OTTAWA, Ontario - An early goal, a beautiful goal, a lucky goal and a disallowed goal. That's all you need to know about the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon (see observations). Just for fun though, here's a little more detail.
Ivan Provorov scored 28 seconds into the game to get the Flyers going in what eventually turned out to be their fifth consecutive win and 11th consecutive game with a point.
With the score 2-1 in favor of the Flyers late in the second period, Zack Smith looked like he had tied the game for the Senators, but coach Dave Hakstol issued a challenge and the goal was overturned on an offside that wasn't originally called.
In the third period, Claude Giroux scored a beautiful breakaway goal when he contorted his body to his backhand then back to his forehand before depositing the puck behind Craig Anderson in the Ottawa goal, who was left in a twisted heap in the corner of the crease.
That goal made it 3-1 four minutes into the third and after Nolan Patrick made it 4-1, Brandon Manning dumped a shot in just passed the red line, but the puck hit a stanchion in the glass and redirected into the net. Anderson had a great view of the goal from behind the net where he was standing after he went out to play the puck.
"We're getting the bounces," Giroux said.
"Brandon Manning's goal, you can't draw that up, but we're definitely going to take it."
Robert Hagg also scored for the Flyers, who momentarily slipped into a first-place tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins lost in regulation at Florida, but Washington downed Buffalo, so the Capitals have moved back into first with 76 points, one more than both the Flyers and Penguins. The Flyers are in second in the Metro right now because they have played 62 games, one less than the Pens. But Pittsburgh currently owns the regulation and overtime wins tiebreaker 34-32 and that could come into play down the line when the games played even out.
Still, the Flyers are four points clear of New Jersey and a wild-card spot and nine points clear of Columbus and the playoff brink.
Considering they were last in the division about two months ago, that's a pretty remarkable turnaround.
"I think it was always in the room and that we just had to believe in ourselves and know that we were capable of doing good things," said forward Travis Konecny.
"We just had to stick with it and eventually things were going to pay off for us."
That they have, and although Saturday might not have been the Flyers' best effort, it was good enough. The Senators got two late goals from Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel to make the final count a little more respectable. Mike Hoffman also scored.
"We're playing some good hockey right now and everyone has bought into what we want to do here," Giroux said, adding the overturned goal was big.
"Anytime you get a goal like that turned (over), it's a relief and a walk-up call at the same time,"
Patrick scored just his ninth goal in his rookie season, but he has six in his last 13, including goals in four straight.
"I think I've been playing good in the last 15 to 20 games and not just because of the goals; I think I've improved on both ends of the puck," Patrick said.
He was standing at the top of the crease when Manning's shot-pass hit his stick and redirected in past Anderson.
On a final note and not to be lost in all the offense, Petr Mrazek made 25 saves and has won both starts with the Flyers since he was acquired last week from the Detroit Red Wings.
All is good on Broad Street.