Erik Gustafsson's game winning goal drove the Flyers to a second straight comeback win over the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. It was their third win in a row—the first three-game winning streak of the season.
This contest meant plenty to both sides. For the Flyers, it meant drawing closer to the eighth playoff spot. For the Canadiens, it meant staying ahead of the struggling Boston Bruins in the Northeast Division.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced on Friday that Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. With only a handful of games left in the season, this likely means his season is done.
The length of his departure all depends on the degree of his shoulder's separation, but risking further injury in a season like the one that has unfolded makes close to zero sense. Coburn's departure has promped a callup of Adirondack Phantoms defenseman Oliver Lauridsen.
Originally a steal in the trade from the Atlanta Thrashers for Alexei Zhitnik back in 2007, the 28-year-old Saskatchewan native posted just five points through 33 games—a stark contrast to his 36 point season in 2007-08. His point production has sharply decreased since that point to the lowest it has ever been in his career as a Flyer by far.
Being in the right place at the right time finally paid off for Scott Hartnell this season.
Hartnell made that his living last season when he scored a team-high 37 goals. This year, he has four goals in 17 games, and had only one in the 11 games leading into last night.
Last night, Hartnell scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 30 seconds left in the Flyers 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Islanders. He even dropped the mitts with Colin McDonald, who also had two of New York's goals.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell is stopped by Evgeni Nabokov in the 3rd period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.
That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)