Simon Gagne scored in his return to the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-1 victory Wednesday night over the Washington Capitals. Just one day after being traded back to the Flyers by the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional draft pick, Gagne found the back of the net in the second period and went on to play a total of 16 minutes in the contest.
Captain Claude Giroux got the Flyers on the board less than a minute into the game off a pass from Scott Hartnell and they never looked back, putting four goals in the net on Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby before he was replaced by Philipp Grubauer.
According toYahoo Sports, Gagne hadn’t scored a goal since Nov. 17, 2011. Though that may look like a long time without lighting the lamp, Gagne spent the majority of the 2012 season out due to injury while his teammates in Los Angeles were on their way to a Stanley Cup. The drought didn’t stop Gagne from making an immediate impact in his return to the Flyers.
“It felt like I never left,” said Gagne after the game. “Everything started here.”
Gagne’s goal came less than four minutes into the second period leading to an outburst of cheers for the returning star from the Philadelphia crowd. Drafted 22nd overall in the first round of the 1998 NHL draft by the Flyers, it was only fitting that he returned in style. With only six points to start the season, Flyers fans are expecting to see a lot more production out of Gagne and hope he returns to his true form as they have seen before.
With a not-so Flyer like 10-11-1 record to start the shortened season, any source of momentum is a start, and Gagne may just be exactly the spark they were looking for. According toPhilly.com, a highlight video of Gagne’s career as a Flyer was played during a stoppage in the first period in which Gagne took the time to wave to the crowd as they gave him a quick ovation.
The Flyers return to the ice Saturday as they take on one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators. The Senators have won five straight and Craig Anderson has been one of the best goalies in net to start the season.
After being informed of his trade and a long flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, Simon Gagne scored in his return to the Flyers and turns 33 tomorrow. The 14-year veteran of the NHL truly has had one whirlwind of a week, but you can be sure to see him on the ice Saturday looking to continue his great start back with the Flyers.