ECQF Game 4: Briere, Carter awaken to give Flyers commanding series lead

Gotta imagine that Carcillo is staring down Ilya Kovalchuk in this photo.

Danny Briere and Jeff Carter were both having themselves fairly terrible playoffs through the first three games of this series.  Their line had been a drag on the offense, with even Dan Carcillo outscoring them on his own. 

But the drought ended in a big way in the second period of this Game 4.  Jeff Carter scored on a wicked low wrister on the power play to level the game at 1-1, and Danny Briere rifled a shot right under the crossbar to beat a stunned Martin Brodeur for the eventual game-winner.  Carcillo and Carter added a third and fourth to give the Flyers a comfortable 4-1 win and an even more comfortable 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

Without further ado, the bullets:

  • There were nineteen penalties in this game.  Nineteen.  Ten for the Devils, nine for the Flyers.  For a playoff game without any fights, that's ludicrous.  Put the whistles away and let the boys play.  That's what playoff hockey should be all about.
  • The defense, anchored by Brian Boucher, was super solid throughout.  Boucher was never spectacular, but he (almost) never had to be.  The one goal the Devils managed was a Kovalchuk tally at 5-on-3, which was mostly made possible by Kimmo Timonen totally overplaying Zach Parise and totally taking himself out of the play.
  • Martin Brodeur was so pumped about that glove save he made that he promptly gave up four goals. 
  • Four goals is a lot, but it could have been more if the Flyers didn't have such a tendency to force passes that aren't there on 2-on-1s.  Selfishness pays, boys.  Don't be afraid of the glory.
  • The Devils actually outshot the Flyers in this one, 31-28.  Color me surprised.
  • Simon Gagne leaving the game before the third period with some sort of foot/ankle injury becomes whatever the opposite of a silver lining is on this game.  Here's hoping he's back by Thursday.  If not, here's hoping the Flyers get a week or so off for him to heal up.
  • I feel obliged to point out that Geoff predicted that the Devils would take this series in 6.

After the jump, questions answered, a comment of the night, and more celebratin'.

Questions to Answer:

  1. Can the Flyers continue to shut down Kovalchuk, Parise, and the Devils offense? Yep.  The only goal the Devils managed was on a 5-on-3.
  2. Will the parade to the penalty box come to a halt tonight? No, it's still ridiculous and an affront to everything playoff hockey is supposed to be.
  3. Is Martin Brodeur as magnificent as he was in the third period on Sunday? Not at all.
  4. Can Danny Briere or Jeff Carter show up on the scoresheet tonight? Several times each.
  5. When inevitably on the PK, can Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere continue to be awesome? PK was awesome, as per usual.

Comment of the Night:

CARCILLLLLLLLLLLLO… conn smythe? --edbro

One game away from the promised land.  Go Flyers.

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