It is no coincidence that the Flyers’ current 7-1-1 streak of success has coincided with Betts’ return from a shoulder injury. With their win over the Lightning, the Flyers are now 16-6-2 with Betts in the lineup and 5-13-1 without him.
Against the Lightning, the Flyers were clinging to a 2-1 lead on goals by Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell when Simon Gagne took a tripping penalty with 3:52 to play in the third period.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette sent out his top penalty killing unit of Betts, Ian Laperriere, Pronger and Braydon Coburn and the foursome penned the Lightning in the defensive zone. A shot by Betts was followed by another by Laperriere and when former Flyer Antero Niittymaki couldn’t control either rebound, Betts rammed home the insurance goal the Flyers needed for their third straight win.
Under John Stevens the Flyers’ success rate on the penalty kill was 72.2 percent. Under Peter Laviolette it has operated at an 85.1 percent success rate, including 93.8 percent (30 of 32 in the last nine games (7-1-1).
–The Flyers have scored the first goal in nine straight games and are 7-1-1 in those games.
–The Flyers have now scored seven power-play goals in their last four games.
–The Flyers have held their opponent scoreless in the first period in seven of their last nine games, and scoreless in 26 of 44 games on the season.