It’s still never going to be that easy. Still.
The visiting Boston Bruins tied today’s game with three seconds left in regulation after an icing and multiple failed clearing attempts, but Claude Giroux would end things in overtime with a game-winning goal (his second goal of the game) on a breakaway to give the Flyers a 4-3 victory. The win moves the Flyers’ magic number to just three, with three games remaining in the regular season. Petr Mrazek stopped 36 of 39 shots for the Flyers in the victory, while Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick would also score for the Flyers.
Relive the magic with us below as we reacted minute-by-minute to the Flyers’ Easter victory.
12:20 p.m.: Happy Easter! Let’s make it happier here. The Flyers are just a few more happenings away from clinching a playoff spot in the East, and they’ve got a chance to lower their magic number for clinching a spot to 3 today. But, they’re facing a Boston team that has just been ruthlessly good for months now. BUT, that Boston team played yesterday and is at the tail end of a 3-in-4 here, compared to the Flyers, who haven’t played since Wednesday and should theoretically be rested up for this one. I’m not counting on a win, but who knows?
12:27 p.m.: Top line, top unit, and Petr Mrazek out to start this one. Bruins will start with Patrice Bergeron’s line, as Anton Khudobin gets the start on the back-to-back. Let’s see it.
12:33 p.m.: Off we go.
12:38 p.m.: Bruins get the first real chance of the game about four minutes in, after the Flyers control the flow of the first few minutes.
12:40 p.m.: And the Flyers respond with their best look so far, a point shot by Sanheim that Laughton deflects in on Khudobin, who has to make a quick save. Things starting to pick up a bit here.
12:45 p.m.: Emrick and Olczyk are ON ONE right now. First saying that Wayne Simmonds is a pending UFA (he’s actually under contract for another year), then going on about how mean Flyers fans are to Andrew MacDonald. This is what I watch for, folks.
12:48 p.m.: Petr Mrazek with a BRILLIANT save at the end of a brutal defensive shift for the Flyers against the Bergeron line. Sprawled out with the glove to close up what was basically an open net for David Pastrnak. Alright, Petr. We see you.
Highway robbery by Petr Mrazek pic.twitter.com/wCPVLxdrmQ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 1, 2018
12:49 p.m.: AND THE FLYERS GO DOWN THE ICE AND SCOOOOOOOOORE CLAUDE GIROUX IT IS 1 TO 0
12:51 p.m.: Giroux now has a career high in points (94) and has tied his career-high in goals (28). Hak manages to get that line out against Boston’s second line (rather than the Bergeron line), Provorov gets a rush up-ice, and Konecny puts a perfect pass on Giroux’s tape. Also, uh, Khudobin probably should have stopped this.
Claude Giroux owns Anton Khudobin. He also set a career high in points with this goal.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 1, 2018
1-0 Flyers. pic.twitter.com/V9HZRBV6bB
12:54 p.m.: Konecny with a great diving play in the defensive zone to essentially end a Bruins threat. Man, that guy is going to be fun to watch in the playoffs.
12:55 p.m.: They’re playing the Eagles fight song at the arena with some Eagles staff in attendance. Here is your reminder that the Eagles won the Super Bowl. Against the Patriots, who are based in the greater Boston area.
1:05 p.m.: Pretty slow game so far as we approach the end of the first period. Not a lot in terms of great chances since the goal. Tightly-checked game so far, one in which the Flyers seem like they’ve had a little bit more energy (as they should, given the difference in rest).
1:08 p.m.: Krejci line hems the Flyers in for much of the final minute of the first period, but they get a stoppage as Mrazek covers, the Flyers clear off the ensuing faceoff, and we hit the end of the first period with a 1-0 lead. Could be worse!
1:14 p.m.: Shots on goal 12-7 Boston in the first, overall shot attempts 22-20 Boston. Not a ton of dangerous action across all those shots; best two chances were the aforementioned Mrazek save and the Giroux goal.
1:27 p.m.: Underway in the second period. Hold the lead through this one, and there’ll be no excuse not to come away in the third — at home, while rested, against a tired team — with two points. Get to it.
1:27 p.m.: I .... I think Travis Konecny owns the Bruins now. Like, holy shit. 2-0 Flyers.
1:30 p.m.: Like ... what the ... I have no words. That’s the best line in hockey! And he just dunked on all of their asses!
Travis Konecny just scored and we're speechless.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 1, 2018
Goal of the year? pic.twitter.com/PCVNr5YPSR
1:31 p.m.: Boston gets a chance in close and Mrazek deflects the initial chance by DeBrusk, but Sanheim interferes with him as he tries to chase down the rebound. Bruins get the game’s first power play, two minutes into the second period.
1:33 p.m.: Mrazek with the biiig save at the end of an otherwise-just-OK power play for Boston and the Flyers kill it off without incident. Still plenty of time for this to change, but Mrazek looks very good so far today.
1:36 p.m.: Mrazek will probably need to continue being very good today; Boston has been pressing hard since the PP ended.
1:43 p.m.: Konecny (who else?) gets in on a breakaway courtesy of a nifty center-ice pass by Giroux that came following a long outlet by Gostisbehere, and he’s slashed by Krug just before he fails to beat Khudobin. Flyers will get their first man-advantage of the day.
1:45 p.m.: Fans boo as the second power play unit fails to connect on ... a drop pass by Provorov in the neutral zone. Getting restless here, I suppose! (It was a bad power play by the Flyers. Back to even strength we go.)
1:50 p.m.: Oh COME ONNNNN. A bad change by Boston and a heads-up pass by Ghost gives the Flyers a 2-on-0 (!) with Giroux and Konecny (!!) aaaaaand Konecny’s pass to Giroux is just a little bit wide, and in the time it takes Giroux to get it, Adam McQuaid gets a stick in the passing lane and nothing comes of it. Would’ve been a fun way to deliver the potential dagger right there.
1:52 p.m.: And welp. Bruins come in on the rush (following an attempted stretch pass by Gudas that’s swallowed up in the neutral zone) and after the initial shot is blocked off, a drop pass to Noel Acciari near the lower edge of the faceoff circle ends up beating Mrazek in the far corner. 2-1 Boston. An unfortunate turn of events there.
1:57 p.m.: Andrew MacDonald pulls up about a foot short of the red line on a dump-in, which leads to an icing. This isn’t really noteworthy except for the fact that it surprised DeBrusk so much that the hit that he had all lined up for MacDonald ended up landing on teammate Ryan Donato. Which I think is funny. Maybe just me.
1:59 p.m.: A scrum in the corner of the Bruins’ zone, and ... Val Filppula is called for tripping. On replay, that looks a lot more like two minutes for being stronger than the other guy. Good grief. Please kill this.
2:02 p.m.: How about it! After a clear at the end of a scrum in front of Mrazek, MacDonald hits Marchand along the boards, and Marchand, being the pile of dog turds that he is, cross-checks MacDonald in the face while the latter is on the ice. The refs notice, and Boston’s power play ends while the Flyers will get an abbreviated one that’ll carry into the third period (unless they score in the waning seconds).
2:03 p.m.: They don’t score, though they get reasonably close on the one rush they get before the whistle blows. 2-1 Flyers after 40 minutes. Not the cleanest period the Flyers have ever played, yet was still one that they came out of no worse for their wear. Big third period coming up.
2:10 p.m.: Shots on goal are 29-14 Boston; overall attempts 53-34 Boston. Doesn’t feel like a game where Boston’s had the run of play to that extent, but they haven’t had a huge edge in shot quality. In any case, let’s not let that edge get any bigger this period.
2:21 p.m.: We’re off and running in the third, where the Flyers will have 1:08 of power play time to try and double this lead.
2:23 p.m.: Top PP needs about 45 seconds to get set up and can’t cash in, though they do get a couple of nice cross-ice passes in the PP’s final seconds that they can’t direct into the net.
2:26 p.m.: This is gonna be a rough third period, isn’t it? A semi-broken play leads to Chara nearly finding Donato right at the doorstep.
2:27 p.m.: Matt Read does his darndest to turn that tide, forcing a great turnover and getting a chance in alone on Khudobin.
2:28 p.m.: NOLAN PATRICK MAKES IT 3-1 OFF A BEAUTIFUL PASSING SEQUENCE MY GOODNESS
2:30 p.m.: Bruins will quickly get another chance to get back within one as Lindblom is called for hooking David Krejci as he crosses into the offensive zone.
2:31 p.m.: Goal. Lehtera tries to clear from behind the net and can’t, Pastrnak fires from a wide angle, the shot deflects off of Andrew MacDonald’s skate and past Mrazek, and it’s 3-2.
2:33 p.m.: To briefly rewind a bit: Flyers made it 3-1 (RIP) on this spectacular sequence. Lindblom with the beautiful pass to Patrick to spring the mini-breakaway here. Refs may have missed a high-stick prior to the goal. We’re OK with it.
VORACEK➡️ LINDBLOM➡️ PATRICK➡️ 3-1 FLYERS pic.twitter.com/WTkE1gw9zh— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 1, 2018
2:37 p.m.: We finally get our first TV timeout of the third period, just past the halfway mark. Fast-paced action, probably moreso than the Flyers would prefer it be.
2:44 p.m.: Seven minutes left. We’re right around the point at which the Flyers more or less stopped playing hockey on Wednesday. Will they, in fact, play hockey this time around? Let’s find out!
2:47 p.m.: Well, they’re playing hockey. Top line gets a good shift of pressure that probably should have stopped as a Flyer was taken down in the corner; shortly afterwards, the Flyers probably get away with too many men on the ice.
2:52 p.m.: Khudobin off to the bench with about one and a half minutes left.
2:53 p.m.: AMac neeeeeeearly gets the 180-foot empty-netter, but instead the Flyers are called for icing and the Bruins will call timeout with 26 seconds left. Filppula, Lehtera, Simmonds, Manning, and MacDonald will be out post-icing. Hold your breath.
2:55 p.m.: ............ tie game. Simmonds has the puck two feet from the blue line but can’t get it out, Bergeron buries a rebound after a scramble in front and we’re tied with three seconds left.
2:57 p.m.: Off to overtime we go.
3:02 p.m.: GAME. FLYERS. GIROUX AGAIN, ON THE BREAKAWAY.
3:03 p.m.: HE FAKED GOING BETWEEN THE LEGS IS THIS A JOKE????
Claude Giroux with the OT winner! pic.twitter.com/oKthUzOdtj— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 1, 2018
3:04 p.m.: Alright! Normal type time. Flyers win 4-3 in overtime and now need just three points in their final three games to make the playoffs. Or three missed points by Florida across their last five games. Things are OK. Things are fine. See you all on Tuesday in Brooklyn, where we could legitimately be talking about the Flyers clinching a playoff spot. Go Flyers.