Flyers 3, Canadiens 2: Morgan Frost scores twice as winning streak continues

The Flyers have now earned points in six straight games.

Fans hoping for the Philadelphia Flyers to enter tank mode in the season’s homestretch must be in shambles.

Entering Tuesday night’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, the Flyers hadn’t suffered a regulation loss since March 14 as their odds for the May 8 draft lottery have shrunk considerably. And against a Canadiens team two points below them in the league standings, the Flyers kept their hot streak alive.

The Flyers took down Montreal 3-2 at Wells Fargo Center, extending their winning streak to four games. They’re now also riding a six-game point streak.

Morgan Frost netted two of the Flyers’ goals, giving him 16 tallies on the season. Owen Tippett scored the empty-netter to provide the insurance goal in the game’s final minutes.

Frost potted the first goal of the game in the second period after a scoreless opening stanza. Just as the Flyers’ first power play of the night expired, Frost beat Habs netminder Cayden Primeau off a pretty cross-ice feed from Kevin Hayes.

Late in the third period, right when it began feeling inevitable the game would end up heading to overtime, Frost scored a beauty on an odd-man rush to put the Flyers on top.

Tippett’s empty-netter came soon after before the Habs scored a goal of their own in garbage time.

Frost has been heating up since the start of the Flyers’ seven-game homestand. He’s logged eight points in his last seven games, and at this stage, it’s clear the 23-year-old is as confident as he’s ever been as an NHLer. Frost has upped his game immensely since the start of the season, and at the moment, head coach John Tortorella is happy with his upward trajectory.

“He keeps on improving. That’s encouraging to me,” said Tortorella.

“I didn’t know him two years ago, and the people that did see him play then to where he is now are shocked to where he’s at. I’ve seen him improve this year, so I want to just keep on seeing him improve, and I have seen that.”

Winning over Tortorella is no easy task, especially for a player like Frost who hasn’t always been overly effective away from the puck. But Frost knows what’s at stake in the Flyers’ final games of the season, and he’s preparing to make the most of his opportunities.

“I think a lot of guys still have a lot to play for here. Myself included,” said Frost. “I want to be here next year. I want to be here for the long run, so every game is important to me.”

Sandstrom earned the start Tuesday night after Carter Hart was ruled unavailable due to a lower-body injury. Sandstrom, who has been victimized by poor goal support throughout the season, put together a solid effort against Montreal, turning aside 27 of the Canadiens’ 29 shots.

One of the shots Sandstrom couldn’t stop came in the middle frame, though he certainly isn’t to blame for the blemish. The goal was made possible thanks largely to an ugly turnover by Scott Laughton in front of the Flyers net. After a point shot was blocked, Laughton mishandled the loose puck while trying for a clearing attempt, but Brendan Gallagher swooped in to beat Sandstrom with a quick wrister.

No harm, no foul, though. Sandstrom earned his second NHL victory on the night, and it was a win he most definitely earned.

“My biggest complaint with him was there would always be a bad goal. Past two or three starts he’s played very well,” said Tortorella. “Made some key saves in a game that I think both goalies were saying ‘Are we gonna play?’ and made some key saves at key times.”

With nine games remaining, the Flyers currently rank 26th in the league standings. If the season ended today, which it doesn’t, the Flyers would have a 6.5% chance of earning the No. 1 overall pick in the draft lottery.

The Flyers’ longest homestand of the season is in the books, and they’ll now hit the road for a quick stop north of the border to take on Claude Giroux and the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre Thursday night. They’ll return home Saturday for a tilt against the Buffalo Sabres before embarking on a four-game road trip, starting with an evening showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Steel City.