Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Flyers Back In Playoffs With Third Straight Win

The Flyers have the opportunity to head into the Olympic break with a four game winning streak and a spot in the playoffs to lose.

The Flyers won their third straight game on Thursday, beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. The rode another stellar performance by Steve Mason, who has allowed three goals in his three starts during the current winning streak.

Mason stopped 38 shots against Colorado to seal the win. His only hiccup came late in the third period when Nathan MacKinnon sneaked a shot between Mason and the left goal post that cut the Flyers lead at the time to 2-1.

"He made a lot of key saves and that's what you want from your goalie, to make those key saves, to keep the team in it," Claude Giroux said. "He's been unbelievable this year for us."

Mason experienced a scare in the second period when he experienced some dehydration. The cramping extended itself into the third period and progressively got worse when he forced himself to stretch to make a save.

Mason said it was tough to play through, but he was able to finish the game out despite his coach telling backup goaltender Ray Emery to get ready in the third period.

“You just clock watch more than anything and just looking for a stoppage to calm down and slow your breathing down to slow the rate of the cramping," Mason said. "It was a long third period.”

The Flyers woke up in the second period to break a scoreless tie, taking advantage of a snoozing Avalanche team.

The Flyers capitalized on the power play just over six minutes into the second period, their seventh consecutive game (14 of the last 17) with a power play goal. Mark Streit blasted a puck from the point that worked its way through traffic and past Semyon Varlamov to give Philadelphia a 1-0 edge.

The Flyers gave themselves a bit of a cushion in the third period, going up 2-0 thanks to Michael Raffl's seventh of the season. Raffl was set up by Sean Couturier and beat Varlamov.

With under three minutes to go, Colorado cut the lead in half with MacKinnon's rookie-leading 21st goal of the season. But Giroux iced it with an empty netter thanks to a hustle play by Wayne Simmonds to make it 3-1.

The Flyers have now won four of their last five games since being embarrassed 6-1 by the Bruins on Jan. 25.

"Winning battles was something that we addressed after the Boston game," Giroux said. "We wanted to make sure that we played better as a team. Supporting each other, we break out the puck even easier so we can have more offense."

-----

John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers
Email: russo@thecheckingline.com