Slowed somewhat in their push for one of the top two spots in the Metropolitan Division their last time out, the Philadelphia Flyers still managed to earn a point.
They’ll look to return to their winning ways Tuesday night when they host the New Jersey Devils, another club that’s been playing well of late.
The Flyers (33-24-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 4-3 overtime loss at Toronto on Saturday, but at 7-1-1 in the last nine, they’re continuing to put pressure on the New York Rangers for the second spot in the division, sitting one point behind.
Philadelphia fell behind 2-0 just 3:38 into the game against the Maple Leafs before scoring twice in the third period, tying it on Braydon Coburn’s goal with 2:32 left. The Flyers had outscored opponents 5-2 in the first period during their three consecutive victories.
"We didn’t play a very good first period, but I thought after that we battled hard and came back," coach Craig Berube said. "I thought the game was pretty good after that. We got a point, which is good, but for me, the first period’s got to be better. Can’t come out flat like that."
Kimmo Timonen scored twice for Philadelphia, which had totaled 15 goals during the win streak.
”We had an awful start,” Coburn said. ”We can’t start hockey that way.”
The Flyers play six of their next seven at home, where they’ve won five of six. They didn’t come up with a victory in their only matchup with the Devils in Philadelphia this season, however, falling 3-0 on Nov. 7.
New Jersey (28-24-13) hasn’t been nearly as hot as the Flyers, but it’s won four of six since the Olympic break to put it in the thick of the wild-card race. Tuomo Ruutu scored the winner late in the third period in his second game with the Devils and added an assist, lifting New Jersey to a 5-4 victory over Carolina on Saturday.
Coach Peter DeBoer’s team blew a 4-1 lead before prevailing.
"We’re finding ways to win games… just got to keep doing that and give ourselves a way to stay with the pack," DeBoer said. "We wouldn’t have won without (Tuomo), so it was an exceptional effort."
They also wouldn’t have won without Adam Henrique, who scored twice to give him nine goals in the six contests since the break. He also has two assists in that span.
"I’m just trying to shoot when I have the chance. The pucks are going in," Henrique said. "The standings are so tight, it’s going to be like this right to the end, so we have to come ready to play every night and leave everything out on the ice."
The road team has won all three meetings going into the finale of this season series. Philadelphia took the latest one 3-2 in overtime Jan. 7.