DETROIT -- They were behind 3-2 going into the third period.
Yet the Flyers had a good feeling about how things were going to turn out for them.
It did with a 6-3 comeback win over the Red Wings at The Joe (see story).
“It was a big, gutsy effort,” Scott Hartnell said. “In the dressing room there was a calm confidence that we knew we were going to go out there and do it. Get a couple of power plays if we kept moving our feet like we had.
“Our power play was the difference tonight and our penalty kill was great, too.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube said a few things between periods. He had to. The Flyers came into this game having just one victory at Joe Louis Arena since 1988.
“I wasn’t even born back then,” Sean Couturier quipped.
So what did Berube say?
“I told them to stay out of the penalty box,” Berube said. “I liked our game. We were playing a good game. You can’t go to the box four or five times in a period. And give them five-on-threes. You’re going to be in trouble.”
Incredibly, the Flyers won even though they gave Detroit -- which was without Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk and Danny DeKeyser -- seven power plays.
“It’s tough. You’re putting yourself in a bad spot, but our guys did a great job killing penalties,” Berube said.
Back to the feeling in the room after two periods.
The Flyers felt Zac Rinaldo’s stick call was “unlucky” because a player fell over a stick but he was jabbing away trying to get a puck when it happened, too, and the official will always make that call.
Berube was angry because it gave the Wings a five-on-three and felt the call could have gone the other way. Detroit scored on that call to make it a 3-1 game in the second period.
“Some of the calls were unlucky like Rinaldo’s where [the player] stepped on the stick,” Claude Giroux said. “There are some penalties we have to watch out. We did a good job killing the penalties.”
This was the first time the Flyers won a game when they trailed going into the third period. They were 0-9-0.
“It’s good for our confidence,” Couturier said. “We finally believe in ourselves. That is what maybe made the difference tonight.”
A number of players said they felt they were going to win when they stepped onto the ice in the third period.
“When we scored that power-play goal [from Giroux] to tie it up, that was big,” Couturier said. “The power play hasn’t been our best asset this year but tonight it was a big part of our success.”
The Flyers' three power-play goals were a season-high.
The Flyers and Rangers each have 28 points but the Rangers still hold the third spot (playoff position) in the Metropolitan Division because they have more wins (14) than the Flyers (13). Still, the fact remains the Flyers have climbed into a virtual tie for a playoff spot. No one thought that possible with their 1-7 start back in October when they were eighth in the division and dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman scouted the game and said Claude Giroux would be evaluated on the merit of his career and not just this season. He also said Steven Stamkos intends to play in the Olympics and is progressing nicely. ... Weird seeing Chris Chelios and Ron Hextall chatting before the game in the press box. Guess Hexy wasn't in attack mode, eh? ... The Flyers are off today and practice Friday - if they can get to facility. Ice storms threaten Dallas over next two days
Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot off his right hand in the second period Saturday and has a bone bruise.
The Flyers will watch it because sometimes the swelling prevents wearing a glove comfortably the next day.
Ghost, who has five points – all assists – over his past six games, was hit with a puck in the second period of a 4-2 win over the Stars. He went to the bench and tried to shake it off, but left for the dressing room shortly after a Flyers power play began in the period’s final three minutes.
He participated for part of the power play, then left the ice and did not return until the start of the third period.
“It was good by then,” he said. “Obviously, it hurt a bit.”
The Flyers play in Detroit on Sunday night.
Ghost has 16 points (four goals) in 29 games this season. X-rays were negative, he said, adding he was not worried about the hand, which was badly swollen after the game.
A power play hat trick.
Now that is truly something you don’t see every day in hockey.
Brayden Schenn is one of the very few Flyers to ever do it.
“Third [goal] was a lucky play where he [Jakub Voracek] broke a stick,” Schenn said. “Right place at the right time.”
Schenn’s diving third goal at 17:45 gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead and insured their eight-game win streak Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
Only four other Flyers have had power play hat tricks in franchise history:
• Tim Kerr vs. Los Angeles, November 3, 1985
• Tim Kerr vs. Chicago, November 20, 1986
• Brian Propp at Minnesota, October 13, 1988
• Scott Hartnell at NY Islanders, January 19, 2008
Schenn pretty much doubled his offense in one game given he had just four goals coming in, and just one over his previous 13 games.
Think that’s something?
Voracek had his second consecutive four-point game (empty net goal, three assists). The last Flyer to do that was Eric Lindros on Dec. 31, 1997 and Jan. 3, 1998.
Voracek has piled up 15 points during this Flyers streak. He’s got the blazing hot stick on this club right now.
“I don’t think I have necessarily changed my game,” Voracek said. “If I went without a point a couple weeks back, I’m not playing any different now. When you stick with it, work hard, the points eventually are gonna come.”
In this one, the Flyers changed up their power play moving Voracek into the right slot and having Schenn closer to the net on the opposite side.
“Sometimes it is open [the pass] and sometimes it’s not,” Voracek said of how team’s kill penalties. “Schenner had a free stick a couple times. I’m glad it worked.”
Just like other games during this streak, and the season itself, the Flyers had to come from behind.
They trailed 1-0 early and 2-1 in the third period before Schenn scored back-to-back on the No. 2-ranked power play which went 3-for-6 on the day.
“Coming out in the third period, you see determination,” said coach Dave Hakstol. “That’s the word I would use. Just as an overall group, no matter what the situation is. Very tight, close hockey game all the way through.
“Different parts of our game have pushed us over the finish line on different nights. Most of our game was pretty good all the way through and when needed, the PP was the difference tonight.”
There’s a certain amount of confidence right now with the Flyers. Trailing doesn’t scare them. It invigorates them. They know it. They feel it on the bench.
“You have confidence that you’ve done it over and over again, you can do it again,” Voracek said. “It was a big chance to tie the game and we did. Big points for us. We never give up.”
The Flyers came into play two points behind second place Pittsburgh in the Metro Division.
Hakstol says Voracek’s play has been “pretty consistent” all season.
“When you watch him most nights, very consistently without the puck, he is one of the hardest-working players getting back, reloading, getting on top of plays,” Hakstol said.
“Coming out of the offensive zone. When his line has the puck, or the PP unit, he is very confident in making plays.”
The Flyers had just 21 shots in this one, including only five in the second period. Their offense came in bunches.
Dallas had two goals from Devin Shore and led 2-1 at 10:32 of the final period before Schenn took over.
Steve Mason was the starter in net and looked fresher than he did against Edmonton. Mason starting was a surprise given this was the front end of a back-to-back. With Flyers playing in Detroit on Sunday, it seemed the perfect game to play Anthony Stolarz.
Give Mason a day of rest for a more important conference game tomorrow.
Mason asked to play, however, and most coaches won’t say no to a goalie who has now won a career-high seven in a row.
“It was fun to watch from the back end there,” Mason said of the game. “Power play in general and two late goals to get us over the hump.
“It’s fun right now to find different ways to come out on top. The boys aren’t satisfied. We keep pushing forward here.”