ECSF Game 3: Flyers Lose to Devils in Overtime, Suddenly Are in Danger, Girl

This photo is actually sort of cool. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

This was a trap series, as dumb a concept as that seems. After upsetting their ultimate arch-rival in the Penguins in the first round, the Flyers got a week off to revel in the glory of that win. They also got to watch the remaining series as they awaited an opponent, including the Devils-Panthers series which was perhaps the lowest-quality series in the history of the NHL playoffs. When the Devils emerged as the Flyers' opponents, there was no reason for them to think it wouldn't be a Tastykakewalk to a blockbuster conference final against the Rangers.

But now the Flyers have played badly for the third game in a row and trail the Devils two games to one. Their season could well be over in two games (that's this upcoming Tuesday) if there's not a significant change. And that would be sad.

Sigh. Bullets.

  • Coming off of the stinker in Game 2 the Flyers had to play better in Game 3 by default. And they did. The backcheck and breakout were way better, as was the forecheck. As was pretty much everything. This game went into overtime and the Flyers lost it on a bad line change, which just goes to show how small margins can be in the playoffs.
  • One of the most noticeable Flyers for the third straight game was Danny Briere. After being rightly crapped on by us for his horrific Game 2, Briere came out and played real defense today at times. So, you know, you're welcome, Flyerland.
  • The Flyers are now a ridiculous 1-4 in the playoffs when they score first (compared to 4-0 when not scoring first). You can't, you know, stop trying to score first, but I think the trend speaks to how unfortunately situational this team's level has been in these playoffs.
  • The most frustrating part of this series? The Flyers haven't been able to exploit Martin Brodeur for being as slow and old as he is. Communication on the rush and in the offensive zone has been piss poor, and this team is just not getting chances. Some sort of ropes course may be in order for this two-day layoff.
  • One has to look back some nine years to find the last time the Flyers came back from 2-1 down to win a playoff series (Toronto 2003). Oh how I don't miss Roman Cechmanek.
  • No, the Flyers didn't play that well this game. But should they have won? It's hard to say no when they had TWO power plays on overtime (which led to absolutely dick, by the way). Pressure will be on in Game 4, which now becomes the first real must-win of the series. The last time the Flyers had a must-win was Game 6 of the first round, which was the best game this team has played. Here's hoping they respond similarly.
  • Except for the Marc-Andre Bourdon injury in Game 1 of the Penguins series the Flyers had stayed remarkably healthy until tonight. Sean Couturier struggled to leave the ice in the first period, and then missed the rest of the game with a "lower body injury." He hasn't been a problem, but if a Zolnierczyk type replaces him it could give this team that Phantomsy energy it could use. That was my best attempt at trying to find a silver lining where there isn't one.
  • Young guys have been the core of this team all year and it was probably some of that inexperience that cost the Orange dearly in overtime. Rookies Brayden Schenn and Erik Gustafsson both made ill-advised line changes that allowed Ponikarovsky to breeze up ice and score on his own rebound.
  • Eric Wellwood has arguably been the Flyers best rookie in this series, speaking of young guys. His speed is everywhere. Is he generating a ton of chances? No, but his go for broke style will hopefully rub off on more gifted players who haven't done much this series (looking at you, Voracek/Simmonds/Talbot/Hartnell/Jagr).
  • Jaromir Jagr has had a terrible playoffs, speaking of him. Just because he's a legend and a billion years old doesn't mean he shouldn't be held accountable. One goal is not enough in nine games with the ice time he gets. He also shaved that ridiculous beard of his, which isn't okay.
  • Only John Tortorella is mean enough to give a guy like Stu Bickel no ice in a three-overtime game, but man, it wasn't awesome seeing that Andreas Lilja was the guy who got burned with two minutes left in the first extra frame. Wish the bench had been a wee bit shorter.
  • Everyone was pissed about the two-day break between Games 3 and 4, but it really couldn't have come at a better time in this series for the Flyers. They get to go home to Philly for a bit, get all tabula rasa on this bitch, and start over fresh. The Flyers are a better team than the Devils, I really do believe. Let's prove it in Game 4, for fuck's sake, and make this a best-of-three with home ice.
  • Questions answered:

    1. Can the Flyers dictate the tempo of the game from start to finish? My God Travis set the bar high with this question. This game was better than Game 2, for sure, but the Flyers still went huge stretches without much pressure.
    2. Can Ilya Bryzgalov mimic his phenomenal Game 2 performance? Not really, no. He could have done better on all of their goals.
    3. Will the power play put up a fight tonight? No. I'm starting to think that 52% conversion rate against the Penguins was misleading or something.
    4. Can the top line get going for the Flyers? Better, but not enough.

    Comment of the Night:

    Tell the Devils house DJ I want my Jock Jams disc back. --iJewJitsu

    Still 5 down, still 11 to go. This is still happening, believe it or not. Go Flyers.

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