The Flyers made history Friday night by completing the comeback against the Boston Bruins. They won their 4th straight game, after losing the first three and advanced to the Conference Finals. What’s more impressive is how they won the game. Boston came out and had a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes of play. They were all over the ice, dominating play, scoring ugly goals, creating chances, and seemingly in control of their fate. But then things changed. After the third goal, the Flyers called a timeout. Coach Laviolette calms the boys down. As the camera zooms in, you can just read his lips. He tells the team that in these last five minutes, all they need is one goal. One goal will get them started. One goal to make the mountain a little bit smaller. And that one goal comes from the stick of JVR. He dangles and tries to unleash a twisted wrister. Instead, it’s a dribbler that makes its way in. Doesn’t matter. It’s 3-1, and there is life. The second period comes, and things are totally different. The Bruins are content to sit back and hold the lead. The Flyers came at them hard, determined, with fire in their eyes. By periods end, they had tied the game. Ugly, but clutch, goals from Hartnell and Briere put the Flyers in a great position heading into the third period. By that point, it was a bit difficult for Boston to get going again. A too many men penalty gave the Flyers the advantage with a bit under 10 minutes left. And who else could come through but Simon Gagne. His dagger gave the team the lead, and the defense held strong. Claude Giroux came up big when he got the puck in the corner and held off two Bruins for 20-30 seconds to kill time. Boston pulled the goalie, but couldn’t come up with the equalizer. Great game, incredible comeback! And on to the Conference Finals we go!
Sunday night began a new battle. This time the stakes are higher. The 7th seeded Flyers actually get ice as they face the 8th seeded Montreal Canadiens. The winner of this series earns to the right to battle for the Stanley Cup. And things started off well. The Flyers came out smokin’. They didn’t look tired or battered from the series with Boston. They forechecked, skated, and created chances. Finally, about 6 minutes in, Coburn capitalized on a scramble in front. Most of the first period went like this, but the Flyers were unable to add to the lead. One tihng of note however, is that no matter how much the Flyers pressured, they didn’t get a ton of shots. Doesn’t matter, because they carried the lead into the break.
The second period is when the broke it open though. First, Giroux won a faceoff, by tipping it through Gomez’s legs. The puck rolled past a few Canadiens to the front of the net. There, JVR banged home his own rebound to double the lead. A pair of long blasts from Gagne and Briere pretty much sealed the deal, with half a game left to be played. After giving up 4 goals on 14 shots, Halak was pulled. Carey Price fared a little better, giving up a pair of goal in the 3rd. Leighton preserved the shutout, as Montreal pretty much gave up as the lead grew. 6-0, wow. What a way to start things off!
Anyway, game 2 is coming up on Tuesday, and things are looking pretty good in Flyerland. Now I know it’s a bit backwards, but I never got a chance to write a preview post for the series. So I’ll put something togeter on Monday.
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