PHILADELPHIA – Something special is happening here.
The Flyers were down to pull-the-goalie time in the final minutes of Tuesday night’s game against Montreal when their resilience showed up once again.
Trailing 2-1, Jake Voracek sent a long shot past Canadiens goalie Carey Price to tie the score with 1:25 to play.
Then, with only 1:26 off the clock in overtime, Voracek scored again to give the Flyers a 3-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have not lost a decision in regulation time in nine straight games (7-0-2).
Also, they have not allowed a power play in three straight games (nearly 215 minutes), which ties an NHL record.
On top of that, both Washington and New Jersey lost on Tuesday night, putting the Flyers just three points out of the Metro Division lead and two points up on the Devils for the final seeded spot.
They did all this with rookie goaltender Alex Lyon minding the net. Newly acquired goalie Petr Mrazek was in attendance, but he just flew in Tuesday morning and the Flyers want to give him time to get acclimated.
The only negative note of the game was an apparent foot injury suffered by Travis Konecny.
While he was able to finish the game, he was in obvious discomfort and did not come out for post-game interviews, usually a sign that tests have to be run to determine the extent of a possible injury.
The Flyers won their seventh straight overtime decision. They have not lost in overtime since Nov. 27 vs. Pittsburgh.
“You know, we stuck with it,’’ Voracek said after beating Price with a hard wrister in the tiebreaker. I think we were a little bit tired to be honest, it wasn’t the prettiest. But it was in overtime and that’s when it counts.’’
The Flyers could have folded the tent when Paul Byron scored at 8:45 off a missed coverage to give the Canadiens their 2-1 lead.
But the Flyers showed some grit.
“That’s why you have to stick with it,’’ Voracek said. “There were 10 minutes left in the game. We tied it and won it in overtime. You can’t score five or six goals every game. You have to grind it out sometime.’’
Lyon seems to get more confidence with each appearance, having now played in parts of five games.
He managed to stop all but two of 27 shots and may have found a defined role as designated backup now that Mrazek is in town. Both Brian Elliott (core muscle surgery) and Michal Neuvirth (lower-body injury) are each gone for at least a month.
“I’m taking the same approach,’’ Lyon insisted. “Doing the same things I’ve always done.
“I thought that we played fantastic today. I can’t say enough about the guys. They (Montreal) hit a couple posts and had a few quality chances but other than that, we kept everything to the outside and tightened that front.’’
This game also marked the debut of Oskar Lindblom, who was brought up from the Phantoms to spell the injured Wayne Simmonds (out 2-3 weeks with an upper-body injury).
“I felt good today,’’ Lindblom said. “A lot of fun out there. I had a couple chances at the beginning and thought I was going to score. The guys helped me a lot, they talked to me a lot. It’s been positive up here.’’
Coach Dave Hakstol said not giving up a power play in three straight games is obviously a positive. Strong skating has been a factor during the streak.
“I don’t think we’ve dominated puck possession over the last couple games,’’ he said. “But when we haven’t had it, we’ve worked hard to get it back the right way. At this time, it’s moving your feet, getting above plays. And trying to check the right way. It doesn’t happen too often (no power plays allowed) three games in a row.
“Points are critical,’’ he added. “So any way you can get the points is important. We did a lot of really good things.’’
Hakstol didn’t sound all that concerned with Konecny’s status. “He got hit with a puck there but he finished the game. That’s part of the game. He’s obviously sore through the rest of the game. But I give him credit, he continued to battle through and do everything he could.’’. . .Voracek leads the NHL in assists so his passing skills are undeniable. But fans still call for him to shoot more. “It’s always easier to say we’re overpassing things,’’ he said. “On the ice, it’s completely different. I hear shoot the puck every time I touch it. If I did that, I would have 500 shots at the end of the season.’’
Lindblom wore No. 54 and played on a line with Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl. . .Claude Giroux set up Nolan Patrick’s goal in the second period and now has 70 points on the season. For his career, he’s now seven points behind Tim Kerr for sixth place on the Flyers’ alltime scoring list and 16 behind Eric Lindros for fifth.
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