By Sarah Berkowitz
Mid-January is a little early to make a playoffs push.
But the Flyers, who waited too long last season and missed the post-season, are doing just that.
The 3-2 victory over the Bruins comes at a pivotal stretch for the Flyers, who play their next eight games against Eastern Conference teams.
All but Toronto, the Flyers’ opponent next Tuesday, began Wednesday above Philadelphia in the standings. The Flyers are now in 13th place but just two points out of a playoff spot.
”A night like tonight where we’re not at our best, there’s still a confidence just to stay with it,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
Hakstol attributes the players’ confidence to their togetherness.
”I think our guys have stuck together all year and worked hard for each other, and that has a way of growing,” he said.
Boston wraps up a five-game trip Friday in Buffalo before returning home on Saturday against Toronto to cap a stretch of six games in nine days.
”Right now, it’s a frustrating time for our team,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ”Missed opportunities at one end and mistakes at the other, so we’ve got to turn the tide.”
Jake Voracek netted his fifth of the season with a deft display of puck control. He controlled a bouncing puck on a rebound of Giroux’s shot and whipped it into the net with his forehand from atop the crease to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with 2:32 left in the first period.
Rask made 18 saves while Mason stopped 30.
Zac Rinaldo flattened Flyers D Michael Del Zotto with a hit 5 minutes into the third period. Rinaldo played for Philadelphia last season and concussed Sean Couturier with a hit that drew a game misconduct penalty in the Flyers’ 5-4 overtime win in Boston on Oct. 21 in the teams’ first meeting of the season.