Flyers

Flyers 3, Senators 2: Flyers take care of business, move even closer to a playoff spot

Flyers 3, Senators 2: Flyers take care of business, move even closer to a playoff spot

BOX SCORE

No Jakub Voracek, no problem.

Well, against the Senators at least.

In the first game of Voracek's questionable two-game suspension (see story), the Flyers took care of the NHL's bottom feeders with a 3-2 win Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

By doing so, the Flyers (34-27-8) crept to within three points of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot as the Blue Jackets lost to the Islanders, 2-0.

Both the Blue Jackets and Canadiens have 79 points compared to the Flyers' 76. Columbus and Montreal play Tuesday, while the Flyers are idle until Thursday.

The Flyers' torrid push has not slowed down. Since Jan. 14, the Flyers are 18-4-2 with 38 points, tied for most in the NHL alongside the Lightning.

The Senators (23-41-6), on the other hand, have lost 11 of their last 12 games and are 9-25-2 on the road.

• One huge reason for the Flyers' run since mid-January has been Travis Konecny looking like the player he was from last season, pushing the puck up ice, making plays and finding the back of the net.

He celebrated his 22nd birthday Monday by dishing a cross-ice feed to Scott Laughton for a 3-1 cushion at the end of the second period.

Konecny has scored 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in his last 22 games after scoring just five points over his previous 20 games, when the Flyers were really struggling.

• After a relatively quiet, pass-happy first period for the Flyers, Shayne Gostisbehere got things going early in the middle stanza with his big-time shot.

From just outside the circle, Gostisbehere blasted one so lethally, the puck pinballed off Sean Couturier and then Oskar Lindblom for the 1-1 equalizer.

Gostisbehere has been much more visible offensively over his past two games with three assists, while the Flyers are 14-5-3 when he registers a point.

• Despite Carter Hart being healthy, interim head coach Scott Gordon decided to go right back to Brian Elliott, who rewarded him with 20 saves and the victory.

Elliott is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts and he'll be splitting the Flyers' upcoming back-to-back with Hart.

• As a bottom-six guy, Michael Raffl sees his minutes go up and down but he's always solid. In his 400th career game as a Flyer, Raffl put up a two-point game and had a nice defensive play turn into a goal.

Since Feb. 9, the 30-year-old has nine points and a plus-7 rating in 15 games — ideal production for a player in his role.

His steadiness likely played a factor into general manager Chuck Fletcher deciding to not trade the pending unrestricted free agent at the Feb. 25 deadline.

• Laughton plays his butt off every single game. Even after falling hard on his back from a hit, he was right back up defending rookie Philippe Myers in a scrum in front of Elliott after the whistle blew.

His goal also set a new career high of 11.

• The Flyers host the defending champion Capitals Thursday (7 p.m./NBCSP), which starts a stretch of seven games in 11 days, six of which are against teams currently holding a playoff spot.

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Flyers trade Jean-Francois Berube to Rangers

Flyers trade Jean-Francois Berube to Rangers

Save the splashes for the deadline, right?

The Flyers made a minor trade Wednesday night by dealing goalie Jean-Francois Berube to the Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

Berube, 28, went 12-11-4 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 29 games for AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley this season. Berube, who has 34 games of NHL experience between stints with the Islanders and Blackhawks, was signed by the Flyers on July 1 to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000.

The Flyers have young goalie prospects Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko on their farm. Sandstrom, a 2015 third-round pick, and Ustimenko, a 2017 third-round selection, have appeared in a game apiece with the Phantoms this season. Both have played primarily with ECHL affiliate Reading in 2019-20.

The trade of Berube should provide developmental opportunity for Sandstrom, 23, and Ustimenko, 21, at the AHL level. On Friday night, the Flyers promoted Ustimenko to Lehigh Valley.

The Flyers' backup goaltending situation is unclear for 2020-21. Brian Elliott and Alex Lyon can become unrestricted free agents in the offseason.

Meanwhile, the NHL trade deadline is Monday of next week.

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Flyers Talk podcast: NHL playoff race, trade deadline and more

Flyers Talk podcast: NHL playoff race, trade deadline and more

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall debate the playoff race and share some insight on Claude Giroux.

From the Jeff Carter buzz to Nolan Patrick's situation, it's time to talk all things Flyers:

• 0:40 — Emmer loves to sing (hear her beautiful voice at the end)

2:00 — The win over the Blue Jackets looked like a statement

16:45 — Emmer wants to see postseason hockey in Philly

17:50 — Are the Flyers about to solidify their playoff berth?

24:40 — A Carter reunion?!?!

28:00 — Will Patrick play this season?

33:20 — Insight on Giroux as a Flyer

41:15 — Trade deadline show!

42:10 — Emmer's hockey joke of the day!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers