Flyers-Avalanche: Postgame Perspective

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Resilient Flyers overcome adversity again in comeback win over Avalanche

A rising shot by Brayden Schenn connected with the post with just over 15 minutes remaining in the third period. With the Flyers buzzing and generating chances galore in the third, it felt like it was only a matter of time for them.

1:17 later, the Avalanche took the lead as John Mitchell got inside positioning and beat Steve Mason from in close. The Flyers, who already had to dig deep, were facing a third-period deficit.

It took until the final five minutes for the Flyers to find the equalizer. 19 seconds later, they had a lead, courtesy of captain Claude Giroux. Perhaps they took that Columbus game to heart after all, and similarly used two quick goals to rally for a win of their own.

It's been a season where the Flyers have been challenged with adversity several times. Once again on Thursday, they found a way to overcome it on a night when nothing short of two points was really going to cut it.

It certainly didn't start that way. For the third straight game, the Flyers struggled to find their legs. They were slow, like a team that simply ran out of gas in the final stretch run.

As the first period unfolded, the urgency for two points grew. The Detroit Red Wings were cruising to a win, though they had to face some adversity of their own to get two points, sealing a 4-3 win over Montreal on Thursday night. Right around the time Detroit finished off their win, the Avalanche struck for the game's first goal early in the second.

That was when the Flyers found that next gear. The skating vastly improved. Chances started to come left and right. So when the Flyers tied the game at one in the second, it was only a matter of time on their end.

For a change, it was the Flyers pressuring a goalie to make saves and a defense to bail him out, not sitting back on their heels and relying on Mason.

That said, Mason was masterful again, making 32 saves and hanging tough in the final minutes of the game when he appeared to be in some discomfort. Credit his teammates in the final minute. The Flyers have vastly struggled with opposing an extra-attacker and this time, took away the quality chances and managed an empty-net goal — awarded when Ryan White was taken down on his way to the empty cage.

It was another gritty road win on this four-game road trip, where the Flyers have claimed five of a possible six points. We'll let the narrative that goes with that sixth point rest for a second.

The main reason we can put that point aside is because of the victory on Thursday. One thing the Flyers have stressed is how playoff teams don't lose back-to-back games, particularly in regulation. So more importantly than stressing the point lost were the points gained.

Just when you think the cards are stacked against this team, they deliver a game and result like this. It has allowed them to keep pace, when they needed to, and with nine games to go, they hold the final playoff spot again.

And with another gutsy win, the Flyers have proven that at the very least, they belong in the race. 

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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