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POST GAME THOUGHTS: LEAFS 4, FLYERS 3

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 11:00 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out
POST GAME THOUGHTS: LEAFS 4, FLYERS 3

Look, losing stinks. It always does. Under every conceivable circumstance, losing leaves you bitter.

There are different levels of bitterness though that you can experience as a result of losing.

Dropping a game 4-3 in overtime in Toronto doesn’t quite reach the scale where you bit into a ripe lemon, squinted your eyes hard, pursed your lips and wrinkled your nose.

It definitely was one with a kick – especially after having a goal waved off by an official in a different time zone while the one right at the net was calling it a good goal.

Especially when Kimmo Timonen, who has truly found the Fountain of Youth in the past five games (maybe there was something in the water in Sochi), nearly had a four-goal game.

Especially when you overcame a two-goal deficit in regulation and came from behind in the third period yet again, not once but twice, to force overtime.

Sure, it would have been better to win, stretch the win streak to four games and come home on a high. But the important thing was the Flyers got a point. An important point. It was a point that kept them holding on to second place in the Metropolitan Division by themselves. It was a point that ran their total to 73 for the season and their collection of 17 in the last 11 games.

But most importantly, it helped them advance ever-closer to a playoff berth.

By my math, the Flyers are almost a sure bet to make the postseason if they reach 94 points. That’s 21 more over the next 18 games. It’s imminently doable, albeit it’s going to come against a gauntlet of teams.

Which is why missing out on that second point against Toronto stings a little – it could have offered more flexibility as far as results go in the coming weeks – but it’s not a killer lost point either.

There were a lot of things to like about the game. Timonen was superb, as was his defensive partner Braydon Coburn. They supplied the three goals in the game but played solid defensively.

Once again, the Sean Couturier line was noticeable. Michael Raffl joined the line after Steve Downie got the flu, and Raffl didn’t miss a beat. With the team trailing in the third period, coach Craig Berube switched Raffl and Wayne Simmonds to try and play the match game with Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, but for the most part, Raffl wasn’t out of place on that shut down line.

Steve Mason struggled with rebound control, but was still solid in net, making several big stops to keep the Flyers in games.

Others played well too – Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Mark Streit – all had strong games.

The start was where the game was lost, as the Flyers stumbled out of the gate and found themselves behind 2-0 before they could even get back to their feet.

But that’s the thing with these Flyers, they are undaunted by adversity.

We should just call them Chumbawumba, because every time you knock them down, they get up again.

They’ll be back at it Tuesday against New Jersey, their last game against a team not currently in a playoff spot until April 3, meaning there will be 10 straight against some of the best in the league.

And the Flyers will need to reduce that magic number of 21 points by two as often as possible.

Or else things could become pretty tense in April.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 76 21 55 7 76
C. Giroux 75 23 46 2 69
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 76 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 76 13 17 1 30
M. Del Zotto 58 9 20 -5 29
M. Read 74 7 22 -7 29
M. Raffl 61 20 6 7 26
V. Lecavalier 52 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 11 .927 2.24
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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