The Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to three games on Tuesday night after hammering the New Jersey Devils 6-1 at the Wells Fargo Center, and after looking very out-of-sync over the previous two weeks, the team looks like it has fixed its struggles over the past three games.
Mike Yeo’s side used an early Travis Sanheim goal to eventually shell Lindy Ruff’s side on Broad Street, which saw veteran forward Cam Atkinson net a hat trick on home ice. The Flyers made it three-straight wins for the first time since February, showing that they are back and with a vengeance after a struggling run of form earlier this month.
“Yeah, I think it started in Vegas, playing the right way, playing with structure,” Atkinson said about the team’s quick turnaround. “I think you get rewarded when you’re playing the right way, and obviously coming home after those two wins we want to make it harder for them to come into this rink, knowing that next time anyone steps into this rink it’s going to be a hard night. I think we took strides in that direction and it’s good.”
While Atkinson’s play will be one of the main takeaways, the Flyers delivered an all-around dominant shift from start-to-finish, something that hasn’t been quite visible at times this fall. The Orange and Black out-shot (30-27), out-hit (24-22), and excelled on the penalty kill (4-for-4, with one shorthanded goal scored), frustrating the visitors and eventually putting the game out of reach in the second period.
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After struggling on special teams for most of the season, Yeo has seen his players excel in both areas over recent games, two phases that will only help the team move up the standings. Carter Hart’s impressive night also benefitted the Flyers as the young goaltender made 26 saves to preserve the lopsided victory. The effort and intensity of the players have improved over recent days and Yeo benefitted the team’s constant pressure on both sides of the ice in Tuesday’s win.
“I think that’s what we want to have as a big part of our game,” Yeo said about the pressure he wants from his players. “We want to set it right from the start. We want to be a team that’s hard to play against. You look at the physicality that we brought to our forecheck. It’s not just about running around, you want to make sure that you finish your checks and make it hard on the opposing defensemen and invest in the game that way, but it’s about recovering pucks. Our first two goals were a pretty good example of that.”
“Yeah, a big part of our game is that we want to get back on the offense, that’s how we’re playing better defensively, working together as a group, transitioning quick into playing the opposite zone so I thought we did a good job of that tonight,” Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim said.
The Flyers will look to continue pushing up the Metropolitan Division standings with some winnable games coming up over the next week. Yeo’s squad will face off with the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators over the next four days, two teams that are below .500 through the first stages of the new campaign.
After impressive wins over Vegas and New Jersey, the Flyers are full of confidence and that trend will need to stay the same if the team wants to put itself back among the top teams in the division.