The Philadelphia Flyers entered Thursday’s game with their playoff hopes hanging on by a thread. A third period that saw three straight Flyers goals pushed them past the Blues and gave them the 3-1 victory. The win puts the Flyers just four points back of Boston, who lost to the Calgary Flames in a shootout.
It would be the Blues who would get things started in the first period. A cross-ice pass off the stick of Mark Streit, intended for Claude Giroux, was intercepted by Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko made a move into the offensive zone and sent a pass over to Jaden Schwartz at the left circle. Schwartz fired a wrist shot past goaltender Steve Mason to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers generated chances for the rest of the period and the second as well, but goaltender Brian Elliot stood tall. The teams would enter the third period with the Blues up 1-0. Entering the final frame, St. Louis was 25-1-2 when leading after two periods. That would all change as the Flyers would get three consecutive goals in the final frame to get the win.
Michael Del Zotto would get things started for the Flyers. Matt Read would win a battle for the puck deep in the offensive zone. He would then get the puck over to Del Zotto. Del Zotto took a step to his right before sending a slap shot that deflected off a defender and past goaltender Brian Elliot to tie the game at 1-1.
Wayne Simmonds would get the game winner for the Flyers a little less than two minutes later. Read would tip the puck past defensemen Alex Pietrangelo at center ice and skate it into the left side of the offensive zone. Read delayed a little bit as Mark Streit entered the zone off a line change. Streit took the pass from Read and sent it on net. Simmonds deflected the shot, beating Elliot to put the Flyers ahead for good.
“Reader made a great delay play and obviously Streiter jumped up in the rush. I just went to the front of the net. Nothing set up, Streiter took a shot towards the net and I just redirected it in. It was a great play all around,” Simmonds said in an interview.
Michael Raffl would ice the game with the empty-netter with about a minute to play in the third. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare cleared the puck out of the Flyers zone and found Raffl. Raffl fired the puck from the red line and into the empty net to give the Flyers the 3-1 victory.
Matt Read and Luke Schenn each collected two assists in the victory. Steve Mason made a number of big saves, especially towards the end of the game, to collect a total of 28 saves in the win. Michael Del Zotto finished with a +3 along with his goal.
“Don’t have to tell my team how big game is. They’re all big from here until the end of the year,” Flyers head coach Craig Berube said in an interview.
The Flyers can climb to within two points of the final wild card spot with a victory. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m.