This game was scoreless through two periods, but even then it was awesome. These are two fast, offensively tilted teams, each of whom had a hot goalie to steal several goals along the way. A 4-on-4 late in the second period led to about fifteen odd-man rushes in each direction. And though no goals came of it, a tone of awesomeness was set.
Simon Gagne opened the scoring early in the third on a pretty (and possibly accidental?) feed across the slot from Daniel Carcillo. But a bogus goalie interference call on Danny Briere put the Blackhawks on a power play soon after, a power play which Kris Versteeg eventually converted on.
Marian Hossa, best known for being the brother of Dinamo Riga star Marcel Hossa, scored on a high bullet through a screen, beating Leighton stick side, and things looked bleak. But Scott Hartnell of all people, whose struggles have been documented below recently, scored a beautiful, gritty breakaway-type goal to tie things up with two minutes left, which was awesome.
And as if the comeback goal by a struggling fan favorite to send the game to overtime and secure a point wasn't enough, it was about to get even better. With two seconds left, Chris Pronger joined the rush and tapped in a beautiful Claude Giroux pass with 2.1 seconds left to give the Flyers a regulation win.
Bedlam ensued, and continues still.
While the late goal scorers will get all the ink, and largely deservedly, most of the credit for this win should go to Michael Leighton. Against a high-powered Chicago offense that averages about a dozen goals a game, Leighton was rock solid. He stopped 39 of 41 shots, and had no real chance to stop either of their goals. After getting pulled and looking generally mediocre on Thursday, this outing should hopefully silence some skeptics, at least in the short run.
Some parting thoughts, in bullet form:
- Once they develop the technology, I'm going to get an animated GIF tattoo of that last goal.
- Some of my absolute favorite moments in recent Flyers history have ended with Cristobal Huet breaking his stick over the crossbar after letting in a game-winning goal. Mike Knuble's 2OT winner in Game 4 against the Caps might have been more memorable, but wow, this one was awesome too.
- I'm very glad I got to do this recap. Not as glad that the game I bought tickets for was the Bruins game and not this one.
After the jump, questions answered, a comment of the day, as well as so! many! more! exclamation! points!
Comment of the night:
W T F!!!! OH MY GOSH! AWESOME! --flyrsfrk05
Questions to Answer:
- Does Michael Leighton bounce back after a rough Thursday? Yes!!!
- Does everybody else bounce back after a rough Thursday? Yes!!!
- Will Scott Hartnell continue to be snakebitten and useless? No!!!
- Has the Olympic bubble burst yet, or will Patrick Kane get any positive reception from the American Flyers fans? Unclear!!!
- Over or under eight total goals? These aren't teams that are very fond of defense... Under eight!!! But it was a quality over quantity situation!!!