Flyers want to keep ‘bounce-back’ streak intact

It hasn’t happened since Jan. 8 and the Flyers want to keep it from occurring again for as long as they can.

Back on that date, the Flyers lost the second of back-to-back games, suffering a 5-3 defeat at Washington a day after they were blanked, 3-0, by St. Louis at home.

Since then, the Flyers have quickly bounced back from a 3-2 overtime loss to Los Angeles on Feb. 7 with a win over Anaheim and recovering from a 4-1 setback to Pittsburgh on Feb. 11 with a gutsy come-from-behind 5-4 at Minnesota the following day.

So, after losing to Tampa Bay, 5-2, on Tuesday night, the Flyers are hoping to avoid back-to-back failures in Thursday night’s game at Montreal.

Philadelphia won at Montreal on Jan. 19, a game in which rookie goalie Carter Hart stopped 33 of 35 shots in a 5-2 win.

The Flyers haven’t won twice in Montreal in the same season since the 2003-04 season, so the task won’t be easy.

“As I spoke with the players this morning, we’ve had a stretch since we were 14 points out where we went 16-3-1,’’ coach Scott Gordon said. “Up until last night’s game (vs. the Lightning), I always felt like we had the right mindset, the compete level was there.

“We might not have always played our best but there were certain elements that weren’t negotiated, they were consistent for 60 minutes.’’

Against Tampa, the Flyers gave up an uncharacteristic three goals in the first 10-plus minutes.

“Last night we didn’t have that (compete level) in the first period,’’ Gordon said. “I think it’s just understanding that when you go through a stretch of 20 games like we have and to have the success, at some point you’re going to have a game where you don’t have the right mindset.

“I think that’s the thing we have to fix right the start, at the puck drop in Montreal.’’

The Canadiens continue to stay in the playoff chase and were the first wild card team in the East after Tuesday night action.

“They’re a fast team,’’ Gordon cautioned. “We have to put ourselves in a position to make it hard for them to use their speed. Part of that is playing in the offensive zone, checking them in the neutral zone so we’re not dealing with an aggressive forecheck that they’re capable of bringing.’’

>Talbot arrives

After navigating his way through paperwork to get his visa in order, goaltender Cam Talbot finally arrived at the Skate Zone in Voorhees on Wednesday.

Actually, Talbot – who was acquired in a trade with Edmonton for Anthony Stolarz last Friday – wasn’t expected in town until Thursday, so things worked out better than expected.

“We weren’t sure if it would be Wednesday or Thursday, so he has an opportunity to get on the ice today,’’ Gordon said. “He can get in some practice tomorrow and Friday.

“That’s encouraging to get him in here and on the ice.’’

Talbot accompanied the team to Montreal but Hart will be starting and Brian Elliott is expected to be the backup.

>Alumni rosters announced

The Philadelphia Flyers alumni are set to face off against alumni from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation on Friday, 7 p.m. at the Class of ’23 Arena on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Recently retired ex-Flyer Scott Hartnell will be making his Flyers’ alumni debut.

Playing for the alumni: Forwards Brian Propp, Danny Briere, Hartnell, Dave Brown, Riley Cote, Todd Fedoruk and Mitch Lamoureux; Defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Jimmy Watson, Joe Watson, Brad Marsh, Terry Carkner, Doug Crossman, Kjell Samuelsson and Nick Schultz; Goaltender Brian Boucher. Coaches are Paul Holmgren, Bob Kelly and Bill Barber. Also in attendance: Bernie Parent, Reggie Leach, Bill Clement and Dave Schultz.

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About Wayne Fish 2437 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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