The Flyers picked up another big-boy win.
And in large thanks to their 19-year-old kid.
Joel Farabee stayed hot with a pair of huge goals and the Flyers beat the Avalanche, 6-3, Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers (28-17-7) climbed to within one point of third place in the deep Metropolitan Division and hold the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot (see standings).
Since Jan. 8, the Flyers are 6-2-1 with victories over the Capitals, Bruins, Blues, Penguins and Avalanche, five of the NHL’s top 10 clubs entering Saturday's action.
Alain Vigneault’s team also improved to 18-4-4 at home.
The Avalanche (28-16-6) played their first game in 12 days.
The #Flyers are 18-4-4 with 40 points and a plus-41 goal differential at home.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 2, 2020
Last season, they were 19-18-4 with 42 points and a minus-15 goal differential at home.
• As the calendar flipped to trade deadline month, the rookie Farabee extended his point streak to a season-best five games with his first career two-goal performance.
After scoring three goals in his first 37 games, Farabee has four goals and two assists in his last five outings.
The Flyers knew the 2018 first-round pick could score and they’re seeing it come at an ideal time as the team will ponder if it needs to look externally for depth ahead of the Feb. 24 deadline.
The growth of Farabee’s role and production will make the Flyers think twice about looking for outside help.
Sean Couturier, who found Farabee for both of his goals, rebounded from Friday’s scoreless performance in Pittsburgh.
He finished with three assists and has not gone scoreless in consecutive games since Nov. 19-21.
Sean Couturier since Oct. 29:— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 2, 2020
• 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists) and plus-23 rating in 42 games
• More even-strength points (35) than Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
🐝🐝🐝🐝— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 2, 2020
Farabee scores his second of the night! pic.twitter.com/iykFSkO5Ul
T E A M W O R K !— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 2, 2020
Farabee scores off of a filthy feed from Couturier. pic.twitter.com/64rObB9ShO
• The focal point of the Flyers’ defensive strategy was to make everything difficult for center Nathan MacKinnon, who came in with 72 points (30 goals, 42 assists) through 49 games.
The Flyers followed through on their game plan, holding the 24-year-old star to without a point. Colorado is 10-15-3 when MacKinnon scores one point or fewer compared to 18-1-3 when he records a multi-point game.
Job well done by the Flyers.
• Behind 28 saves, Alex Lyon picked up his fifth career NHL win and first since March 22, 2018.
Lyon was huge in the first period. Colorado got after him with its high-end skill but he stopped 11 shots, many of which came from point-blank range. Flyers defensemen also made heads-up plays to break up some rushes and rebound opportunities.
The Avalanche entered with an NHL-high 57 first-period goals, but the Flyers weathered the storm, counterattacked and took a 2-0 advantage into the middle frame.
• The first-period goals were courtesy of Matt Niskanen and Kevin Hayes, the team’s biggest offseason additions.
Niskanen finished with two points and a plus-4 rating, while Hayes registered three points, including a shorthanded third-period goal to help seal the win.
Niskanen (23 points) is projected to finish with his most points since 2016-17 and Hayes (16 goals) has a good chance to surpass his career-high 25 markers set in 2017-18.
Kevin Hayes has 16 goals through 52 games.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 2, 2020
When he scored his career-high 25 goals in 2017-18, he had 13 goals through 52 games.
⚠️ NSFW ⚠️— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 2, 2020
Kevin Hayes with the SHORTY!! pic.twitter.com/AEQuhbNxQY
Both have been massively important to the penalty kill, as well.
They weren’t the splashiest of acquisitions by general manager Chuck Fletcher but have turned out to be underrated moves.
Just how much those moves pay off will be determined during the playoff race.
Niskanen with the shot, Coots with the redirection! pic.twitter.com/7g2Uq2aK5B— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 2, 2020
• Shayne Gostisbehere (knee) and Carter Hart (abdominal strain) skated Saturday and “both did well,” Vigneault said before the game.
There’s a chance Gostisbehere returns for Monday’s game. Hart remains out and his status is uncertain for the team’s following game Thursday.
• The Flyers fly to Detroit Sunday before taking on the Red Wings Monday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).
After a day off Tuesday, the Flyers will practice Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, ahead of Thursday’s matchup with the Devils at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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