As the playoff race carries on and draws closer to the end of the season, it is all in the points for the Flyers. And after Saturday, who knew how important that one point lost in the shootout would really be.
When the Detroit Red Wings lost on Sunday night, it was clear, the Flyers could draw to within striking distance if they handled the task at hand: beat the Red Wings on Tuesday in regulation. It was sure to be a playoff atmosphere.
It took almost everything the Flyers had in them, but mission accomplished, as the Flyers claimed a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night. The Flyers have the path to the final spot. Now, they just have to take what got them into this position and carry into the final four weeks of the season.
It was a game the Flyers had to have if they are going to make the playoffs. Michael Raffl scored a pair of goals, WayneSimmonds and Shayne Gostisbehere also scored and, despite a late push by the Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated Detroit 4-3 on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Michael Raffl put the Flyers ahead at 5:41 of the first period. Raffl came down the wing and made a nice move in tight for his 11th goal of the season. Nick Schultz and Mark Streit picked up the assists.
When Ron Hextall took the reigns as the Flyers' general manager nearly two years ago, he knew what it would take to return the Flyers to playoff respectability.
Sure, the Flyers' most recent run to the Stanley Cup Final was still in the rearview mirror. But it was quickly overshadowed by two-consecutive second-round losses in 2011 and 2012, missing the playoffs outright in the shortened 2012-13 campaign and a first-round exit after a rough seven-game series in 2014. It was a tough pill for the Flyers organization to swallow, as all of the teams that beat the Orange and Black that year (Boston, New Jersey and the New York Rangers, respectively) advanced to the Final, with one of those teams winning it all.
There was no doubt about it. Philadelphia was a rest stop on the long highway to the Stanley Cup Final, and as the seventh GM of the franchise, Hextall was tasked with the mission of turning that around. But in this era of the NHL, with increased premiums on parity and competitive balance throughout the league, the only choice Hextall had was a rebuild.