Flyers beat the odds, and Bruins, for unlikely Atlantic sweep

Joel Farabee

BOSTON – Imagine the odds one could have gotten on a bet the Flyers would sweep Atlantic Division powerhouses Montreal, Toronto and Boston, two of those games on the road no less?

And to top it off, in a span of only four days.

Well, the Flyers did just that, completing the unlikely trifecta with an impressive 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday night.

“Hometown hero’’ Joel Farabee (he attended Boston University) scored the only goal of the shootout as the Flyers won shootouts on back-to-back nights.

The Flyers, now 5-0-1 in their last six games and owners of third place in the Metropolitan Division, were coming off a tough, physical shootout win over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup finalist Bruins had Saturday night off and were resting comfortably for this contest.

Flyers goaltender Carter Hart had things under control for the first 40 minutes.

Then things started to unravel.

The Bruins, dormant for two periods, came roaring out in the third and got goals from Danton Heinen at 5:59 and Brad Marchand at 12:22 to erase the 2-0 deficit.

Heinen scored on a spin-around shot and then Marchand beat Hart with a high shot from long range.

The Flyers, now 10-5-2, might have bended these past two games but they didn’t break.

“The momentum that you carry over from beating a team like that (Toronto) last night just carries into today,’’ said Travis Konecny, who scored one goal and assisted on the other. “We knew it was going to be a hard game and even though we let them back into the game, it’s still a huge road win on a back-to-back against Boston.’’

On his shootout goal, Farabee skated straight at Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak and sent a shot under the crossbar.

“I watched some video before we went into the shootout,’’ Farabee said. “I knew he was good on his blocker so I knew if I was going to beat him, it was going to be glove. I just kind of reacted to what he gave me.’’

Some of Farabee’s BU teammates attended the game, so that made it extra special.

“Just to have them here, for them to be supporting me, was really cool,’’ he said.

The Flyers began the season with the all-time worst record in shootouts. But that appears to be changing. They are 3-2 right now this season.

“Just having ‘Hartsie’ (Hart) and ‘Moose’ (Brian Elliott) as our goalies, it gives our guys a lot of confidence,’’ Farabee said. “We know they’re going to bail us out. We can have confidence going into our shots.

“Getting all four points this weekend is really big.’’

For the second straight night, the Flyers got off to a two-goal edge (as they did in Toronto).

Konecny started things for the Flyers with a goal at 13:50 of the first period.

A three-on-one rush developed, with Halak stopping Sean Couturier’s initial shot. But Konecny cleaned up the rebound, scoring his eighth goal of the season, tying him with Oskar Lindblom for the team lead.

Then, at 17:56, Konecny went to work again. This time he sent a laser beam pass across the slot to defenseman Philippe Myers, who beat Halak from the right circle for his third goal in three games.

What’s up with the scoring spree for Myers?

“To be honest, I’m not so sure,’’ Myers said.  “I am confident out there and trying to keep it simple.  I just threw the puck on net.  The guy was trying to block it so I just waited until he slid by and the far side was open so I just tried to get it there.”

Myers is the first Flyers defenseman to score goals in three consecutive games since Mark Howe turned the trick in 1987.

“I honestly had no clue,’’ Myers said. “It’s good to hear that. If you play good defense, the rest will take care of itself.’’

Hart is starting to make these shootout wins look easy. He stopped three snipers in Charlie Coyle, Marchand and David Pastrnak.

“Back-to-back, we battled hard for 120 minutes,’’ Hart said. “Back-to-backs can be tough, especially with travel but we handled it really well.

“Just a good character win for us tonight. They (the shootouts) are fun. It’s kind of like what you do in practice, guys stay out after practice and have a little fun.’’

Coach Alain Vigneault understandably is in good spirits. What’s not to like when you beat three of the best teams in the Eastern Conference?

“For the first two periods, we were the better team,’’ he said. “In the third, we needed some huge saves and we got them. We were a little low in energy toward the end but our guys were giving it their best and we’ll take the shootout win. It’s big.’’


>Short shots


Hart also stopped Pastrnak on a penalty shot with 4:56 to play. . .The Flyers will have Monday off. They don’t play again until they host Washington on Wednesday. . .Chris Stewart and Robert Hagg were the healthy scratches for the Flyers.

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About Wayne Fish 2451 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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