In a season filled with injuries and frustrating losses, the Philadelphia Flyers put together arguably their best performance in a 5-3 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
The Flyers now will look for their second straight victory when they host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Philadelphia recently scuffled through an 0-for-19 drought on the power play. Now it has power-play goals in each of the last two games (3-for-6).
“I think it’s confidence and guys getting used to each other a little more,” said Tony DeAngelo, who scored a power-play goal against the Avs. “We’ve probably had the same power play unit for maybe 10 games all year out of the 26 we’ve played, so once you get together, get moving, just started feeling it and guys just start finding lanes.”
After a recent 10-game losing streak, the Flyers have shown improvement, going 2-2-0 on this five-game homestand.
“You’re desperate for a win at any time right now, especially with our record,” DeAngelo said. “We’ve got to keep finding ways to get points in the standings. If you look at the Eastern Conference, there’s really not too crazy of a hill to climb. We’ve just got to keep finding a way. But can’t look too far ahead — one at a time is good.”
The Flyers built a 4-1 lead against the Avs and still needed an empty-net goal from Travis Konecny to seal the win. Nothing has been easy this season.
“There are certain things in hockey games that we have to get better at,” coach John Tortorella said. “It’s not just outscoring a team; it’s understanding situations. I think that helps you, as you keep growing as a team, to be a more consistent team. That’s part of building an identity as far as situational play and what’s to be expected.”
Like the Flyers, the Capitals’ roster has been depleted this season.
That’s why their 3-2 win on the road against the Edmonton Oilers was so impressive on Monday. Nic Dowd’s goal at 7:13 of the third period proved to be the game-winner.
The Capitals improved to 2-2-1 on their current road trip heading into Wednesday’s final game.
“It’s one of them,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said, answering whether the Edmonton win was their best this season. “Every guy in there played hard and came out then right way in the first period and did the right things. We had gotten away from that for a couple of games. The game was dictated by the opponent, and I thought we did a good job of trying to push it and trying to control the game.
“When you want to do that, you have to have everybody on board, and I thought tonight was really complete,” he added.
The Capitals were without eight key players but still found a way to come up with a much-needed victory. Washington was missing Nicklas Backstrom (hip), Carl Hagelin (hip), Connor Brown (ACL), Tom Wilson (ACL), Dmitry Orlov (lower body), Darcy Kuemper (upper body), Martin Fehervary (upper body) and Beck Malenstyn (finger).
“I think this was probably our most resilient game,” T.J. Oshie said. “We had a small, little lull there at the start of the second I feel like, but our most resilient game for sure.”
–Field Level Media