ECSF Game 1 recap: Danny Briere wins it twice in overtime

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils with teammate Ilya Bryzgalov #30 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Eastern Semifinal, Game 1 -- Flyers lead series, 1-0
[Complete Coverage] - [New Jersey Reaction] - [Discussion Thread]
[Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]
[Shift Charts] - [Head-to-Head TOI] - [Shot Differential] - [5-on-5 Faceoffs]

You can never have too many Danny Briere fist pumps. You can never have too many Peter Laviolette fist pumps. We got all the fist pumps today. And a 4-3 overtime win. And a 1-0 series lead.

Bullet points. There's no acrostic because I'm not as good at this as Ben.

  • Danny Briere scored twice in overtime. The first time didn't count because Briere kicked the puck in the net, and I think just about everybody knew it. The bench sort of only half-celebrated, Craig Berube muttered a bad word or something, the crowd toned down really quickly after the goal. Upon review, it was actually a really great call by the officials. You don't want to win a game the wrong way like that. Always best when they get the call right and then you still win.
  • That's what Danny did moments later. James van Riemsdyk actually made the play of the shift when he muscled the puck to the goal crease. Then, the Flyers kept possession after Martin Brodeur made a pair of saves near the post, and Reemer positioned himself in front of the crease. Briere's shot went in the net and Brodeur could do nothing but stare at Young James' ass.
  • Seriously, can we talk about Briere in the playoffs for a second or 12? It'd be swell if he could just do this all the time, but the man has seven goals in seven playoff games this season. He had 16 goals all season long. Acceptable.
  • The first period was really bad. I'd say it might have been worse than any period the Flyers have played all playoffs long, perhaps excluding whatever the hell Game 4 against Pittsburgh was. They had ZERO JAM and it certainly took them a while to get into the hockey game as the Devils completely controlled every single thing about the game. The popular theme is to chalk that up to the week off (and the Devils coming off a double OT win just three nights ago), but they've been coming out slow for months.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov was good-bad today. He was the only reason the Flyers escaped that awful first period only down a single goal, and he was also the only reason the game went to overtime. That Petr Sykora goal in the third period just can't go in the net.
  • Wayne Simmonds missed a wide-open net in the third period. Claude Giroux scored like four seconds later, so it didn't really matter, but man. Everybody in the building thought the puck was in, and Simmonds' reaction summed it all up pretty damn well.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk is a hockey player, right? Was he on the ice today? Not sure if there's evidence to support the claim.
  • van Riemsdyk's best game of the year? I'd say so. He looked to finally have his legs under him again after his injury -- sure the week off helped -- and he was able to capitalize on a gift from Brodeur in the second period for his first goal of the playoffs. He also made Briere's OT winner happen.
  • Speaking of that gift from Brodeur: Learn to STOP, DROP AND ROLL, kids. It might save your life.
  • Brodeur was really good for the Devils, but he wasn't the difference or anything. He was beatable. Also, he said after the game that JvR knocked his stick and prevented him from making the save on the OT goal. Certainly sounds like sour grapes.
  • Scott Hartnell: professional troll.

When all was said and done, the Flyers were absolutely dominant for most of the hockey game. They skated circles around the Devils for almost the entire third period and overtime, and if that continues, this could be a short series.

Questions with Answers

  1. How does Ilya Bryzgalov perform today? Goodbad.
  2. Same goes for Martin Brodeur. Badgood.
  3. How does Peter Laviolette opt to match his lines against the Devils, and do the Flyers win these battles? Lines were kind of a mess all day. Schenn was with Simmonds and Giroux at one point in the third, so let's just leave it at that.
  4. Kovalchuk gets fussy at least once today, right? I am not aware of this human being.
  5. How does Nicklas Grossmann look now that he's back in the lineup? The opposite of gross, mann. He looked good. Didn't notice him too much. That's what you want.

Comment of the Day

Laviolette walks in, puts a jar of jam on a stool in the locker room, turns around, and walks out.

>> Toomin, on Lavy's speech after the first period. Turning point.

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