The two teams split the games earlier in the week with the Flyers winning on Monday night in overtime, then falling in regulation on Tuesday. That loss certainly felt like the final nail in the coffin on the Flyers playoff hopes, but if they are to make any bid at getting back in the race, a regulation win on Saturday against Boston is a must.
When it comes down to it, the loss that determined this perfectly defined the season – fall behind, rally back, struggle on special teams both ways, come up short. It should be no surprise that it was another loss to the Bruins, a team that has had their number all season and that has dashed their playoff hopes before, did it again.
The Flyers got a third-period power play in a tie game with a chance to grab the lead. Instead, they gave it away, allowing a shorthanded goal to Brad Marchand that proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 loss to the Bruins at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers and Bruins meet again on Tuesday night, this time in Philadelphia, to complete the home-and-home and the second of three matchups this week that could ultimately determine the standings for good. For the Flyers, it's another must just to keep pace.
The result was what the Flyers needed. How long it took was what they didn’t. In this critical week in their season, the one that will likely define whether they choose to buy or sell – or do a little of both – at the deadline, the Flyers needed to win games. They have one to start, certainly a step in the right direction.
Travis Sanheim delivered, with the help of Patrice Bergeron going down as Sanheim moved in on a counter-rush. Sanheim scored on Dan Vladar to give the Flyers a 3-2 overtime win, the team's first over the Bruins this season, on Monday night in Boston.
If the Flyers still want to believe a playoff push is truly possible, these next two games against the Boston Bruins are their season. If the Flyers win both in regulation, they will move into a tie with the Bruins, though Boston would still hold the edge with two games in hand. Still, the pressure would be on for both sides. But a loss to Boston in either game essentially answered the big, looming question for the Flyers regarding their trade deadline approach. The first game gets going on Monday night.