The Flyers continued to find ways to win as they outlasted visiting Vancouver, 2-1, and captured their eighth consecutive victory Monday. With 29 games left, they are five points behind Columbus for a playoff spot, though the Blue Jackets have two games in hand.
Here are some observations:
In addition to his lights-out play, rookie goalie Carter Hart has energized the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, transforming it from a morgue to a madhouse.
His remarkable diving save on Nikolay Goldobin with 5:32 left preserved the 2-1 lead and may have drawn the loudest roars of a truly bizarre season.
Suddenly, watching hockey is fun again, thanks to a 20-year-old goalie who has made his teammates believe anything is possible.
» WATCH: See Carter Hart’s amazing save
Before the arrival of Hart and interim coach Scott Gordon, the Flyers simply could not win low-scoring games. They won just once in their first 31 games when scoring three goals or fewer.
Hart and Gordon arrived at Game No. 32.
Since then, the Flyers have eight wins (in 22 games) when scoring three goals or fewer.
More numbers: The Flyers are 9-3-2 in one-goal decisions under Gordon. They were 3-3-4 under Dave Hakstol.
Yes, having a dependable goalie has made a huge difference, but give Gordon props for getting the most out of his players, especially the young ones.
For those saying the Flyers would be in a playoff position now if Hart was recalled earlier, well, that simply isn’t true.
Hart was not ready. He struggled mightily in his early days with the AHL’s Phantoms. A month before he was recalled, Gordon told then-GM Ron Hextall that Hart was not ready.
Hart then ran off five straight impressive games and was recalled.
By then, the timing of that promotion was perfect.
» READ MORE: Flyers would make history if they made NHL playoffs
Much has been made about the Flyers’ revived power play. And rightfully so.
The power play is 7 for 10 (70 percent) in the last three games and has keyed one-goal wins over Boston, Edmonton, and Vancouver. The PP was 2 for 25 (8 percent) in its previous nine games.
“I’m just glad it’s rolling again and we’re creating a lot of momentum with the power play,” center Sean Couturier said after scoring a PP goal Monday.
The power-play’s revival has overshadowed the fact that the penalty kill has performed admirably.
In the first 50 games, the Flyers had outscored their opponents in special teams just four times. But they have won the special teams’ battle in the last three games – and have now done that seven times in 53 games.
The PK was 3 for 3 in Monday’s riveting win over Vancouver – Claude Giroux, Scott Laughton, Ivan Provorov, Radko Gudas and Couturier led the way -- and is 6 for 6 in the last two games.
In the last 32 games, the PK is clicking at 83.5 percent – after being successful just 68.5 percent of the time in the first 21 games.
The Flyers had a 30-10 advantage in blocked shots Monday. That’s the good news. The bad news: They allowed Vancouver too many shot attempts and too much zone time. The Canucks had an 83-50 domination in shot attempts.
Travis Sanheim and Provorov each had six blocks, and Gudas had five blocks and five hits.