The Flyers haven’t won a playoff series since 2012, but this year it’s looking like they’re not only going to advance to the postseason, but be a dangerous team to face once they get there. They earned a 5-2 victory against Washington on Wednesday to extend their winning streak to seven games and narrow the gap between the Flyers and Capitals to just one point.
There was a glaring downside to Wednesday’s action for the Flyers given that James van Riemsdyk suffered a broken hand, but they have a lot of other offensive weapons. They rank sixth in the league in goals-per-game with five different players who have scored at least 19 goals and nine players with over 10 goals. By contrast, the Toronto Maple Leafs, which lead the league in goals-per-game, have six players with at least 10 goals.
If the playoffs started today, we’d be treated to a rivalry series between the Flyers and Penguins in the first round, though the Metropolitan Division is still close enough that it’s far from a foregone conclusion at this stage. For one, if the Flyers can keep rolling like they have been since Jan. 13th (they’ve gone 16-4-1 dating back to then), then securing the division title isn’t an unrealistic target.
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PHILADELPHIA 5 WASHINGTON 2
Kevin Hayes scored a goal and registered an assist for the Flyers. He’s up to 23 goals and 41 points in 66 contests this season.
Ivan Provorov also had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia. That gives him 12 goals and 35 points in 66 games.
Brian Elliott stopped 25 of 27 Capitals shots. He’s won three of his last four starts.
One of the Capitals’ two goals was scored by Garnet Hathaway. It was his eighth goal and 14th point in 63 games.
Braden Holtby saved 24 of 29 shots last night. He’s allowed at least three goals in six straight starts, but the Capitals have managed to record an okay 3-2-1 record over that span.
CALGARY 3 COLUMBUS 2 (OT)
The Blue Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Joonas Korpisalo surrendered a pair of goal on 10 shots in the third period en route to dropping the game in overtime. Overall, he saved 34 of 37 shots.
Cam Talbot saved 20 of 22 Blue Jackets shots. Both of the goals he allowed were scored in the span of 2:24 minutes in the first period.
TJ Brodie scored the overtime winner. It was his third goal and 18th point in 62 games.
Matthew Tkachuk also found the back of the net for the Flames. He’s up to 22 goals and 57 points in 67 contests.
Gustav Nyquist netted a goal for Columbus. He has 14 markers and 41 points in 68 games.
ANAHEIM 4 COLORADO 3 (OT)
Rickard Rakell scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. He’s up to 14 goals and 37 points in 61 games.
Andrew Agozzino also netted a goal for the Ducks. It was his first goal and third point in 21 contests.
Ryan Miller stopped 32 of 35 shots on Wednesday. He has an 8-6-3 record, 3.04 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 20 contests.
Gabriel Landeskog scored a goal and registered two assists for the Avalanche. That gives him 19 goals and 37 points in 50 games.
Pavel Francouz turned aside 26 of 30 Ducks shots. He surrendered two goals on 10 shots in the first period.
ARIZONA 4 VANCOUVER 2
Carl Soderberg got the Coyotes on the board first and later registered an assist. He has 16 goals and 33 points in 68 contests.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson also had a goal and an assist for Arizona. That gives him nine goals and 29 points in 64 games.
Tyler Toffoli found the back of the net for the Canucks. He’s up to 23 goals and 41 points in 65 games.
Thatcher Demko stopped 36 of 39 Coyotes shots. He has an 11-9-2 record, 3.08 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 24 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Darcy Kuemper saved 36 of 38 shots. He improved to 16-9-2 with a 2.16 GAA and .929 save percentage in 27 starts.