PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After playing some of their best hockey this month, the Philadelphia Flyers now sit and wait.
Or take a relaxing vacation somewhere warm.
Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored, Ray Emery stopped 32 shots and the Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.
With momentum going their way, it’s not an ideal time for Philadelphia to take 18 days off for the Olympic break. Five players are headed to Sochi to play for their countries and several others are headed to sunny destinations.
“We knew this was going to happen,” Schenn said. “It’s up to us to keep in shape and be ready when we come back.”
Flyers chairman Ed Snider expressed his disdain for the break Thursday night, saying “it’s ridiculous. There’s no benefit to us whatsoever.”
Players weren’t quite that vocal.
“I’m going to relax mentally and make sure I’m ready for the second half,” captain Claude Giroux said.
Making his first start since Jan. 23, Emery had a shutout going until Matt Stajan scored with 2:26 left.
The Flyers are one point behind the New York Rangers for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Despite winning six of their past eight games, the Flames are tied for the third-fewest points in the NHL.
“I think we’ve been playing good hockey. We’ve been in every game,” Stajan said. “Sometimes the hockey gods don’t reward you, and that’s not to say they didn’t play well. They had chances, too, that our goalie made some saves. That’s the game. We’ll take this break, come back, and try and get back at it on home ice.”
The teams resume their regular-season schedule Feb. 27.
Schenn gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the second period when he ripped a shot from the left circle off goalie Reto Berra’s glove and into the net. Wayne Simmonds set it up with a nice pass from the side of the net.
Hartnell made it 2-0 early in the third when he scored his 15th goal, deflecting a slap shot by Giroux.
Passed over by Team Canada for the Olympics, Giroux has been one of the league’s top players the past two months. He has 37 points in 29 games since Dec. 11.
Giroux still plans to watch the Winter Games and root for Canada.
“It’s a great event and good hockey,” he said.
Forwards Michael Raffl and Jakub Voracek, and defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros and Mark Streit are the Flyers heading to the Olympics. Berra and defenseman Ladislav Smid are the only Flames going.
“I think the team is getting comfortable with the way we are expected to play,” Emery said. “I think the rest of the year is not so much easier, but you get into the playoff battles and you get those competitive juices flowing. I think the tough part is out of the way, the tough months are normally January and February and it gets a bit long.”
NOTES: Flyers G Steve Mason had cramping issues during a win over Colorado on Thursday night, but could’ve started against the Flames. … Schenn extended his career high in goals to 15. … . Emery’s previous appearance was Jan. 25 in relief of Mason. … The Flames had won five of their previous six games in Philadelphia. … Calgary lost 2-0 in Montreal on Tuesday night.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)