The Flyers, thanks to last night's draining 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators at the sold-out Wachovia Center, head into the Christmas break in a content mood.
A 15-2-4 record in their last 21 games will do that to a team.
Simon Gagne's bizarre goal from the left circle - it deflected off two former Flyers defensemen - snapped a 4-4 tie with 5 minutes, 30 seconds remaining. The shot caromed off the skates of both Alexandre Picard and Jason Smith.
On a night when nearly every goal was scored on a strange carom, Gagne's score seemed fitting.
"I saw [Mike] Knuble in front of the net and just tried to hit his blade, and maybe I missed and hit one of their skates and it went in," Gagne said after his 18th goal of the season. "Just put it on the net with a lot of traffic in front . . . and you never know what can happen."
Mike Richards' empty-net goal with 10 seconds left sealed the win.
Earlier, the Flyers' Center City Line of Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul and Scott Hartnell continued its torrid scoring pace, and Andreas Nodl notched his first NHL goal as the Flyers sent the Senators to their 10th consecutive road defeat (0-8-2).
Since Carter's line was assembled, it has 19 goals and 38 points in eight games. Carter scored his league-high 26th goal and Lupul added his 13th, while Hartnell had two assists.
Trailing by 4-2, the Senators scored two goals about three minutes apart to tie the score midway through the third period. The last one, a high drive by defenseman Chris Phillips, deflected off Richards and got past goalie Antero Niittymaki with 9:21 left in regulation.
"Last year, maybe this is a game we lose," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "I just see a lot of guys that want to be on the ice and want you to call their name and think they can make a difference. A lot of our young guys have matured, and we've got a really strong veteran presence that can bring a sense of calm in those situations."
Nodl scored by tipping Kimmo Timonen's point shot past goalie Alex Auld, giving the Flyers a 4-2 second-period lead. Timonen's shot deflected off Nodl's pants and off defenseman Phillips and into the net.
"It's real nice to get the first one out of the way," Nodl said. "I didn't want to play all season without a goal."
A native of Vienna, Austria, who was selected by the Flyers in the second round of the 2006 draft, Nodl was playing in his 25th game with the team. He had been sent to the Phantoms earlier in the week but was recalled yesterday because of an injury to Scottie Upshall.
The Flyers also got an early goal on a shot that looked more like a Phil Niekro knuckleball.
Matt Carle, from just inside the blue line on the left, bounced a wrist shot that went through Auld's legs with 13:27 left in the first period, tying the score, 1-1. Josh Gratton and Jon Kalinski (first career point) worked hard to get the puck back to Carle at the point.
Carle was one of six Flyers who scored goals.
"We've got a couple of days off to recharge and then get on the road and get some more wins," Carter said.