Flyers 2, Avalanche 1: One step closer to a playoff berth

Updated: March 29, 2018 at 1:10 am by Brady Trettenero

One step closer to a playoff berth.

Petr Mrazek stopped all 17 shots he faced after relieving an injured Michal Neuvirth in the second period and the Flyers picked up two critical points in the playoff race with a 2-1 win over the Avalanche on Wednesday.

Neuvirth was making his first start since Feb.18 against the Rangers.

Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov scored for the Flyers, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and then clung on for a very tight victory.

Neuvirth had missed the past 18 games with an upper-body injury and appeared to suffer an injury while making a cross-crease save in the second period. The Flyers say Neuvirth has a lower-body injury and will be evaluated Thursday.

Alex Lyon, who was recently sent down to the AHL Phantoms, is still with the team and will likely slide back into the backup role behind Mrazek.

The Flyers started the night as the conference’s top wild-card team and have now moved into a tie in points with the second-place Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

First Period

Claude Giroux opened the scoring midway through the period with an absolute rocket after a great feed from Shayne Gostisbehere. With the goal, Giroux tied his previous high in points (93).

Ivan Provorov added to the lead in the final two minutes of the period, unleashing a cannon from the point. Jordan Weal did some great work down low to make the play happen and get the puck to the blueline.

Second Period

Matt Nieto got the Avalanche on the board in the second period when he jammed home a rebound five minutes into the frame.

Third Period

The Flyers fended of a huge surge from the Avalanche in the third period, including a hectic final 90 seconds in which Andrew MacDonald made several key shot blocks.

Game Notes

A playoff berth is looking very realistic right now. The Flyers now have a 97% chance to make the postseason following the victory against Colorado and a Panthers loss tonight. The Flyers are now seven points ahead of the Panthers, who have three games in hand. Florida is on the outside looking in and trying to crawl into the second and final wild-card spot.

Claude Giroux opened the scoring to extend his point streak to six games. The captain has matched his personal best in points (93) and a 100-point season is a very realistic possibility.

The Flyers blocked a season-high 33 shots tonight, with Andrew MacDonald leading the way (7). 15 of those blocked shots came in the final period. This was a must-win game, and with everything on the line, the Flyers sacrificed their bodies to ensure a victory.

The Flyers will now be off for three days before they return home to host the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 PM EST.

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