PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins reacts after having Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers score the game winning goal in overtime in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Eastern Quarterfinals, Game 1 -- Flyers lead series, 1-0
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So I had this whole thing largely written during the first intermission, because I've had to learn to be more of a deadline writer lately and that's what deadline writers do -- write stories before the game ends. The Penguins were up 3-0 and shit looked bleak. It was a dark time.
But then the Flyers poured a huge ladleful of playoff magic down my gullet and it was hot and delicious and I want more please. Let's go straight to the bullets because I wanna shoot my gun off in the air in celebration like the redneck I secretly am.
Bryzgalov wasn't at fault on any of the first three goals, but that was still demoralizing. You don't want to go down 3-0 to any team, but especially the Penguins. Not because they're good, but just because they're so smug.
- It was the fourth time in the Flyers last seven first round playoff games that a goalie had let up three first period goals. It's now happened to four different Flyer goalies, which makes it doubly impressive.
- Then Danny Briere put on his Big Poppa pants and scored a breakaway goal to get the Flyers on the board. Then he scored again in the third period to make it 3-2, just in case you didn't notice his badassery on the first go-round.
- Citizens Bank Park deflower-er Brayden Schenn then got a beautiful tip-in to tie the game, and then suddenly it stopped being about making it a respectable night, and started being about winning it.
- His first career playoff goal puts him one ahead of his brother Luke, impressively. Less impressively it ties him with Ryan Parent.
- Extra time followed, improbably, and Jakub Voracek knocked in a garbage goal to give the Flyers the first game. He jumped, I jumped. More people saw him jump, and to my knowledge no one made mine into a .gif already.
- So the Flyers have won Game 1 in Pittsburgh. This is awesome. Just splitting in Pittsburgh is huge, since they hadn't been able to win Game 1 or Game 2 in any of the last three PHI-PIT playoff meetings.
- All the pressure will be on the Penguins in Game 2, therefore, which is fine by me. Sweeping them would be endlessly amusing.
- I still would have rather had them face Florida in the first round.
- No doubt there is going to be a lot of whining from Yinzerland about how Danny Briere was clearly a foot offsides when he scored his first goal. That's justified and appropriate, since that's a horrible call. I'd like another look at the non-icing call that led to the Pens' third goal as well, but without that I totally respect the 'Burgh's right to cry into their pierogies about the call for as long as they want. Bad calls are bad calls.
- There's been a lot of whining about how much money Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov make, how much money "we" pay them, etc. Let the record reflect that I've never been a part of that, and that people who make absurd amounts of money clearly have some awesomeness in their pockets that we need to recognize.
- Sidney Crosby, however, gets more than enough recognition, thankyouverymuch. The amount of slurping of his scrotum that went on in this broadcast was just silly. My personal favorite moment in the night's Crosbylingus was when he was credited as a "genius" for dumping the puck back behind the net after the aforementioned icing non-call. I mean really. Dumping the puck behind the net is genius? Take a cold shower already, bald men of NBC.
- Home-ice is now Philadelphia's, for what that's worth. Penguins have been 3-2 in Philly post-lockout in the playoffs, so it probably isn't worth getting too aroused over, but no reason not to enjoy it for the time being.
- If you need a brown lining on the golden cloud that is this game, it would be that FMAB:BAMF (Marc-Andre Bourdon) left with an upper body injury. This is sad, especially given how concussed he's been lately.
- The best thing about this game, really, is how it got better. The defense started out with all these horrible pinches, then stopped the horrible pinches. The offense started out by being useless, but then stopped being useless. Peter Laviolette is something we haven't had on our side in the past Penguins series, and already I'm glad to have him around this time.
Questions to Answer
- Can the Flyers continue to shut down Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, especially on the road where favorable matchups may not always be an option? Yes to Malkin, no to Crosby, for the front half of the game, anyway. We can all agree that Crosby-Lilja is not favorable.
- How much ice time does the third pairing get tonight? Not much as the game wore on/FMAB:BAMF went down.
- How does Briere look in his return to the lineup? Playoff-sexy as all hell. What a hero.
- What about Nicklas Grossmann? Less playoff-sexy, but decidedly adequate.
- Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. Playoff debuts. How do they perform? 3PGTG? Not complaining. And I really like what Couturier is doing with his hair lately.
- Jaromir Jagr is the leading Flyers scorer against Pittsburgh this season. Does that continue into the playoffs? Nope. There's always Game 2, Jar-Jar.
Comment of the Night
Is this game over?
Not by the hair on my Schenny Schenn Schenn
>> The Dark
1 down, 15 to go. OH MY GOD THIS IS HAPPENING.