PHILADELPHIA – Beating the Penguins twice was nice. Pulling off the overtime stunner of Chicago was awesome. Stretching the win streak to four against Dallas was ideal.
But this? Who saw this coming?
The Flyers shut down the team with the best record in the NHL behind another stellar effort in goal by Steve Mason. Scott Hartnell, Brayden Schenn, Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds each scored as the Flyers kept on rolling with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Mason was again superb, making 32 saves to pick up his 30th win of the season.
It was the Flyers first five-game winning streak in two years and inched them ever-closer to a playoff berth with 12 games to go in the regular season.
Claude Giroux added a pair of assists for, giving him 50 this season and moved him into a third place tie with Toronto’s Phil Kessel in the NHL scoring race. It was his fourth multi-point game in the winning streak.
The Flyers were actually behind early as Jaden Schwartz scored the opening goal of the game shorthanded, marking the 11th shorthanded goal allowed by the Flyers this season.
But Hartnell tied it with a power play goal off a nice feed from Voracek with Blues goalie Ryan Miller a little out of position to stop the shot.
Brayden Schenn netted what would be the game-winner at 13:24 of the second period working a fine transitional play with Wayne Simmonds.
Simmonds picked off a Chris Porter pass in the neutral zone and turned quickly for a rush. He ran a give-and-go with Schenn, getting a shot on Miller. The rebound kicked to Schenn who deposited it for his 18th goal of the season.
In an uneven game made that way by some over-officiating, the two teams combined for 10 power play chances. St. Louis gained some momentum from a few of them and started firing a lot of shots on Mason, but the Flyers goalie wouldn’t be denied after the shorty and thwarted everything that came his way, including a pair of eye-poppers on Derek Roy in the crease.
Finally with a chance to play a shift together after all three were sitting in the penalty box together to start the period, the top line gave Mason the needed breathing room by working the cycle perfectly with Giroux hitting Voracek in the slot for a wrist shot goal that made it 3-1.
Simmonds added the empty-netter to finish the scoring.
The Flyers (38-25-7, 83 points) moved three points ahead of the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division (the Rangers play later Saturday) and five points ahead of fourth place Columbus.
Next up is a rematch with the Los Angeles Kings at Wells Fargo Center Monday against old friends Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Carter will be playing his first game in Philadelphia since being traded three seasons ago.
Stay tuned for more here on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com including highlights, postgame interviews and some written analysis.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers