Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Flyers' 10 straight wins are best streak since 1985

DENVER - In the Mile High City, the Flyers continued an amazing run Wednesday night that has made them the NHL's top team over the last three weeks.

DENVER - In the Mile High City, the Flyers continued an amazing run Wednesday night that has made them the NHL's top team over the last three weeks.

Goals by Roman Lyubimov and Brayden Schenn early in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and sparked the Flyers to their 10th straight victory, an intense 4-3 win over Colorado at the Pepsi Center.

It is the Flyers' longest winning streak since 1985 and matches their third-longest in franchise history.  The club record is 13 straight wins in 1985.

The Flyers play in Dallas on Saturday afternoon, then have home games Monday against Nashville and Wednesday against Washington.

"We have to keep it going," winger Michael Raffl said. "It's so much fun to come to the rink and play games. Everybody works hard and we're working for each other."

The Flyers survived a frantic finish in which Andrew MacDonald broke his stick. That caused Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to give the defenseman his stick, and Wayne Simmonds to hand Bellemare his stick.

"And it's probably the worst right-handed stick I've ever used," said a smiling Bellemare, who failed to clear the puck in the final minute, enabling Colorado _ which had pulled its goalie and had an extra attacker _ to keep the puck in the zone and swarm goaltender Steve Mason.

In the meantime, Simmonds had no stick and was trying to block shots with his body.

After the stick exchanges, "it was kind of a rodeo after that," Simmonds said.

But Mason stood tall, and the Flyers survived.


"Just an all-out battle," Mason said. "The guys were giving everything they could just to block shots and try to clear pucks....It was a heck of a way to close out a game. Pretty chaotic there."

During their streak, the Flyers have won six of their 10 games by one goal. If you exclude empty-net goals, eight of their 10 wins are by one goal.

"We want to keep it alive. We know in Philly they're enjoying it as much as we are right now," captain Claude Giroux said. "It's not going to be easy to keep the streak alive. Every game is a big game, but right now we're doing a good job of staying focused on how we need to play."

"We're doing good things and evolving into a good team," said Simmonds, who scored his team-high 16th goal. "We're a year older and I think with the leadership we have in the room, everyone is bringing a different aspect."

After some tenacious forechecking by Lyubimov, the hustling Russian converted a Rene Bourque turnover, scoring on a right-circle blast with 16 minutes, 30 seconds left to put the Flyers ahead, 3-2.

Just 1:46 later, Schenn used power move to get around defenseman Francois Beauchemin and deposit his fifth goal in the last three games, igniting a crowd that included several thousand orange-clad Flyers fans.

With 4:45 left, Colorado cut the deficit to 4-3 on Matt Duchene's second goal of the night, both on rebounds.

Mason did the rest, finishing with 13 third-period saves.

"There's a sense of calmness in here," Simmonds said. "It's working well right now."

Simmonds, sent in alone after taking a pass from Radko Gudas, tied the game at 2-2 with 3:03 left in the second _ just 23 seconds after the Avalanche had taken a brief lead on Duchene's rebound goal.

The Flyers thought they had taken a 3-2 lead as Bellemare tipped a shot past goalie Calvin Pickard with 1:45 left in the second, but the play was reviewed and it was ruled Bellemare scored on a high stick. No goal.

With 1:24 to go in the second, chaos ensued as Gabriel Landeskog leveled Raffl with an open-ice hit. Jake Voracek went after Landeskog, who won the fight.

Landeskog was not penalized for the hit to Raffl and received five minutes for fighting. Voracek got seven minutes _ five for fighting, two for roughing.

"That was huge," Schenn said of Voracek defending Raffl. "When your star play is stepping up to jump in for a just kind of good to show how much of a team we are now and it's good to see."

Schenn has the winning goals in the last three games.

Raffl said he thought it was a clean hit and said he had no after-effects from it.

Earlier, the Flyers struck first as defenseman Michael Del Zotto, after taking a slick pass from Claude Giroux, batted his own rebound out of midair and behind Pickard, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead with 15:59 left in the second.
It was Del Zotto's third goal in his last seven games. Giroux (12 points in last 10 games) and Voracek (16 points in last 10 games) collected assists.

Four minutes later, Giroux was ahead of the pack and, while being hounded from behind by Fedor Tyutin, got off a backhander that Pickard turned aside.

Giroux's assist on Del Zotto's goal gave him points in 23 games (out of 32), the most in the NHL this season.

But Colorado tied the game at 1-all when Bourque scored on a spin-around shot from the high slot with 8:46 remaining in the second.

Bourque fired his shot after Landeskog won a faceoff from Giroux. Landeskog appeared to screen Mason on the goal.

The Flyers controlled a scoreless first period, outshooting the Avalanche, 12-5, and keeping the puck in Colorado's end for most of the opening 20 minutes.

Mason, making his 14th start in the last 16 games, wasn't forced to make many difficult saves in the opening period.

Entering Wednesday, Mason was on a personal-best seven-game winning streak, during which he had a 2.23 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

The 28-year-old goaltender was refreshed after being given off Sunday, serving as the backup while rookie Anthony Stolarz blanked Detroit, 1-0, in overtime.

"It was fun to sit back in a kind of more-relaxed environment," Mason said before the game. "I enjoyed things a little more. When you're in every game, I get in such a focused mindset where you don't tend to enjoy things as much."

Mason paused.

"To sit back and watch Stolie step in and finally get a shutout _ it took him a while _ was good," he cracked.

It took Stolarz just two starts to get his first NHL shutout.

Added Mason: "It was good to get a mental break and a physical break as well."

Now he gets two days recover from wild finish that kept the streak alive.