After being the team to beat in the NHL for the month of March, the Flyers capped off an absolutely horrific first week of April with a 5-2 trouncing of the Sabres Sunday night. The Flyers recent six game stretch feature a dismal 1-2-2 record. While they outplayed Boston and St. Louis in their respective shootout losses, these were games where they desperately could have used the 2nd point from a win. They also blew a golden opportunity to close in on NYR for 2nd place in the Metropolitan with a shutout loss to the Blue Jackets, who are hard on the Flyers tail for that 3rd place spot.
This game versus Buffalo came with many positives. The 2nd line of Schenn, Simmonds and Lecavalier were dominant recording 3 goals between them. This line is crucial to the Flyers postseason success. Everyone around the league knows how talented Giroux is and how dangerous he makes Voracek and Hartnell with his vision and passing on the ice. This 2nd line becoming a legitimate scoring problem will open up match-up problems for other teams if they contend with two or even three lines with the ability to put the puck in the net on any given shift.
Flyers fans also watched the powerplay come alive again after going 1-for-13 in their previous 4 games. The first unit had plenty of chances and shot but it was the 2nd unit cashing in. Streit was getting great looks at the net from the blue line and Schenn created havoc in front for the Buffalo defenders, eventually leading to his first goal of the night on a tip-in from just
Tonight the Flyers showed their offensive depth and prowess by defeating a rather upstart and pesky Panthers team. This is a team that relishes playing the spoiler given the teams recent playoff history. They held off a late Panther surge for a 5-2 win.
This game was big for a few players in the Flyers lineup. Vinny Lecavlier notched his 20th and 21st goals of the season, giving the Flyers a roster boasting 7 20+ goal scorers.They are the only team in the league with this distinction. Fans also saw Claude Giroux return to his goal scoring ways after a few "off" games by his standards with 2 of his own in the 2nd period.
After amassing a 4-0 lead the team took its foot off the gas and suddenly Florida was only down by 2 goals until late in the game Lecavalier buried a goal in behind Luongo for the final nail in the Panthers coffin on the night.
This win secured the teams 17th postseason appearance in the last 19 years, which is a pretty astounding feat.
The final three games are crucial for the orange and black as they still have a game in hand on the Rangers with the chance to capture home ice in the first round. They will need to win all 3 games to have the best chance at this while the Rangers will most likely need to lose out as they would have the edge in any tiebreaker situation over the Flyers.
Rejoice Flyers fans, spring is just beginning. Every spring hope comes alive again as dreams of Stanley Cup parades and Sudden Death survival dance in our minds. If this team can find the game it had before that 0-2-2 spurt they will be just fine and put a real scare into the NHL. Led by Captain Claude, this team has proven they can play with the best in the league, now is the time to find out just how good of a team they are.