SUNRISE, Fla. _ Another gritty effort by the Flyers on Tuesday.
Despite not being at their best, despite being shorthanded by injuries, they outworked the host Florida Panthers and won in a shootout, 3-2.
Repeat: They won in a SHOOTOUT.
Shootout victories by most NHL teams are rather common.
For the Flyers, they are few and far between.
They had lost six straight in shootouts, including three this season. And since the shootouts started in 2005, they are a league worst 20-37.
But Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all three shots in the shootout, and Claude Giroux scored after a pretty deke as the Flyers went into the all-star break with a 29-14-5 record.
Bobrovsky, who could not be faulted for either of the Panthers’ goals, continues to make a serious bid to get a majority of the starts. He is now 11-4-1.
At the break the Flyers are three points behind the Rangers in the Atlantic Division _ New York has a game in hand _ and they are fourth in the Eastern Conference.
If the playoffs started today, the Flyers would face the fifth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in a delicious-looking first-round matchup. (And, yes, a few stories would be written about a certain saluting right winger.)
Give the Flyers props for a commendable first half, one in which they overcame a slew of injuries. On Tuesday, they were missing Danny Briere, James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr. Chris Pronger has missed most of the season with a concussion,
Once again, the rookies continued to shine. Rookie Brayden Schenn scored the Flyers’ first goal, and rookie Tom Sestito set up their second score. Flyers rookies have scored goals in 11 of their last 13 games.
Breakaways. Before Tuesday, the Flyers’ last shootout win was last March 19, a victory that took 12 rounds in Dallas…Bobrovsky is 1-1 in shootouts this season and 2-5 in his career…..The Flyers had 38 hits, their third-highest total of the season _ and one fewer than their total against Boston on Sunday…Braydon Coburn and Scott Hartnell had five hits apiece…Giroux was 12 for 26 on faceoffs, snapping an eight-game streak in which he won at least 50 percent of his draws…The Flyers are off until they practice Monday in Voorhees at 4 p.m. They face visiting Winnipeg on Tuesday.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.