapped Calgary's goal-scoring drought at 159 minutes and 35 seconds for a Flames team blanked in its previous two games.

"Putting the puck in the net gives you confidence and it's big for me to put the puck in the net, and that helps the team, but at the end of the day I want to win games," said Monahan, who has 11 goals this season.

As for the rest of the Flames, their struggles continue and confidence is waning.

"That can be a little bit of an excuse," said right winger Lee Stempniak. "We're all in the NHL because you're a good player and you have to believe, ultimately, in yourself and that you're capable of getting the job done. You certainly feel a little bit better if you've been scoring, but, to me, that's a little bit of a cop-out. You've got to take ownership of it and be ready for the next opportunity that comes."

Goaltender Karri Ramo stopped 17 shots for the Flames (14-20-6).

NOTES: New Flames RW Kevin Westgarth, acquired Monday from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for 2008 first round pick RW Greg Nemisz, arrived in time to suit up and play on the fourth line with fellow tough customer RW Brian McGrattan and C Joe Colborne. ... McGrattan didn't receive any form of supplementary discipline for the major penalty he was assessed Sunday when his hit injured Vancouver Canucks D Andrew Alberts. McGrattan has never been suspended during his NHL career, an impressive feat considering his enforcer role ... Flyers rookie LW Michael Raffl was named to the Austrian team for the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. ... The Flames signed LW Emile Poirier, the 2013 first-round draft choice selected 22nd overall, the pick acquired in the trade that sent D Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues. Poirier inked a three-year contract that will kick in when he turns pro. ... Flyers C Claude Giroux saw his nine-game point-scoring streak end. He produced six goals and 11 assists during the run.
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