DENVER — There was one minute and 24 seconds left, with the faceoff in front of goalie Steve Mason, where a gassed Flyers team desperately clung to a 4-3 lead.
That’s when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare lost a draw to Matt Duchene.
The puck would remain in Colorado’s end until the final whistle, while the Avs would attempt five shots — two of which actually reached Mason — while the rest were either wide or blocked.
Thing is, it was pure chaos because defenseman Andrew MacDonald broke his stick shortly after the faceoff.
Bellemare gave MacDonald his stick and grabbed a right-handed stick from Wayne Simmonds.
“It was a rodeo after that point,” Simmonds said.
That’s when all hell broke loose because Bellemare is a lefty and couldn’t use it against any of the six Avs pressing for a tying goal.
“We were essentially down [two] men,” said Simmonds, who stood and blocked people or shots with no stick, just his body.
“I couldn’t take passing lanes away. All I could do was stand at the top and try to block a shot.”
Pucks were missing the net, the Flyers were chasing boards to boards, and when someone got a stick on it, the puck popped to Bellemare at the right half-wall.
All Bellemare had to do was clear it, but he muffed his clearing attempt because ...
“It could just have been a banana,” Bellemare said. “It was like the worst right-handed stick I could actually get.
“It was chaos. A-Mac breaks his stick so I give him mine. And then I got Simmonds' stick and it’s 6 on 4. ... We were able to touch the puck at the right time.”
Mason made saves on Gabriel Landeskog in the low slot and Tyson Barrie at the point. The final 1:24 unfolded without a stoppage.
“We had a failed attempted clear on a wrong way stick,” Mason laughed. “It was a heckuva way to close out a game. It was pretty chaotic there.”
By surviving it, the Flyers have their longest win streak in 31 years (see story) — 10 games — and they’ll be looking for No. 11 Saturday afternoon in Dallas.
“I’m really proud of the way everybody in this locker room has performed,” Mason said. “We found different ways to win hockey games. Guys are still battling. That’s what we need.
“This team has so much character. When everybody is going, we’re a hard team to play against. Winning 10 in a row is quite an accomplishment and very hard to do in this league.”
Incredibly, the Flyers aren’t the only streaking team in the Metropolitan Division, otherwise they’d be leading the division instead of being behind Pittsburgh and the Rangers.
The Penguins became the first NHL club ever to have a seven-game win streak during 10 consecutive seasons with its overtime victory against the Bruins on Wednesday.
Columbus has won seven, as well. Washington has won five straight.
“Every single team is on a streak in our division,” Simmonds said. “We’re just trying to keep pace [with everyone else].”
Jakub Voracek, who fought Landeskog in the second period after a bad but clean hit on Michael Raffl, said the Flyers have earned these wins.
“We’re getting those bounces because we deserve them,” Voracek said. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy and we battled through and found a way to earn two points.”
For coach Dave Hakstol, he couldn’t say if this was the most satisfying win among the 10.
“A lot of little things I liked,” he said. “We go down 2-1 and answer back right away with a good transition play and great finish by Simmer. A disallowed goal (by Bellemare) that could have pushed ahead, but it was the right call (high-stick).
“We’re looking for different ways to push forward in the third period and Luby (Roman Lyubimov) comes up with a big goal, and Schenner (Brayden Schenn) makes an excellent play on his goal. A lot of guys are contributing in good ways.”
On to to Dallas to make it 11 straight wins.