Flyers close season with win over Ottawa

Oliver Lauridsen celebrates his game-winning goal with teammates against the Islanders. "We have kept it very simple," Lauridsen said of the Flyers' defense.
Oliver Lauridsen celebrates his game-winning goal with teammates against the Islanders. "We have kept it very simple," Lauridsen said of the Flyers' defense. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff)
Posted: April 29, 2013

OTTAWA - The Flyers, with winger Jason Akeson scoring an early goal in his NHL debut and goalie Steve Mason giving another outstanding performance, ended their disappointing 23-22-3 season with a 2-1 win in Ottawa on Saturday night.

The question is, was it also the end of the Peter Laviolette era?

Probably not.

General manager Paul Holmgren would not say definitively, but he again hinted strongly that the coach will return.

Holmgren apparently wants to wait until after having season-ending interviews with his players in the next few days before making a decision on Laviolette, who has two years left on his contract.

Asked before Saturday's game about Laviolette's future - and informed that a source had told a Canadian reporter the coach would not return - Holmgren erupted in a string of expletives.

"I'm not even going to comment on the . . . sources," he said. "Some idiot made it up. . . . How many times do I have to tell you I haven't even thought about firing the coach?"

The Flyers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07 and just the second time in the last 18 years.

Jake Voracek deposited his 22d goal, tops on the team, midway through the third period to snap a 1-1 tie.

Akeson, the Phantoms' leading scorer the last two seasons, scored 3 minutes, 46 seconds into the game as he knocked in a rebound off a shot taken by Claude Giroux.

Akeson, 22, and Giroux grew up a few blocks from each other in Orleans, near Ottawa, and have been longtime friends.

"My family and friends are here, and probably loving it as much as I am," said Akeson, who began the year in ECHL Trenton.

Akeson said his mother, who has overcome cancer of the arm, has been his inspiration. She was at the game.

Mason stopped 43 of 44 shots and was superb.

Again.

In seven games with the Flyers, he had a 1.90 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.


Contact Sam Carchidi @ scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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