You know that feeling that slowly creeped into your psyche over the last few hours? That's called confidence, folks. We were told this series was over. Teams don't come back from 2-0 down. Teams don't come back from 3-1 down. It doesn't happen.
Our Flyers took a huge step toward making it happen tonight. With a dominating 3-0 shutout victory in Pittsburgh, the series shifts back to an already-hyped up Philadelphia for Game 6 where the Flyers will have a chance to tie this thing up at home.
When your team has six 25-goal scorers, you usually don't expect to win games with goaltending and defense. But that's what the Flyers did tonight. Pittsburgh brought the heat in the first period, obviously amped by their own crowd and a chance to close out the Flyers early. They outshot Philly 15-5 in the stanza, but the Flyers clogged up passing lanes and didn't allow many quality shots on Martin Biron. The few that did get through were easily turned aside by the Flyer netminder who looked absolutely determined tonight.
The Flyers weathered the storm from Pittsburgh and in the second period, things started going their way. Their most unlikely duo would team up for the first tally of the night when Dan Carcillo charged across the Pens blueline and left a drop pass for Arron Asham. Asham tee'd up and fired probably the hardest shot he's ever taken over the shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury. He's human after all, and the Flyers led 1-0.
And when Arron Asham scores a goal on a pass from Dan Carcillo, you know things are going to go your way. That's exactly what would happen. Biron continued to be stellar throughout the second period, allowing nothing but a soccer puck kicked by Evgeni Malkin by him. It didn't count, of course, and the shutout was held up.
The help Biron picked up from the defensemen tonight was immeasurable. The pairing of Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle was especially impressive, and Coburn played a huge role in frustrating Malkin who couldn't get anything going tonight, no matter how hard he tried. Carle played an excellent game defensively, but he also contributed on the offense. He kept a play alive by stealing a puck along the boards that led to Claude Giroux's third period goal, and an excellent outlet pass a few minutes later led to Mike Knuble's goal that made it 3-0 Flyers.
The Mellon Arena crowd was absolutely dead tonight, even when their team was only down a goal. When Giroux scored to make it 2-0, people started heading for the exits. Comparing the atmosphere tonight to the Wachovia Center on Tuesday night is like comparing apples and oranges. And something tells me we haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fired up playoff crowds in Philadelphia.
Game 6 is going to be insane. Pittsburgh is scared.
2 down, 14 to go. LET'S GO FLYERS!