Flyers come home for even bigger opportunity thanks to Sanheim's OT heroics


A make-or-break week for the Flyers started with overtime theatrics Monday night at TD Garden.

The Flyers came out on the winning side of it as Travis Sanheim sent his team home with a much-needed 3-2 decision over the Bruins.

On the overtime winner, Sanheim made a tremendous defensive play and then took the puck to the house. The smooth-skating defenseman got by four-time Selke Trophy winner Patrice Bergeron, who stumbled in coverage.

"There's no doubt that he's a tremendous skater," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said postgame about Sanheim. "He caught Bergeron a little flat-footed and he was able to capitalize on it and beat their goaltender."

Boy, did the Flyers need that break and goal.

The Flyers (18-14-5) are trying to chase down Boston in the East Division playoff race. They face the Bruins twice more this week and are now within three points of Boston with 19 games remaining.

"We know what's at stake going forward here," Travis Konecny said. "It's just a matter of playing the right way, playing hard for one another, everyone goes into each game, they know their assignments and their roles. It was just a perfect example tonight of everyone sticking together and working hard. Moose gave us a chance to stay in that game and thankfully we rewarded Moose for doing that for us.

"It's just a good effort and a lot to build on, a lot of positives. Not get too high about it, we've got to regroup and refresh tomorrow — it's a new game."

The Bruins (19-10-6), who have two games in hand on the Flyers, had won all five meetings between the two clubs prior to Monday night's matchup.

• Before the game, Vigneault mentioned how the Bruins' success on the power play had been one of the biggest differences in the head-to-head matchups thus far.

Boston supported that evidence in the second period when Bergeron gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with a man advantage tally.

The Bruins have gone 9 for 18 on the power play against the Flyers this season. The Flyers did a good job of staying out of the box Monday night as they committed only two penalties.

After starting the game 0 for 2 on the power play, the Flyers cashed in on their third man advantage opportunity to net the third-period equalizer. James van Riemsdyk made a good screen in front as Sean Couturier buzzed a shot by him.

The Flyers have gone 5 for 20 on the man advantage against Boston this season.

• After the Flyers went five straight games without a first-period goal, Konecny got them one in the opening 20 minutes. Konecny had nine assists but no goals over his previous 12 games.

The Flyers, who haven't held a first-intermission lead in their last 11 games, relinquished the 1-0 advantage when Karson Kuhlman beat Brian Elliott from the circle with 2:27 left in the opening frame.

Jakub Voracek and the Flyers were incensed by a no-call seconds before the goal when it appeared that Voracek might have been tripped along the boards, which led to Boston's opportunity.

• Elliott was strong with 27 saves on 29 shots. He made 22 of them after the first period.

Without Tuukka Rask (upper-body injury) and Jaroslav Halak (positive coronavirus test), the Bruins turned to Daniel Vladar in net. The 23-year-old rookie made his fourth career start and converted 29 saves.

• Tanner Laczynski played his second straight game. Michael Raffl entered the lineup for Oskar Lindblom. The Flyers started a stretch of five games in seven days and have been monitoring Lindblom's workload.

• The Flyers and Bruins head to Philadelphia for a rematch Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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