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POST GAME THOUGHTS: FLYERS 4, PENGUNS 0

Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 6:00 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – Before the game, assistant coach Ian Laperriere went on a local radio show and described the Flyers as a team “that never quits.”

After the 4-0 win over Pittsburgh, head coach Craig Berube called his team “composed.”

Sean Couturier said that now, more than ever, especially in these rivalry games, “there an edge” to the team with the way they play.

However you want to describe it, the Flyers have been building an identity under coach Craig Berube and that identity is one that can take them a long way.

The Flyers haven’t been garnering much in the way of attention, either on a national stage, or even here at home. Sure, the hardcore fan base knows what is going on with the Flyers around every turn, but I can’t help but shake my head every time someone asks me how the job’s going with a “mediocre” team.

The Flyers are far from mediocre. They’ve accrued 63.7 percent of available points over the span of 51 games. That’s nearly two-thirds of a season. If anything, they’ve been among the best stories of this season, overcoming a dreadful start to being in position to control their own destiny to earn home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

And all the while, they’ve been putting this identity together.

But what is the identity to be exact?

Is it that of a team that is never out of a game? With a franchise record 11 wins when trailing in the third period and a league-leading seven wins when trailing after two periods, that is certainly one way of putting it.

Or, is it a team that once it gets a lead, hardly ever gives it up? After all, the Flyers are now 24-5-4 when scoring the first goal of a game. They are also 22-2-4 when leading after two periods and both of those regulation losses came in October.

The Flyers are good on special teams (top 12 in both categories), they have the most-balanced team scoring in the NHL (tied with Boston with seven or more players with 15-plus goals) and they have been getting solid goaltending all around, but specifically from Steve Mason, who registered his fourth shutout of the season against Pittsburgh.

So what’s that add up to as far as identities are concerned? How about that of a very good team who is playoff bound and might stick around longer than expected.

Not convinced yet?

Talk to me after the next 16 games and let me know if you’ve changed your mind.

NOTES: Today marked the Flyers’ first regular-season shutout of the Penguins since April 6, 2008 (Marty Biron) and just the fourth in the last 31 years. It’s the first time the Flyers have shut out the Penguins in the regular season with Sidney Crosby in the lineup (46 games)…Today’s game marked just the 10th time the Flyers held Crosby without a point… It was the Flyers’ first regulation win against the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center since Dec. 8, 2011. Their one win in five games since then came in overtime on March 18, 2012 when Scott Hartnell scored with nine-tenths of a second remaining in OT… The Flyers took 71 total shot attempts towards net (40 on goal, 20 that were blocked and 11 that missed) to Pittsburgh’s 44 (25 on goal, 14 blocked, five missed)… The Flyers forced 14 Pittsburgh giveaways while only committing three giveaways themselves… Matt Read recorded his seventh career game of two goals or more and his fourth of this season. He led the Flyers with six shots on goal.

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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 53 16 29 -8 45
J. Voracek 53 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 53 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 51 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 35 9 20 4 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 53 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 51 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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