If the last two weeks have taught the Philadelphia Flyers anything, it’s that they can hang with the big boys of the NHL.
Despite sitting in sixth place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division the Flyers enter their nine-day break prompted by All-Star festivities down in St. Louis with wins in five of their last seven games.
Their last four have come against some of the NHL’s best.
Tuesday night saw their streak of strong play continue by shutting out the in-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 at Wells Fargo Center.
The Penguins had been one of the hottest teams in the NHL when they visited Philly with a 17-4-5 record in their previous 26 games.
Their hot streak allowed them to shoot up the Metropolitan Division standings to nab the No. 2 spot behind the Washington Capitals heading into the break.
Tuesday-night from Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, and an empty-netter from Justin Braun was more than enough for Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, who turned away all 19 shots he faced.
“I thought it was a pretty mature game from us, knowing this break was coming up and you want to feel good about yourself,” van Riemsdyk said. “We talk about being in the right spots so you’re not running around. We were supporting ourselves with and without the puck. I think that makes it tough for the other team to make plays when we do that.″
It was just the latest win over premier opposition over the past two weeks.
Six days before their Penguins triumph, the Flyers went into St. Louis and took down the defending Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues in a 4-3 victory.
Two nights prior, the Flyers squeaked out a 6-5 shootout win over a Boston Bruins team that leads the Atlantic Division by eight points. Down 5-2 midway through the second, Philadelphia reeled off three unanswered goals, including a Connor Bunnaman equalizer with 5:14 left in the third period.
Philadelphia also took down the top team in the Metro on Jan. 8, pulling out a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals while holding one of the league’s most explosive offenses scoreless for the final 47 minutes of the night.
Their run of good form has them just three points out of third place in the division as first-year head coach Alain Vigneault took stock of his team before the break.
“We’re about on track to what I expected as far as bringing the team together,” Vigneault said (h/t NBC Sports). “I wasn’t quite sure exactly what we had as far as a group, where the young players were — I like their progression, the veteran players buying in on what it takes to play winning hockey.”