Last few games, the Flyers tough to beat

Maybe it's just a coincidence that it happened after Tuesday's trade deadline, but in the two games since, the Flyers have shown resilience while earning three points against teams making playoff runs.

In Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the host New York Islanders, the Flyers overcame deficits of 4-1 and 5-2 to send the game into overtime, earning one point.

The Flyers quickly fell behind by 2-0 in Thursday's game in Boston, with both goals by Mark Mowers - who had scored just two in his previous 60 games.

Boston's offensive players were roaming freely, encountering little resistance, against a Flyers team that appeared shaken. Then Joni Pitkanen scored late in the first period to cut the margin in half, and the Flyers were a different team.

They eventually beat the Bruins in overtime, 4-3, having taken 55 shots, including 21 in the second period.

Afterward, in the locker room at TD Banknorth Garden, the Flyers felt relief that their five-game losing streak (which included two overtime defeats) had ended and pride that they hadn't given up.

"It was very exciting coming here against a team playing for their playoff lives and to be able to steal a point from them," goalie Martin Biron said after making 34 saves in his debut as a Flyer.

The Islanders and Bruins are in the hunt for one of eight Eastern Conference playoff berths.

Going into last night, the Islanders were seventh with 73 points and the Bruins were 12th with 65.

"Give us credit for battling back," said left winger Scottie Upshall, who scored the game-winner against Boston with 9.9 seconds remaining in overtime. "We battled back from a three-goal deficit against New York and right off the bat were down two goals against Boston and facing some adversity."

Still, the Flyers need to cut down on their turnovers.

"We felt in both the Islanders and this game that we didn't play poorly, but we didn't manage the hockey puck well," coach John Stevens said. "We have to do a better job of taking care of the puck."

Stevens did not have the team practice yesterday. The Flyers return to work today at the SkateZone before traveling to Pittsburgh for tomorrow's 12:30 p.m. game against the Penguins.

"We are a young team," said Upshall, who has two game-winning goals since being acquired from Nashville Feb. 15 in the Peter Forsberg trade. "It says something when we were down that we didn't give up and battled hard, and we're looking for that to continue."


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.