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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Is Martin Brodeur as magnificent as he was in the third period on Sunday? Not at all.
- Can Danny Briere or Jeff Carter show up on the scoresheet tonight? Several times each.
- 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.