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ECQF Game 4: Time for the tie

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins at #5 Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers trail best-of-seven series, 2-1
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM EDT - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN HD, Versus HD, CBC, RDS, FSN Pittsburgh
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh

Down 3-1 or tied 2-2? Just as Sunday was the biggest game of the year for the Philadelphia Flyers, tonight down on South Broad Street the Flyers face another must win test. If they drop this game, it's Pittsburgh's series to win as they head home for Game 5.

But a Flyer win guarantees a Game 6 back on home ice, and more importantly, it ties up a series that most experts thought was over following Friday nights outcome.

Philadelphia showed a hell of a lot of poise in winning on Sunday. Not only did they come out firing on their own turf, they lost a lead and then battled back and asserted their will on the Penguins. Jeff Carter wasn't going to be stopped. Claude Giroux wasn't going to be stopped. The Flyers just simply were not going to be stopped.

And they need to play the same way tonight. In fact, the Flyers are going to have to take it one step higher this evening. You know Pittsburgh is going to bring it because they didn't play well enough on Sunday. They've never lost back-to-back games under Dan Bylsma, but then again, they've never played in the playoffs with Bylsma either.

The game plan for the Flyers is simple: play another aggressive yet disciplined game like they did the past two. When they do get their chances, the defense has to jump all over them. On the penalty kill, swarm. Don't let them get shots through. Give Crosby and Malkin zero space. And for the love of God, capitalize on your own chances. Involve the entire team in every aspect of the game. Flyer hockey.

I firmly believe that the Flyers are a better all-around team then the Penguins. If they play their game, like the have in the last two contests, it's not going to matter what Pittsburgh does.

  • Something to note: Salmon, frequent BSH commenter and Flyer Frequenter, chronicles the Flyers success in Game 4's over the past few seasons. Winners of five straight and eight of the last nine. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has dropped three straight Game 4's.
  • Also, very important and reassuring. The Flyers have the right mindset. Check this quote from Mike Knuble yesterday: "[Sunday] was an emotional game for everybody. You come into the game down 2-0; that probably makes it pretty easy to strike up the emotion within a team, and now you feel like you've made some progress and the trick is not to step back and change what you're doing. It is still on us. We're down 2-1. We came through with a good game, and in the series we've led a lot, we've led a lot in the games. So we're right there and a little break here or there and it could be the other way around so obviously the pressure is on us. They held their games at home and we've got to do the same here and that's our goal [tonight]. There can be no other goal. It can't be about playing well and losing or anything like that. We have to win the game, any way we can, and even the series."

I'll be at this game so I won't be around for the game thread. Nothing changes, though. The first period will be here at BSH, the second will be at Pensburgh, and we'll return home for the third. I'll be checking in on my cell phone but I won't be able to comment. Since I have a big mouth, I'll be on Twitter (@BroadStHockey). I'll post a feed in the game thread tonight so you can see my first-hand account of the game. Feel free to tweet back. Go Flyers.

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