Tyler J. Altemose

Slump? What slump?

The Philadelphia Flyers once again proved their resilience tonight with a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The win prevented the Flyers from suffering a 2-game losing streak.

All of this, of course, was thanks to the heroics of Finnish forward Ville Leino.

"When he's doing his things that he was doing in the third period, he's very difficult to play against," head coach Peter Laviolette remarked about Leino. "It's tough to get the puck back from him, and I think that's what we remember from him last year when he came into the playoffs. He's a dangerous player when he plays that style, that speed."

Laviolette decided to go with the same lineup as Tuesday night in Tampa Bay. He also opted to do something that he rarely does--go with a goaltender after they had a poor performance in the previous game. Sergei Bobrovsky got the nod against fellow rookie sensation Anders Lindback.

The Flyers fell into the same trap the Predators have been laying all season long: playing a slow, boring, low-scoring game.

The Nashville Predators are a virtual unknown in Flyerland. With the Preds being a small market team and only playing the Flyers occasionally, it was no surprise that the Orange and Black fell into their trap. Even more frustrating was Nashville's ability to respond whenever the Flyers scored.

Jeff Carter drew first blood for the Flyers halfway into the first period with a wrister past Lindback. Unfortunately, the Preds responded just 59 seconds later when Marcel Goc picked up a rebound given up by Bobrovsky to tie the game at one goal apiece.

After a scoreless second period, the Flyers once again took the lead off of a goal by Ville Leino from behind the net. But Nashville responded again. Just a few minutes later, Joel Ward tied the game after getting a Shea Weber rebound past Bobrovsky.

Fortunately for Philly, the Finnish hero would have the last word. With about three minutes to go in the game he managed to pull off a backhand "spin-o-rama" goal past Lindback.

Leino explained what was going through his mind as he scored the game-winning goal.

"That was all instinct," the Finnish right winger remarked. "I felt that he was on my right side, so I turned right away. I knew there was empty space there. As soon as I turned I knew I had to get it up, and it worked out well."

What many might not have noticed was that Leino wasn't on the ice with his usual linemates for that game-winning goal. While Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell stayed on the bench, Leino was put on the ice with Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux.

Peter Laviolette explained the reasoning behind the decision to keep Leino on the ice.

"I thought Ville had a strong game. He was strong with his skating and strong on the puck. He ended up catching a break--catching some wind--so we put him back out there. It was more of a hunch than anything else."

Leino's and Laviolette's instincts paid off, and the Flyers held onto the 3-2 lead to secure the win, bringing them to 73 points and separating them from the rest of the Eastern Conference.

"It was one of the fun games to play in because it's back and forth," Richards told the media post-game. "There was (sic) chances, and the pace of the game was fast. It was good for us to play in."

Blair Betts--who has been in a scoring drought this season--had a notably strong performance tonight, including three near-goals. Kimmo Timonen also had a strong game and did well to pinch the puck in the offensive zone throughout the night to give the Flyers more opportunities.

"I thought we played a really competitive game," Lavvy told the media. "I think we're going to see a lot of those games coming up--just in general--because it's playoff hockey. Every team is fighting for something, and if you don't fight for it then you won't make it."

The last time the Flyers lost two games in a row was December 20th and 28th, during their road trip out west.

The Flyers take on the Dallas Stars at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday evening at 7:00.