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