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POSTGAME 5: OTW in STL

Voracek plays the hero with OT winner to give Flyers 4-3 win over Blues on Wednesday Night Hockey in St. Louis

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
The Flyers prevailed, 4-3, in overtime against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in a hard-fought thriller on Wednesday night. 

Justin Faulk opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period. The Flyers answered back for second period tallies by Tyler Pitlick and Michael Raffl. Travis Konecny built a 3-1 lead in the opening half minute of the third period, but in the latter half of the period, Ryan O'Reilly and Alex Steen scored roughly three minutes apart to knot the score at 3-3.

In overtime, Jakub Voracek won the game on the only shot on goal for either team. Brian Elliott earned the win against his former team with 31 saves on 33 shots, while Jordan Binnington took the loss, stopping 21 of 25 shots.

Three Stars:
1st: Jakub Voracek (1g, +2)
2nd: Alexander Steen (1g-1a)
3rd: Michael Raffl (1g)

Video: PHI@STL: Voracek buries wrister for overtime winnerTURNING POINT
There were numerous momentum shifts throughout the game, making it tough to isolate a single turning point. One candidate is Elliott's breakaway save on Zach Sanford early in the second period. However, the pick here is the game's final play: a well-orchestrated rush by Ivan Provororv (who had a monster game all around) and a perfect finish by Voracek.

MELTZER'S TAKE
1. Overall, the Flyers didn't play a bad first period. They defended well at five-on-five and generated solid puck possession for much of period. But most of their better looks did not end up on Jordan Binnington's net. Philly did very little with its own first power play, and the Flyers went to the first intermission with a 1-0 deficit and a 14-8 shot disadvantage.

2. The early portion the second period -- the first seven minutes or so -- belonged to the Blues. Elliott had to come up big several times, but none bigger than his breakaway save on Zach Sanford after Myers was trapped up up ice, and Claude Giroux (covering up high in the offensive zone with Myers pinching) was beaten on the counter. Going back to the first period, the Flyers went 13+ minutes between shots on goal, but Elliott kept the Flyers in the game.Video: PHI@STL: Konecny finishes nifty pass for PPG

3. As the second period moved along, the Flyers at first stabilized things and then began to dominate. They had a slew of good looks at the net, and three shooters (Sean Couturier, Matt Niskanen and Jakub Voracek) hit goal posts. Finally, the Flyers broke through with a pair of goals. Pitlick scored on a wraparound attempt that bounced in off David Perron. Then Raffl potted a rebound goal. 

4. It's hard to work a double-netfront presence on a power play better than the Flyers did on Konecny's early third period goal that temporarily put the Flyers ahead 3-1. It was a set play, with James van Riemsdyk nicely redirecting a setup from Claude Giroux and Konecny getting a slam-dunk at the opposite post. Shortly thereafter, the Flyers executed a 5-on-3 penalty kill about as well as can be done. 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* The Flyers snapped their four-game winless skid on the road and have now won two straight and three of their last four and gone 3-1-1 in their last five games.

* The Flyers also went 3-1-0 in a four-game gauntlet against elite-grade opposition, including three first-place teams, while the Blues saw a nine-game home winning streak end.

* Ivan Provorov (5:49), Matt Niskanen (5:00), Scott Laughton (4:28), Robert Hagg (4:14) and Sean Couturier (4:12) all played four or more minutes of shorthanded time.

* With two assists, Sean Couturier now leads the Flyers in scoring with 41 points... It was also Couturier's second straight multi-point game and 10th of the season.

* With his assist in tonight's game, Robert Hagg has points in four of his last five games (1g-3a).

* The Flyers stepped up special teams in the game, killing 5 of 6 Blues' power plays including a lengthy 5-on-3 in the third period. The Flyers went 1-for-2 on the power play.

* The Flyers are right back in action less than 24 hours when they come back home to take on the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic.

THEY SAID IT
Video: Hear from Flyers coach following win over STLVideo: Hear from Voracek, Raffl and Elliott following win

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