SUNRISE, Fla. — Coach Craig Berube isn't one to let things slide.

Only a few minutes after his team clinched a playoff spot, thanks to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers, he was griping about the third period where the Flyers almost let the Panthers back into the game.

Even he had to admit, though, that his team accomplished something pretty impressive.

"I told the guys, 'You should be proud of yourselves.' We went through a lot," Berube said. "They battled hard all year. They're a good group of guys, good character and they deserve a lot of credit in making the playoffs."

The obvious question is: where was the turning point? How did the Flyers go from a 1-7 team that Claude Giroux guaranteed would make the playoffs to the team that actually followed through Tuesday?

"I think that roadtrip after Christmas was a very important roadtrip," Berube said. "I believe that. We went there with a purpose on that roadtrip. We got five wins out of six. That's pretty good. That made believers out of our team more than anything and put us in a good situation."

The Flyers beat the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout back on Dec. 28 to start that trip. Then it was the Vancouver Canucks. And the Calgary Flames. The only slip-up was a 2-1 defeat at the Colorado Avalanche. The Flyers finished the trip beating Phoenix and New Jersey before beating Montreal at home.

Since that trip ended, the Flyers are 19-12-5. There have been ups and downs through all that and Tuesday the Flyers had something to celebrate.

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