A season first.
That’s what is at stake Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers host the Montreal Canadiens (see game notes).
Peter Laviolette’s club is attempting to win three games in succession for the first time this year.
“Montreal has been playing very good this year,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. “It’s going to be a good test for us. They’re a fast team. They find a way to win a lot of games.”
On Sunday, the Flyers were two points behind the eighth-seeded Rangers. Since then, the standings have changed again in the Eastern Conference as the Flyers have fallen further behind.
The Islanders now occupy the eighth seed, six points ahead of the Flyers.
“It’s nice to win two in a row,” Scott Hartnell said. “It’s been a long time since that happened. We’re feeling good where we are. Our play is a lot better in the last couple games.”
There is different feel lately in the Flyers' dressing room. Confident smiles have replaced concerned brows.
Though the Flyers may not be in a playoff spot and their chances still remain slim, they believe they’ve straightened some things out and are actually competing in games, despite the staggering loss on the back end with defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Braydon Coburn done for the season, while Nick Grossmann remains day to day with an upper body injury.
“It’s do or die right now and it’s fun hockey – this is what it is all about,” Hartnell said. “Focus on catching teams ahead of us in the standings.
“Seems every night we will have a chance tie or pass a team it’s such a close race. This is where you decipher between boys and men, and hopefully we come out on top.”
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will make his 20th consecutive start tonight.
“Bryz looks good,” Laviolette said. “We’ve tried our best to give him some rest. We understand where we’re at as a group. Bryz has played well for us.
“We don’t have the luxury of picking games or looking at back-to-back sets where maybe [we] can get Michael [Leighton] in there. Every game is so important to us right now.
“We have to get Bryz back out and have tried to manage his time as best as we can on the ice with practices and days off.”
Bryzgalov, who has started all but two games, is third in the NHL in minutes played at 1,899:31.
A season first.