The Flyers are still alive.
Hardly alive, but for now at least.
By virtue of tiebreakers, the Flyers would have been eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night with a regulation loss.
They avoided such a scenario by picking up a 5-4 shootout win over the Maple Leafs at the Wells Fargo Center. Sean Couturier was the only player to score in the skills competition, while Carter Hart stopped all five attempts he faced (kind of), along with converting 38 saves.
Still, after a 2-5-0 stretch, the Flyers (37-32-8) entered Wednesday with a 0.0 percent chance to make the playoffs by Hockey-Reference.com and SportsClubStats.com.
If the Canadiens beat the Blue Jackets Thursday night, the Flyers will be knocked out for good with five games remaining.
With the victory, the Flyers avoided a season sweep to the Maple Leafs (45-25-7), improving to 1-7-2 this season against contenders Toronto, Washington and Tampa Bay.
• It was nice to see the Flyers exhibit some fight in the second period. Nobody wants to be booted out of the playoff race in front of the home fans. The Flyers erased a 2-0 deficit in the middle stanza with goals from Travis Konecny, Radko Gudas and Couturier.
The goal by Couturier gave him a new career high of 32. He does so much and has been the team's most valuable player — and he's only 26.
Coots with the clutch goal!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 28, 2019
Flyers lead 3-2. pic.twitter.com/CXpVGlYG0S
• How about Auston Matthews? This play was unreal and tied the game early in the third period.
Things went back and forth afterward, with Ryan Hartman regaining the lead for the Flyers before William Nylander tied it back up 2:33 later.
• A few notes about the Travis boys.
For Travis Sanheim, he finished with two assists after going scoreless in his last eight games.
For Konecny, he scored his first goal in the last nine games. The biggest area in which the 22-year-old can improve next season is consistency.
• Samuel Morin, who had been recovering from a torn ACL suffered in May 2018, made his season debut and played in his first NHL game since Nov. 24, 2017.
With Morin entering the lineup, the Flyers rolled with seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Morin, a 2013 first-round pick, finished with 8:09 ice time, three hits and three blocked shots. He'll see more audition time over the final five games.
Shayne Gostisbehere played only 12:59 and was a minus-2.
• Nolan Patrick made an excellent play to intercept a pass in front during the second period of a 2-2 game, preventing a possible goal. Patrick's defensive responsibilities are always there if the offense isn't, which is important for the 20-year-old. Not long after, the Flyers went ahead on Couturier's goal.
• The Maple Leafs showed off their speed and skill in the opening period to hand the Flyers a 2-0 deficit.
The first goal was a product of great offense. Tyler Ennis made a superb reverse pass behind the net to Connor Brown, catching Gostisbehere and Hartman off-guard in coverage.
The second goal, Toronto was hungrier for the puck as the Flyers failed to break out and the Maple Leafs pounced with Nazem Kadri scoring.
• Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was in the house. The Phillies' anticipated 2019 opener is Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Odubel Herrera in the house and Gritty likes his hair. Play ball, tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/ufl9KJEBgU— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) March 28, 2019
• The Flyers play three of their final five games on the road, starting Saturday in Carolina against the Hurricanes (1:30 p.m./NBCSP).
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