Simmonds scored three goals for his first career hat trick and added an assist as the Flyers showed plenty of energy in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in a matchup between teams recently eliminated from playoff contention.
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"We played strong right from the start," Simmonds said. "We have it in our minds that we're going to play until the last minute."
"The experience we're getting right now is invaluable," Mason said of the last week of the season.
Simmonds, playing in his 364th career game, also had his first four-point effort.
The Flyers were playing for the first time since they were eliminated from postseason contention.
"We didn't even speak about being eliminated from the playoffs," Simmonds said. "We have a great young core in here and want to play strong down the stretch."
The Hurricanes were knocked out of the playoff chase during their previous game based on another result, so it was their first full game out of the playoff pursuit.
With a good number of Flyers fans in attendance, Simmonds' third goal at 48 seconds of the third period extended Philadelphia's lead to 4-2 and drew a couple dozen hats to be thrown onto the ice. Simmonds said he kept two of the caps.
However, Staal scored nearly 2 minutes later to pull Carolina within one.
The Hurricanes appeared ready to pull even when Riley Nash redirect hit the post. The Flyers recovered and Read, who had two assists, scored on a breakaway at the other end at 7:03.
"That's what we have to learn is to be mentally ready every night," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "We didn't have that tempo that we should."
Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said with the Flyers out of the playoff mix it remains important to wrap up the season on a strong note.
"I think it's good for confidence," he said. "The guys went out and the played hard.. We have to finish the season. We need to play every game and make it count, make it matter."
Mason said he's becoming more comfortable with his new team.
"It was a tough game to play because pucks were bouncing," he said. "It's a good test."
It was a busy night for Carolina goalie Justin Peters, who made his career-high seventh consecutive start and finished with 33 saves.
The Flyers applied early pressure, posting the game's first eight shots on goal. Voracek made it 1-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 7:00 of the first period.
"It was kind of a crazy game with a lot of odd-man rushes," Voracek said. "A lot of pucks went in, which is good."
Skinner responded with an unassisted goal directly off a Philadelphia turnover to tie the score with 6:42 remaining in the opening period.
Simmonds regained the lead for the Flyers less than two minutes into the second.
Faulk's second goal in three games at 7:19 of the middle period came when the Flyers failed to clear the zone again.
Simmonds put Philadelphia ahead for good 1:14 later as the Flyers swept the teams' three-game season series.
Read assisted on two goals. He nearly was credited with a second goal with less than a second to play, but a video review of the sequence wiped out the goal because of a kicking motion.
|In his 364th game, Wayne Simmonds records his first career hat trick in the Flyers' victory. (AP)|
|Philadelphia (20-22-3) «||1||2||2||5|
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|07:00||- Jakub Voracek (20), Wrist Shot. Assist: Giroux|
|13:18||- Jeff Skinner (13), Slap Shot, Unassisted.|
|01:54||- Wayne Simmonds (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Read|
|07:19||- Justin Faulk (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Wallace, Westgarth|
|08:33||- Wayne Simmonds (15), Slap Shot. Assist: Couturier, Read|
|48.0||- Wayne Simmonds (16), Snap Shot. Assist: Schenn|
|02:46||- Eric Staal (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Tlusty, Semin|
|07:03||- Matt Read (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Simmonds|
|08:10||Nash, 2 min, Hooking|
|12:24||Simmonds, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:25||Skinner, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:44||Voracek, 2 min, High sticking|
|07:56||Tlusty, 2 min, Hooking|
|10:04||LaRose, 2 min, Too Many Men on the Ice(bench)|
|17:34||Schenn, 2 min, Hooking|
|Shots On Goal|