- Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers have gone from a team fighting for a playoff spot to one of the NHL’s most dangerous contenders.

Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn both scored in the second period, and the Flyers rallied to beat the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.

Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds added goals in the third period, and Steve Mason made 32 saves to help Philadelphia improve to 12-2-1 in its last 15 games and maintain its hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division.

“I think we showed the league we can play with everyone and we can beat everybody,” Voracek said. “It’s going to give us some more confidence.”

The Blues clinched a playoff berth despite the loss, the first Western Conference team to do so, as a result of Phoenix’s 4-2 loss to Boston later Saturday.

St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz opened the scoring 6:23 into the game, finishing a 2-on-1, short-handed opportunity after taking a feed from Kevin Shattenkirk. Schwartz’s wrist shot from close range went under Mason’s glove.

The Blues again missed a chance to secure a playoff spot. One point would have made St. Louis the first Western club to qualify for the postseason.

Ryan Miller made only 15 saves and lost for the second time since being acquired by the Blues from Buffalo on Feb. 28. Miller was beaten 4-0 by Chicago on Wednesday in a game in which he was pulled after allowing four goals on 27 shots. He is 7-2-1 with St. Louis.

The Blues went 0-for-7 on the power play.

“Our level of determination in the offensive zone isn’t what it’s going to need to be to beat great goaltending,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re going to have to find a way to get to a much higher level of compete in the offensive zone.”

The Flyers dominated the second period when they erased a 1-0 deficit. Hartnell tied it 57 seconds in when he finished from right in front of the crease after a cross-ice pass from Voracek.

Miller appeared to try to stop the pass and was caught slightly out of position. Hartnell fired a wrister high into the open side of the net.

Schenn put Philadelphia ahead 2-1 when he scored off a rebound with 6:36 left in the period.

Simmonds took the initial shot after receiving a pass from Schenn. The rebound went right to Schenn, who put a backhander high over the sprawling goalie.

“(Simmonds) hit me in a good spot trying to go through my arm, and it pops up (to Schenn),” Miller said.

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