FLYERS CAN TAKE 1ST IN METRO AGAINST BRUINS TONIGHT

By Peter Gleason

The Flyers fell a point behind the Caps in the Metro last night after Washington got to 90 by losing to the Sabres in a shootout.

But they can regain first place tonight when they shoot for their 10th consecutive victory against the Boston Bruins (43-14-12), who lead the league with 98 points.

The Flyers (41-20-7, 89 points) boast the best home mark in the league at 25-5-4.

Second-year goaltender Carter Hart made 38 saves and became the first goaltender in league history to compile two separate winning streaks of seven or more at age 21 or younger.

“Hartsy made some huge stops, and we got lucky that we won,” Flyers winger Jakub Voracek told the Inky about Hart. “In the end, you don’t ask (how), but we won. So, like I said, it’s a good two points, but we’ll need to be way better Tuesday.”

Claude Giroux scored two goals against the Sabres, and Voracek has been red hot with 10 assists over his past five games.

With James van Riemsdyk sidelined for at least four weeks due to a broken ring finger, 20-year-old rookie Joel Farabee stepped up and scored a goal to snap an eight-game drought.

“I didn’t think it was ever going to come again, but obviously it felt good,” Farabee said.

In the end, the Flyers have found a number of different ways to win during this spurt. The biggest constant has been the stellar play of Hart, who is 20-2-2 with a 1.61 goals-against average at home this season.

“Just playing the game and having fun,” Hart said. “That’s the biggest thing for us right now. We’re enjoying coming to the rink.”

The Bruins are coming off a rare loss, a 5-3 setback against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

David Pastrnak did manage to score his league-high 48th goal of the season while Charlie McAvoy added one goal and one assist. However, Boston gave up two short-handed goals in what was a feisty contest with numerous penalties and skirmishes.

“That was a great game. A lot of physicality and good plays at both ends of the ice,” goaltender Tuukka Rask said. “Obviously, it feels better when you come (out) as a winner, but I thought that was a great way to show our character — always stick up for each other and just fell short.”

There were 26 penalties combined in the game, so it would be natural to expect the Bruins to arrive in Philadelphia looking to avenge that loss.

“I think some of the stuff that we talk about was sticking together, and I think as far as team chemistry goes, we’re already a really tight group,” McAvoy told reporters. “But you see guys answer the bell for each other regardless of their size or role or anything and everyone steps up to make sure we have each other’s back. That’s something where you look at it and you’re proud of one another.

“You know that’s the kind of hockey that you’re going to run into down the road, so it’s nice to know everyone has each other’s back.”

The Bruins had won four in a row before the Saturday loss yet still proved their mettle by coming back from an early three-goal deficit before falling short.

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