Just because the Flyers have put a little distance between themselves and the ninth-place Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, don’t think they’ve taking any suntan lotion on their upcoming three-game road trip.
Nope. All three games – Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dallas on Tuesday, Colorado on Wednesday – promise to be tough cookies.
So the Flyers, who were seven points up on Florida heading into Saturday night NHL play, want to keep their game faces on.
If they can manage, say, three of a possible six points, they should be in pretty good shape heading into their final four games against Boston (home next Sunday), at the Islanders (April 3) and then finishing up with home games against Carolina on April 5 and the Rangers on April 7.
The Flyers are 3-0-1 in their last four games, including an important 4-3 home win over the Rangers on Thursday.
Veterans such as Andrew MacDonald say it’s important to keep that momentum going.
“I don’t think we can change our mindset at all,’’ MacDonald said. “We saw what happens when you lose a few, it can go the other way in a hurry.
“We were battling for the division (lead) and the next thing you know, all the teams caught up to us after that streak. I just think we’re focused on each game at hand and that’s going to be the most important thing going down the stretch.’’
The Penguins, in particular, have given the Flyers a hard time this season, winning all three meetings (one in overtime) and outscoring Philadelphia, 15-7, in the process.
“Yeah, we know Pittsburgh has been playing some good hockey,’’ Claude Giroux said. “They have a lot of guys who can score and make plays.
“For us, it’s going out there and kind of worry about our game.’’
The Flyers are going for their 20th road win of the season, the most since a franchise record-tying 25 victories back in 2011-12.
At the moment, the Flyers have 19 wins both at home and on the road.
“When we get going (at home) here, get the crowd with us, we’re a really good team,’’ said rookie Oskar Lindblom. “So we just need to try to take that with us on the road games.’’
Travis Konecny, who was benched for lax defense for much of the third period of the Ranger game (despite scoring two goals), says the road trip will provide a good challenge.
“It’s definitely going to be a tough road trip,’’ he said. “It’s going to be a good test, we’re all looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good three-game test to see what we have. It was a good win (vs. Rangers) to get that momentum and now keep it going.’’