Sean Couturier tied a personal milestone on Saturday, and Scott Laughton created one. Together, these two young Flyers centers and former first-round draft choices have given the team a spark.
Couturier scored just 53 seconds into the game, and Laughton, making his 18th NHL appearance, scored his first goal as the Flyers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, in a matinee at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have earned points in five consecutive games and are 2-0 in a four-game homestand that continues Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
Couturier tied a career high by scoring a point in his sixth straight game. He also achieved the feat during his rookie season, from Jan. 8 to Jan. 19, 2012. Couturier has three goals and four assists in his last six games.
The goal was Couturier's seventh, putting him more than halfway to his career high of 13, achieved as a rookie and again last season.
Couturier had his first shot blocked but then stuffed in the rebound past goalie Anton Khudobin, who, along with his team, was not on his game.
Known as a tenacious defensive center, the 22-year-old Couturier wants to be counted on for his two-way ability.
"I have to be patient, get my opportunities, and capitalize when I have them," Couturier said. "I want to be known as a solid two-way forward who can help the team offensively as well."
The 20-year-old Laughton, whose parents attended the game, has the same desire. He started the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms but was called up last month. Even though he hadn't scored, Laughton has provided tremendous energy recently on the second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
"I just think things are going to keep rolling for him, and you could see the smile on his face," Simmonds said about Laughton scoring his first goal.
Laughton took a feed from Schenn and beat Khudobin to the far post, increasing the Flyers' lead to 4-1 in the second period.
"I thought I had opportunities every game and I had offensive chances playing with the two guys I am, so it's just nice to get that one and nice to get it out of the way and just keep going," Laughton said.
Laughton also got an assist on Simmonds' first-period goal, which increased the lead to 2-0.
On the goal, Laughton, who had his first multipoint game, started things by finding Schenn on the left wing. Schenn then made a great pass to Simmonds, who had time to settle the puck and fire a slap shot from just inside the right circle. It was his team-leading 13th goal and fifth in five games.
Carolina cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second period when Eric Staal scored on a wraparound power-play goal, but Jake Voracek's power-play goal made it 3-1.
With a goal and an assist, Voracek has 37 points and, at least temporarily, took over the NHL scoring lead.
The Flyers added two other second-period goals, by Laughton and Michael Raffl.
At that point the rout was on against a Carolina team that is tied with Edmonton for the fewest points in the NHL, 19.
Flyers goalie Steve Mason wasn't tested, mainly because of a defense that blocked 24 shots, with Luke Schenn blocking six. Defenseman Nick Schultz was a plus-3 for the second consecutive game.
Add that to the energy from the likes of Couturier and Laughton, on a milestone day for both.