It's getting very interesting in the standings as the season hits the homestretch.

The Flyers did what they had to against the Ottawa Senators. After falling behind in the first period, they stayed the course, got their legs, took the lead in the second and handled business against the NHL's worst team this season in a 3-2 win.

They also got some help. Columbus lost to the Islanders, 2-0, to move the Flyers to within three points of a playoff spot.

More in our Postgame Review.

Postgame Points

  1. Nolan Patrick - Earlier in the season, the belief was that Nolan Patrick's confidence was hurting and that he needed to be a hungrier player and want the puck on his stick. As Jason Kelce would say, if hungry dogs run faster, then Nolan Patrick is starving. He's been a machine at times.

    Patrick's hustle on the forecheck and great no-look backhand pass to the front of the net set up Michael Raffl's goal and gave the Flyers the lead just four minutes after they had tied the game.

    From there, Patrick was always around the puck, constantly working the boards, applying pressure, winning battles. He clearly wants the puck on his stick now and generally knows what he's going to do with it before he even gets it.

    It's just another sign of his growth over the last few months, and when he's a completely confident player, he's really on point.

  2. Michael Raffl - It was Raffl's 400th NHL game and it proved to be a memorable one. In addition to the goal, Raffl had an assist on Scott Laughton's goal and was very present in board battles as well.

    In a game where the Flyers didn't have Jake Voracek due to suspension, the Flyers got some really solid play from a lot of depth players, Raffl among them. It served as a complete team victory for the Flyers, who got contributions up and down the lineup of 11 forwards.

  3. The Ghost-Myers Pairing - There's a lot to like about this defensive pairing.

    First off, Phil Myers looks very mature in his game. He's very poised with the puck, always in pursuit without it and he usually takes the right angles, remains aggressive on the forecheck and solid on the backcheck. The more you see him, you wonder how he slipped through the cracks to become an undrafted free agent.

    As for Shayne Gostisbehere, this season has had its struggles and turmoil, but things have been a lot different since this duo was paired on the ice. Gostisbehere has more confidence to jump into the play and take chances. Myers isn't afraid to do it either, but it feels like both are picking their spots a lot smarter than they were or that there is always a backup to a failed attempt to jump into the play and create opportunity.

    Many people would believe Myers could eventually be a top-pairing defenseman. For now, he's a very solid Top-4 option alongside Gostisbehere.

  4. Staying the Course - This was not an idea start for the Flyers. They got plenty of early chances, but mostly missed the net with them. Ottawa took a 1-0 lead and had five of the first six shots on goal.

    For the rest of the first period, the Flyers outshot Ottawa, 9-1. In the second, they outshot the Senators, 15-5. For the game, they outshot Ottawa, 36-22.

    Staying the course and not letting a skillful goal like the deflection by Chris Tierney do them in was huge for this team. Trailing after one period made this feel like a possible let-down game, and a loss to the Ottawa Senators would likely crush the remaining dreams of playoffs. Instead, the Flyers stayed with it, got timely offense both early and late in the second and held on for the win at the end.

  5. Closing the Gap - Three points separate the Flyers from the team holding the final playoff spot. Three points.

    It's remarkable to think about when you consider where the Flyers were on Jan. 10, just two months ago. To be in this position shows the resilience of this team and how strong they have been lately in finding a way to get the results they want.

    This was no convincing result, and that should not be overlooked with the most brutal three-game swing of the remaining schedule coming up starting on Thursday, but the Flyers have come this far. Now they have to try to finish the job in the final 13 games.

    Of course, a lot can change in a matter of days. The Flyers are off on Tuesday while Montreal and Columbus, the two teams they now trail by three points, will play. But the Flyers have done an impressive job to narrow the gap to this point. It's within reach.

    This was no convincing result, and that should not be overlooked with the most brutal three-game swing of the remaining schedule coming up starting on Thursday, but the Flyers have come this far. Now they have to try to finish the job in the final 13 games.

By the Numbers

The Flyers had seven high-danger scoring chances in the first period and six in the second period at 5-on-5. Ottawa had just four for the game, but did score both goals on quality chances. The Flyers finished the game with a 57.45 CF%.

Stat of the Game

Sean Couturier finished with a game-high eight shots on goal for the Flyers, nearly 25 percent of their 36 for the game. Couturier also had an assist, a blocked shot and won 5-of-12 face-offs.

 

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.