AARON BRACY, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The streaking Philadelphia Flyers are riding high on confidence.
Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds scored third-period goals to lead Philadelphia to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Jakub Voracek had a goal and two assists and Claude Giroux assisted on all three goals for Philadelphia. The Flyers won their sixth straight at home.
“It’s all about confidence,” Giroux said. “Right now we have it, and we have to make sure we keep it.”
Loui Eriksson and Kevan Miller scored for Boston, which has just two wins in its last 10 games.
Simmonds tied it with 9:50 left and Streit scored 1:22 later on a rebound that beat goalie Tuukka Rask from a sharp angle. It was Streit’s fourth goal of the season. The defenseman missed six weeks in November and December following groin surgery.
“I just tried to get it on net and luckily it went in,” Streit said. “You can just feel the team has a lot of confidence. We are going in the right direction. We don’t panic. The atmosphere in the locker room is great. It’s a lot of fun to come to the rink.”
Simmonds followed up his own shot and beat Rask on the short side to tie the game.
The victory comes at a pivotal stretch for the Flyers, who play their next eight games against Eastern Conference teams. All but Toronto, the Flyers’ opponent next Tuesday, began Wednesday above Philadelphia in the standings. The Flyers began Wednesday in 13th place but just four points out of a playoff spot.
“A night like tonight where we’re not at our best, there’s still a confidence just to stay with it,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
Hakstol attributes the players’ confidence to their togetherness.
“I think our guys have stuck together all year and worked hard for each other, and that has a way of growing,” he said.
Boston wraps up a five-game trip Friday in Buffalo before returning home on Saturday against Toronto to cap a stretch of six games in nine days.
“Right now, it’s a frustrating time for our team,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Missed opportunities at one end and mistakes at the other, so we’ve got to turn the tide.”
Eriksson finished a rebound after Steve Mason stopped Ryan Spooner’s shot from the right circle, giving Boston a 2-1 lead with 3:24 left in the second period. It was another power-play goal for the NHL’s top unit, which entered with a 28.1 percent success rate. The Flyers, on the other hand, began play 24th in the league in penalty killing at 78.7 percent.
Miller fired a wrist shot from the slot that beat Mason on the glove side to tie the game at 1 with 11:22 left in the second period.
“It wasn’t our best game,” Miller said. “I thought we put ourselves in position, but we didn’t get the job done.”
Voracek netted his fifth of the season with a deft display of puck control. He controlled a bouncing puck on a rebound of Giroux’s shot and whipped it into the net with his forehand from atop the crease to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with 2:32 left in the first period.
Rask made 18 saves while Mason stopped 30.
Zac Rinaldo flattened Flyers D Michael Del Zotto with a hit 5 minutes into the third period. Rinaldo played for Philadelphia last season and concussed Sean Couturier with a hit that drew a game misconduct penalty in the Flyers’ 5-4 overtime win in Boston on Oct. 21 in the teams’ first meeting of the season.
NOTES: Brayden Schenn and Miller each connected with heavy shots during a first-period fight that followed Schenn’s hard check of Torey Krug. … Philadelphia rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (lower body) missed his second straight game. … Flyers D Nick Schultz played in his 1,000th career game. … The teams wrap up their season series on Jan. 25 in Philadelphia.
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