ST. LOUIS -- The Flyers continued to show they can play with the NHL’s big boys on Wednesday night.
Jake Voracek scored a picturesque goal in overtime as the Flyers jolted the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, 4-3, at the Enterprise Center.
Voracek faked a shot, dragged the puck to avoid defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and scored from the high slot with 1:27 left in overtime, finishing a two-on-one with Ivan Provorov. A bad line change by the Blues led to the rush.
“I had to slow it down a little bit to get some more time and space,” Voracek said.
Brian Elliott made 30 saves in the win, which gave the Flyers a 3-1 record in their last four games, all against elite teams: Washington, Tampa Bay, Boston, and St. Louis.
“It shows we can play with anyone,” Voracek said.
“It’s just a different vibe, a different feeling in the locker room, it seems, when we play the top teams,” said left winger Michael Raffl, who had a key goal and three hits in the win. “Our boys show up, our boys are ready, and it’s a lot of fun lately.”
The Flyers denied the Blues from winning a 10th straight home game, which would have been a franchise record.
“We battled and found a way to grind it out and get a greasy road win against a real tough team,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Blues, stymied by the Flyers’ brilliant penalty-kill work on a five-on-three early in the third period, got to within 3-2 when Ryan O’Reilly scored on a rebound with 9:25 left in regulation. A little over three minutes later, an all-alone Alex Steen scored on a backhander in front to tie the game at 3-3. Phil Myers and Travis Sanheim (four blocked shots) were the defensemen on the ice for both goals.
The Flyers also got goals from Tyler Pitlick and Travis Konecny.
Trailing 1-0, the Flyers had their best two scoring chances of the night with a little less than 12 minutes left in the second period. But Sean Couturier (two assists) hit iron from close range, and, a short time later, Pietrangelo intercepted Raffl’s ill-advised two-on-one pass to Couturier.
In the next couple minutes, Matt Niskanen and Voracek whipped shots off the post before Pitlick’s wraparound attempt caromed off the skate of Pietrangelo and past goalie Jordan Binnington, knotting the score at 1-1 with 7:17 left in the second.
Three minutes later, Binnington allowed a juicy rebound on Robert Hagg’s point drive, and Raffl swatted the puck into the empty net to give the Flyers their first lead, 2-1, with 4:17 to go in the period.
“Bobby had a good shot, and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Raffl said.
It gave Hagg points in four of the last five games, and it was Raffl’s second goal in the last five games.
The second period ended with the Blues’ David Perron cross-checking Konecny up high, and the Flyers, led by Hagg, going after him. Perron drew a two-minute cross-checking penalty.
Konecny got sweet revenge. Twenty-six seconds into the third period, while on the power play created by Perron’s penalty, he took an eye-opening pass from James van Riemsdyk and slammed in his team-high 15th goal, giving the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
“It felt good,” Konecny said with a smile. “It took the anger out of me, for sure.”
Early in the third, the Flyers had to kill a five-on-three power play, with two of their best penalty killers -- Raffl and Kevin Hayes -- in the box.
They did not give the Blues a high-quality chance, as Couturier, Niskanen, and Provorov did most of the admirable work.
“I folded my hands and looked up and prayed, I guess,” Raffl cracked about watching the five-on-three from the penalty box. “It’s the worst feeling you can have, sitting out there and waiting for the boys to get the job done.”
“We made some really good reads under pressure,” Elliott said. “That was a statement kill there that we’re not going away. The guys really elevated their game tonight.”
The Blues were just 1 for 6 on the power play, while the Flyers were 1 for 2.
The Flyers, who host Montreal on Thursday, didn’t create many first-period scoring chances and fell into a 1-0 hole on a power-play goal by St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk.
With both Flyers defensemen caught on the same side of the ice, Faulk moved deep into the left circle and one-timed Steen’s feed past Elliott with 5:36 left in the first.
The Blues had a 14-8 shots advantage in the opening period.
The Flyers have been outscored in the last 10 first periods, 19-8.
It was the Flyers’ first meeting with the Blues since they won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Some teams have a Cup hangover. Not the Blues. They entered the night tied with Washington for the most points in the NHL, despite missing high-scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder surgery) for most of the season and being without standout defenseman Colton Parayko for the last six games with an upper-body injury.
“It’s a team mentality; we rely on everyone, we rely on four lines,” former Flyer Brayden Schenn said before the game. “We know there’s a lot of goals missing with Tarasenko [usually] scoring at least 30 a year, so other guys had to step up, and they have.”
It was the Flyers who stepped up on Wednesday, denying the Blues of finishing a 5-0 homestand for the first time in franchise history.
“We elevated our game in the last little bit, knowing you have to bring your 'A' game,” Elliott said of what could have been a murderous four-game stretch. “I think we have to find that consistency on a night-to-night basis. This gives us a lot of confidence."