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February 29, 2016

Flyers 5, Flames 3: Schenn's hat trick helps Flyers keep pace (with GIFs)

Flyers NHL

With the Pittsburgh Penguins boat racing the Arizona Coyotes on the other side of the state, the Philadelphia Flyers had to win at home on Monday night to keep pace in the wild-card race. The Calgary Flames, tied with Arizona for dead last in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.08), proved to be the perfect opponent.

With Jake Voracek sidelined for two more weeks, the Flyers' first line of Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, and Wayne Simmonds picked up the slack in a major way. Giroux was dominant in the offensive zone with his playmaking, collecting four assists. Schenn scored a hat trick, and he arguably had four goals. And most importantly, the Flyers secured a 5-3 win over the Flames to stay three points back of Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference's last playoff spot.

Starting his fourth straight game in net, Michal Neuvirth had some tough moments in the third period. He still managed to turn away 32 of 35 shots.

The goals

1-0 Flames, Sean Monahan (PP) 6:07 1st Period. From the time the Flames entered the zone on this man advantage, the Flyers penalty kill was a little loose. And Johnny Hockey made them pay with some tic-tac-toe passing to Monahan. As the game went on, the Flyers dominated Calgary's 29th-ranked power play on their other five chances:

1-1, Brayden Schenn 12:25 1st Period. Just minutes before, Schenn had a super close call that Toronto eventually deemed wasn't a goal. So Claude Giroux set him up again for one that counted:

2-1 Flyers, Wayne Simmonds 4:47 (PP) 2nd Period. Some more marvelous passing by the captain here:

3-1 Flyers, Brayden Schenn 15:27 2nd Period. Great pass by... Andrew MacDonald?

4-1 Flyers, Brayden Schenn 18:31 2nd Period. This one brought the hats out:

4-2 Flyers, Michael Ferland 10:17 3rd Period. Dave Hakstol said after the game that his team "forgot to keep playing" for seven or eight minutes in the third period:

4-3 Flyers, Michael Frolik 11:07 3rd Period. Bad goal allowed by Neuvirth here:

Wayne Simmonds added an empty-netter to cap the scoring.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann