A few minutes after he scored the game-winning overtime goal in a 4-3 escape against exhausted Carolina on Sunday night, Flyers winger Brayden Schenn acknowledged the gargantuan task his team faces.
The Flyers are seven points out of the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot with 11 games left.
In a TV interview after Sunday's win, Schenn said the Flyers "need to win nine or 10 to give ourselves a chance."
Six of the remaining 11 games are on the road, where the Flyers will play their next four, starting Tuesday in Winnipeg. The trip also has stops in Minnesota, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.
"We circled this road trip a while back, and we are playing some tough teams and some good teams," captain Claude Giroux said. "We are ready for it and pretty excited to get it going."
The road, however, has not been good to the Flyers. They are just 12-19-4 in away games. Carolina is the only Eastern Conference team with fewer road victories.
The Flyers have four wins in their last 21 road games (4-14-3).
Winnipeg is not in a playoff spot. The Flyers' other three opponents on the trip are among the NHL's best teams, although Minnesota has lost five straight.
The Flyers are a combined 3-3-1 against their next four opponents, including a 5-2 home win over Winnipeg on Nov. 17. Steve Mason made 30 saves in that game, and Jets rookie sensation Patrik Laine was minus-4.
"We have an extremely tough task ahead of us," Mason said. "We are going to have to have our best game each and every night on this trip in order to keep the season alive here. I'm sure the boys are looking forward to some fun games here."
The Flyers (33-30-8) avoided what would have been a devastating loss to a Carolina team that was playing its fifth game in seven nights. They tied it on Travis Konecny's 11th goal of the season, scored after it deflected off a Carolina defender and then off goalie Cam Ward with 42.9 seconds left in regulation. Schenn then won it 38 seconds into overtime.
"Mentally, it's huge," Schenn said of the dramatic victory. "If we lose that game right [before] the road trip, it wouldn't have been much of a fun trip. We've got a lot to play for on this road trip, four really tough hockey games, four tough buildings to play in. It's going to give us some positive energy, starting in Winnipeg."
Winnipeg (32-33-7) entered Monday 10 points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. The Jets' playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.
"Our season is on the line right now. Same with Winnipeg; they're fighting for their life every night," said winger Dale Weise, who had two goals in his first 50 games but has two tallies over his last three games. "It's going to be a desperate game for both teams."
Mason has started nine of the last 10 games and is expected to get the call Tuesday. . . . The Flyers' power play is 1 for 10 since it started using new units. The power play is just 3 for 36 in its last nine games. . . . The Flyers have allowed nine power-play goals in opponents' last 22 chances. . . . Sean Couturier (three assists) and Ivan Provorov (three points) set career highs in Sunday's win. . . . Winnipeg is 17-18-1 at home. . . . Laine entered Monday leading NHL rookies in goals (33) and points (60). . . . General manager Ron Hextall on the Flyers' goal-scoring woes: "There are some nights when it seems like it is puck luck. But you can't look at the whole year and say it's puck luck."