An 8-2-2 run, ignited when Shayne Gostisbehere scored an overtime goal to beat Nashville on Nov. 27, has vaulted the Flyers back into the crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Flyers, who don't play again until Sunday in Anaheim, entered Tuesday just two points out of a playoff spot.

They had Tuesday off and, because of the holiday break, will not practice again until Saturday.

And, yes, they are feeling good about themselves, thanks to their recent hot streak, which included Monday's 4-3 comeback win over St. Louis. The Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit to win for the first time in two years.

"Earlier in the season, I don't know if we would have won that game," said winger Chris VandeVelde, who started Monday's comeback with a shorthanded goal in the second period. "We're definitely growing as a team and that's good to see. We've been playing better and better, and hopefully we can grow on that after the break."

The Flyers have gotten better for several reasons. For one, the penalty kill has improved since Sean Couturier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned from injuries. For another, right winger Jake Voracek has been much more productive since moving to left wing on the second line four games ago.

Defenseman Evgeny Medvedev's development has also been a key. A healthy scratch for six November games, Medvedev, a former all-star in Russia's KHL who is in his first NHL season, has become better accustomed to the North American game during the last month.

And then there is the Ghost Factor.

Gostisbehere has energized the team. The Flyers are 10-4-4 since he was promoted from the AHL's Phantoms. They were 5-8-3 without him.

Gostisbehere has 14 points in 18 games, including three overtime goals. Entering Tuesday, he was one point behind St. Louis' Colton Parayko for the NHL lead among rookie defensemen, despite playing 15 fewer games.

"Huge," Voracek said when asked about Gostisbehere's impact. "He is a great offensive defenseman. He's playing very well. I don't know how many games he's been with us, but he's definitely helped us."

The Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit and salvaged a point in a 3-2 overtime loss in Columbus on Saturday, then climbed out of a 3-0 hole and stunned St. Louis on Monday.

Gostisbehere, who will find out later this week whether he will remain with the Flyers when Mark Streit comes off the long-term injured reserve list, credited Voracek, Claude Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds for the team's poise.

"It starts with our leaders, Jake, G, and Simmer," Gostisbehere said after the first two-assist game in his young NHL career. "They let us know [to] just calm down and that there was no need to freak out."

"No panic," said Simmonds, who had two goals to lead the comeback against the Blues. "We've been saying that for a long time now. No panic. . . . We can't keep our heads down when we go down; we have to keep going harder and harder and harder, and that's what we did."

The Flyers would rather not have to climb back from a deficit, but slow starts have forced them to play catch-up. They have had the lead after the first period in just one of their last 20 games.


Medvedev said sitting out several games and watching from the press box was a "very good experience. I saw the game from the upstairs. I also watched a lot of videos. Went over the mistakes [and] what I did wrong and what I did right, and I actually don't regret that I sat out a few of those games." ... Giroux is point-less in a season-high four straight games. . . . Radko Gudas is averaging 5.4 hits per game, tops in the NHL.