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Philly balancing short-, long-term hopes

Craig Berube agreed with his team -- Tuesday night's win may have been the best of the season. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

This is when we’ll find out if the Philadelphia Flyers have another second-half charge in them. On Tuesday night, the Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in a win that was significant for a number of reasons. For one, it came in the shootout. Until then, the Flyers had been 0-5 in the shootout.

Steve Mason was great. He stopped 41-of-42 shots against Ottawa -- the kind of performance the Flyers need from him if they’re going to climb back into it, considering the Flyers routinely allow 30-plus shots per game.

It also snapped a five-game losing streak that threatened to end this season early in July.

Some of the Flyers players suggested it might have been their biggest win of the season. Coach Craig Berube didn’t object.

“For sure. The situation we’re in, they’re all big,” Berube said afterward. “This is a real big win. Now we’ve got a homestand.”

The Flyers play nine of their next 12 games at home in a stretch that should define their season. They currently sit eight points behind Toronto for the last wild-card spot and would have to leapfrog four teams to get there. It’s not an easy task, but the Flyers are 9-5-3 at home compared with 6-13-4 on the road. If it’s happening, it’s happening now.

“It’s going to give us some momentum,” Berube said. “We have to continue to get better.”

However, the analytics don’t suggest that they will.