Flyers observations

Flyers pick up wild shootout win over Bruins, deliver early statement by sweeping back-to-back road set

Flyers pick up wild shootout win over Bruins, deliver early statement by sweeping back-to-back road set

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Talk about guts.

This weekend was going to require some serious resolve and the Flyers showed just how different they might be in 2019-20.

Alain Vigneault's team swept a back-to-back road set in Toronto and Boston after picking up another heart-stopping victory, this one a 3-2 shootout decision Sunday night over the Bruins at TD Garden.

Joel Farabee scored the lone tally in the skills competition as the Flyers went to the shootout for the fifth time this season. In 2018-19, the Flyers went to the shootout only four times.

The Flyers (10-5-2) have a season-best four-game winning streak, six-game point streak and are 8-2-1 since Oct. 21. The team's 10 wins through 17 games marks the quickest it has reached double-digit victories in a season since 2011-12, when the Flyers started 10-4-3 and last won a playoff series.

Prior to the loss, the Bruins (11-3-3) were scoring 4.13 goals per game at home and had won seven of their first eight games at TD Garden.

• This was a statement weekend for the Flyers. The Maple Leafs can absolutely blitz teams at home and the Bruins are as scary as any NHL club right now.

For the Flyers to grab early leads, hold off late surges and win two games after regulation on the road like that says a lot.

Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Kevin Hayes went scoreless over the weekend and the Flyers still pulled off the back-to-back wins. That's a major positive.

• Carter Hart was spectacular in turning away Boston late in the third period, when the Bruins were furiously pushing. Boston, with the NHL's best power play, went on the man advantage with 3:20 left but Hart kept it at bay. He also denied David Pastrnak on a penalty shot. Hart stayed focus despite the Bruins erasing the Flyers' 2-0 lead in the final stanza.

The 21-year-old is 3-0-0 in three career games against Boston. He is also 4-0-0 with 104 saves on 112 shots over his last four starts. It's safe to say the kid has his confidence back.

• Pastrnak had not gone scoreless in a home game this season, with 17 points in eight contests at TD Garden.

The Flyers held him scoreless.

• Ever since the season opener in Prague, Czech Republic, there has been no slowing down Travis Konecny.

The 22-year-old dynamo delivered his fourth multi-point game with a goal and an assist. With eight goals and 11 assists, Konecny has more points than Mark Scheifele, Artemi Panarin, Sidney Crosby, Johnny Gaudreau, Mitchell Marner and Patrice Bergeron.

Konecny has scored in 14 of the Flyers' 17 games. It's the most consistent we've seen him as a pro (see story).

 

• Good stuff from the Flyers in the discipline department. 

The Bruins entered with 12 man advantage goals at home, more than what 17 NHL teams had overall on the power play. The Flyers needed to stay out of the penalty box in Boston and, for the most part, they did, committing just two penalties. Over their last three games, the Flyers have allowed the opposition only five power play opportunities.

That's one way to improve your penalty kill — not use it as much.

• The Flyers are starting to jump on teams in the first 20 minutes, which is refreshing considering all the sluggish starts to games that plagued the team in recent years past.

Last season, the Flyers were forced to constantly play from behind. They allowed the NHL's second-most first-period goals (94) and finished with a minus-31 goal differential during the opening stanza.

Over their last four games, the Flyers have outscored the opposition 6-0 in the first period. Setting the tone has helped the Flyers dictate pace and play Vigneault's style.

• Sean Couturier had two assists and was a plus-2 in a tough matchup.

• Philippe Myers has put up three goals in the last three games — all in the first period. His mobility and offense from the blue line have been fun to watch. He also saved a goal in the third period.

What a superb start for the 22-year-old, who has three goals, four points and a plus-7 rating in six games since being called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

 

• The Flyers are off Monday and practice Tuesday in Voorhees, New Jersey, before welcoming the Capitals Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN).

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Flyers are rolling into Boston after massive shootout win over Maple Leafs

Flyers are rolling into Boston after massive shootout win over Maple Leafs

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The Flyers and Maple Leafs needed 11 rounds in the shootout to decide last Saturday's game.

This time, three rounds were enough and the Flyers came out on the winning end to earn a massive 3-2 victory Saturday night over Toronto at Scotiabank Arena.

Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier scored in the skills competition with highlight-reel tallies.

 

The Flyers (9-5-2) extended their season-best point streak to five games. They are 7-2-1 with 15 points since Oct. 21. The defending champion Blues are the only NHL team with more points (16) over that stretch.

The Maple Leafs (9-5-4) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

• Big-time win for the Flyers, who played a strong game from start to finish. They were 2-4-1 on the road entering tonight and needed this one. Their confidence should be at a season high heading into Boston.

• Travis Konecny and Oskar Lindblom have been a treat to watch all season so far.

Off a feed from Konecny, Lindblom scored a James van Riemsdyk-type of power play marker in the first period, giving him eight goals over 16 games. Last season, he had eight goals through 57 games.

Konecny and Lindblom have thrived under head coach Alain Vigneault — give all three of them credit for this start.

"I didn’t know much about Oskar before coming here, but what I’ve found is a real smart, two-way player, hard-working young man," Vigneault said on Oct. 26. "He’s got a good hockey sense to play that 200-foot game and he’s got a real good skill level.

"We’ve got him playing 5-on-5 on Coots' line, which has been our most consistent, he’s playing penalty killing with Coots, and he’s playing the power play. He’s become a real important player on our team.”

 

• After looking like the Flyers' best player in Thursday night's 3-2 OT win over the Canadiens, Philippe Myers kept it up Saturday night.

The defenseman opened the scoring for the second straight game with a first-period goal. Joel Farabee, 19 years old, started the rush and Myers, 22 years old, finished it.

Myers had one goal and two points in 21 games last season. He has already topped those totals through five games this season with two goals and three points.

We're seeing why general manager Chuck Fletcher was "bullish" on Myers this summer. He has been impressive in all areas.

 

• The Flyers' penalty kill went 3 for 3.

The PK had allowed 18 goals through 16 games last season. This season, the Flyers have allowed only seven power play goals in 16 games.

Assistant coach Mike Yeo has been key in those efforts. So, too, have the additions of Kevin Hayes, Matt Niskanen, Tyler Pitlick and Justin Braun.

• Brian Elliott gave the Flyers a great chance to win a tough road game. He was strong in overtime and finished with 38 saves.

• Shayne Gostisbehere has quietly looked better and better on the power play. Ivan Provorov has had a rough few games handling the puck on the first unit. Maybe the Flyers make a switch Sunday, moving Gostisbehere back to the No. 1 power play.

• Farabee had an assist and Saturday night marked his 10th game with the Flyers, which is notable.

• Andy Andreoff played well in his Flyers debut. He was noticeable and active on the fourth line, which was one of the Flyers' best Saturday night. His weekend is off to a good start and it will have a say in how long he sticks with the Flyers.

• The Flyers are right back at it Sunday when they visit Boston to play the Bruins (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), who are 11-3-2 and 7-0-1 at home.

This season, the Flyers are 0-2-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets.

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Flyers keep the late fun coming thanks to overtime win, are in company with 2011-12 team

Flyers keep the late fun coming thanks to overtime win, are in company with 2011-12 team

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The Flyers have made things interesting. They've gone past regulation in three of their last four games.

Despite the late theatrics, they have their longest point streak of the season at four games after beating the Canadiens, 3-2, in overtime Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sean Couturier scored the winner as his shot just barely beat Montreal goalie Carey Price.

 

The Flyers (8-5-2) have their most wins through the first 15 games of a season since 2011-12, when the team started 8-4-3 and finished 47-26-9 with 103 points. That was the last time the Flyers won a playoff series.

The Canadiens (8-5-3), who had won four of their last five games, nearly stole this one from the Flyers.

• The Flyers came out like gangbusters in the second period, outshooting the Canadiens 14-1 at one point during the stanza. They had a chance to win the game in that period but either ran out of gas or lost focus, allowing Montreal to score and stay alive with just a one-goal deficit at second intermission.

Tap your stick to Price, too, who made 32 saves through the first 40 minutes.

The Flyers finally got the best of him for good in overtime to improve to 6-1-1 at home.

• James van Riemsdyk's goal came directly after a power play expired, but the Flyers were let down by their man advantage. The power play went 0 for 6 and fell flat twice in the third period.

Carsen Twarynski was also awarded a penalty shot with 6:43 left in regulation but Price turned him away.

Fortunately for the Flyers, it didn't bite them.

• Philippe Myers has been impressive since his call-up on Halloween. The 22-year-old defenseman opened the game's scoring with a sharp play to keep the puck in the offensive and shoot it through traffic.

He covers ice, moves well and these types of plays are why so many gush about his potential. With four games, he's starting to cement his spot in the lineup.

Myers was the Flyers' best player Thursday night.

• van Riemsdyk, who knows how to clean up loose pucks, extended the Flyers' lead to 2-0 early in the second period.

After going scoreless in his first seven games, van Riemsdyk has eight points over his last eight. It was only a matter of time before van Riemsdyk started scoring and his 200-foot play has been much more noticeable than in years past.

• Carter Hart is 3-0-0 with 78 saves on 84 shots over his last three games.

The first goal Hart allowed Thursday was off a big rebound. The coverage in front of him was porous.

The second goal, Hart didn't play the puck too well behind the net and it led to Shea Weber beating him.

Price, who went 2-0-0 with 61 saves on 63 shots against the Flyers last season, made 40 saves.

• Ivan Provorov had a difficult time handling the puck on the power play, fumbling a few passes and struggling on entries.

The 22-year-old has been quarterbacking the first unit in place of Shayne Gostisbehere. While Provorov has looked strong overall, he'll have to be better moving forward to hold off Gostisbehere from earning back his role.

"Ghost, in our minds, coming in, was the power play guy," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Monday. "He’s been given the opportunity, I need him to show more on that. I need him to show more of that offensive skill. I know he’s trying real hard and he’s come with a real good mindset, and a real good attitude as far as work ethic, but he needs to show more.”

• Really tough news for Samuel Morin (see story).

• A cool story with Max Domi and Bob Clarke:

• The Flyers face a challenging back-to-back set on the road against the Maple Leafs Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Bruins Sunday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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