After the first period of the Philadelphia Flyers game on Tuesday night, it looked as though the biggest concern for Flyers fans would be whether the team could reach the 20-shot mark for the evening. Philadelphia came from behind twice before Vincent Lecavalier put home the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in the third period as the Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
The win snaps the recent losing streak that Philly has been on with losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and an uninspired thumping from the New York Rangers on Sunday. Philadelphia jumps back into the playoff spots overtaking the Rangers, who lost tonight, giving the Flyers a one-point lead. Philadelphia has now won nine games in which they gave up the first goal, tying them for fourth in the NHL.
The timing of this win was critical for the Flyers as they start on a stretch which could see them make a significant jump in the standings as they play against teams that are currently sitting sixth or worse in their respective divisions.
They start this stretch off with a home game on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators, who are sixth in the Central Division. Entering their game with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night, the Predators had won just three of their previous 13 games. Things look worse for Nashville as they have not won in Philadelphia since Nov. 29, 2006 when current Flyers Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen played for the Predators.
Saturday and Monday have the Flyers in a home-and-home series with the New York Islanders, who are in eighth place in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders had been playing pretty good hockey with eight wins in the last 10 games before losing to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Philadelphia has won the last three matchups with the Islanders including the last two at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers finish off this stretch with games at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes (seventh in the Metropolitan) and away to the Columbus Blue Jackets (sixth in the Metropolitian). Philadelphia will need all of the points they can get before finishing out the month with tough games at home against the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings before a road contest at the NHL-best Anaheim Ducks.