Mark Streit scored his fifth goal of the season in the Flyers' 4-1 win over Calgary on Tuesday. (USA Today Images)
CALGARY, Alberta -- Somehow, the suddenly hot Flyers keep finding ways to win.
Saturday in Edmonton, they fought back from a two-goal deficit. Monday in Vancouver, they stole two points despite being outshot 44-27.
And Tuesday in Calgary against the Flames, they won their fourth consecutive game despite playing less than 24 hours after a late-night shootout on the West Coast. Their 4-1 victory at the Saddledome marked the first time all season they’ve won four games in a row.
The effort wasn’t a perfect one, but the Flyers are now an impressive 3-0 halfway through their six-game road trip. They were lucky to be facing the Flames, who are among the weakest of the Western Conference’s team. Calgary entered the game having lost its last two contests.
The Flyers’ victory didn’t come without a cost, however. Matt Read left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return.
Mark Streit … again
When the Flyers acquired Streit this offseason, he was billed as a mobile defenseman with one big upside: offensive prowess. He hasn’t exactly demonstrated it for much of the season, but has since the Flyers arrived in Canada last week. His first-period goal from the point Tuesday that beat Flames goalie Reto Berra was his second in two games and fifth of the season.
Brayden Schenn, who snapped a 16-game goalless drought Monday in Vancouver, almost made it two games in a row with a goal in the first period at the Saddledome. Unfortunately for Schenn, the goal was waived off because of incidental -- and very, very questionable -- goaltender interference by Scott Hartnell, whose original shot started the play.
"I actually didn't see Hartsy bump into the goalie,” Schenn said. “I watched it on the replay that he nudged him a little, and that's the ref’s call and you have to deal with it.”
The Flyers outplayed the Flames in the first period, but the middle stanza belonged to the Flames. Moments after the Flyers’ first power play of the night expired, Sean Monahan bested Ray Emery after Vinny Lecavalier turned the puck over, tying the game 1-1. The goal snapped the Flames’ goalless stretch of 159:35
Schenn got his goal back in the closing minutes of the second period. His pretty turnaround shot beat Berra to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead -- and Schenn his first multiple-game goal streak since Nov. 12-13. Hartnell, who had committed the infraction that led to the first goal’s being waved off, scored the Flyers’ insurance goal midway through the third period to bring the score to 3-1.
Schenn’s big night
When Schenn said the monkey was lifted off his back with Monday’s goal, he really meant it. Schenn had a three-point night against the Flames, his first three-point game of the season.
It wasn’t the most difficult of opponents for Ray Emery, but the Flyers’ backup goalie looked strong Tuesday night when he was tested. He made a couple of particularly strong saves, perhaps none more so than on Mike Cammalleri with about 5:20 left in the first period.
Mix ‘n match
The night before the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Flyers, they played in Calgary against the Flames. The night before the Vancouver Canucks hosted the Flyers, they played the Flames. Tuesday night, the Flyers finally made it to Calgary. Almost feels like a math problem, doesn’t it?
Tense finale ... but not really
With 2:01 left to play, the Flames were awarded a power play. They had also pulled Berra, and were prepping for a two-minute 6 on 4. But ... it was the Flyers who scored, as Braydon Coburn's clearing attempt became an empty-net goal.
With the win, the Flyers’ record rose to 20-16-4 -- legitimately .500, for those of you who take issue with the NHL’s definition of the term.
The journey continues
The Flyers’ swing through Western Canada came to an end along with 2013. They’ll pick up Thursday in Colorado -- and after that game, they will have reached the official halfway point of the season.
The Flyers are 5-0 in Calgary since 2001. ... Having notched wins in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary, the Flyers swept Western Canada for the first time since 1996, the only ever time they accomplished the feat. ... Claude Giroux's nine-game point streak came to an end Tuesday.