After losing nine of 10 games from late December through early January, the Philadelphia Flyers have rebounded by winning seven of their last eight games including, three straight wins following the All-Star break against the Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers and now the Boston Bruins.
Describing the Flyers' 2018/19 campaign as streaky would be an understatement.
Last night, the Flyers (22-23-6) looked to continue their climb up from the basement of the Eastern Conference in search of a sixth straight win when they traveled to Boston to take on the Bruins (27-17-7) at the TD Garden.
This marked the third of four meetings this year with the two teams splitting the season series. All-time, in 197 previous meeting the Bruins hold the edge with 96-70-21-10 record.
Lately, the Flyers' goalies have been pretty solid in the crease led by 20-year-old Carter Hart and American Hockey League (AHL) call-up Anthony Stolarz. They've allowed just 2.00 goals per game (GPG) over their last seven games, while the Bruins have allowed 2.46 GPG at home.
Tuukka Rask, the Bruins' starting goalie, entered the game with a 1.99 GAA against the Flyers in his career. This marked Rask's first start since sustaining a concussion on January 19th in a 3-2 loss to the Rangers.
Late first period fireworks
At 3:05 of the first period, Torey Krug made a great cross-ice pass to David Pastrnak who one-timed the shot past starter Hart and into the net registering a power-play tally and his 29th of the season which gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead.
After the Bruins' defenseman, Charlie McAvoy's shot went wide and off the end glass, Jake Voracek retrieved the rebound at the Flyers' blue line and made a quick pass to Claude Giroux sending him on a breakaway. With just 43.2 seconds remaining in the period, Giroux beat Rask for his 15th of the season.
After a strong first period finish which featured many great stops by Hart, the Flyers completed 20 minutes tied at 1-1.
Trailing after two periods
Boston went back ahead 2-1 at the 5:11 mark of the second period when Patrice Bergeron snapped a shot that Pastrnak redirected into the net for his second goal of the game and his 30th of the season.
Later in the period, Flyers forward Scott Laughton was awarded a penalty shot at 6:42 when John Moore hooked him from behind on a breakaway, but Rask made a blocker save which kept the score 2-1 Bruins.
"I haven't scored in a month and a half. I don't know. [Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is] pretty patient and ... to be honest, I don't know," said Laughton following his failed penalty shot.
Third period Lindblom excitement
At 10:36 of the third period, Oskar Lindblom scored in his second consecutive game and tied the game at two. Credit Voracek and Travis Sanheim with the assists on Lindblom's seventh goal of the season.
With 2:05 remaining in regulation, Hart denied Pastrnak with a timely save ensuring overtime.
Overtime magic lifts Flyers to victory
With 2:04 remaining in overtime, Sanheim, playing in his 100th National Hockey League game, ripped a high wrist shot past Rask during a rare OT power-play capturing his fifth goal of the season, lifting the Flyers to their sixth straight win and continued them on this incredible roller coaster ride.
There was one second remaining on Brad Marchand's tripping penalty when Travis scored from the left face-off circle.
Travis Konecny, who drew the penalty on Marchand in OT, assisted with Sean Couturier on Sanheim's winner from the left circle.
Claude Giroux reacts to comeback win
"We came out flat a little bit, but we stuck with the game plan and the guys battled tonight," said Giroux. "These kind of wins feel a little better."
Bruce Cassidy's comments
The Bruins have now lost three in a row (0-1-2) and five of six (1-2-3). They have scored 12 goals in their past five losses, but head coach Bruce Cassidy said he was "disappointed" in their performance on defense against the Flyers.
"More self-inflicted damage from the back end tonight. [I am] very disappointed," said Cassidy not pulling any punches when throwing some criticism at his back end following the 3-2 OT loss.
"We got to fix it. Guys got to decide if they're going to play the right way and buy in and understand what we are right now," he said. "If we were scoring five goals a night, it'd be a little different animal, you can overlook some of those things. We're not in that position right now. Hopefully, we are at some point, but we're not there now."
Scott Gordon's comments
"I can't say enough about the way the guys played tonight. That has to be the best game we played," said Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon. "A little bit of a slow start, but you know, nothing that we couldn't recover from."
Hart made 23 saves to extend his personal winning streak to five games. Overall it was another great night for Flyers' hockey!
It was the Flyers' first win in Boston since Oct. 21, 2015, having dropped their previous four at TD Garden.
What do you think about the Philadelphia Flyers and their current winning streak? Let us know in the comment section below, and make sure to give us a follow on Twitter (@VAVELNHL_ENG) for more updates!