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ECQF Game 6: Let's play seven

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 6
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins at #5 Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers trail best-of-seven series, 3-2
Wachovia Center - 3:00 PM EDT - Philadelphia, PA
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
Behind Enemy Lines: Pensburgh

In the last four games, the Flyers have done virtually everything right. They've played solid defense, their goalie has played quite well, the offense has created sustained pressure in the Pittsburgh end for long periods of time.

But yet, we sit here today on the brink of elimination for the second day in a row. In those previous four games, the Flyers have only won two of them, and that's a hole that proves hard for any team to dig their way out of.

Today, however, is a unique situation. Throw away all your stats. The Philadelphia Flyers return home to host game six this afternoon in what may be the loudest Wachovia Center we have ever heard.

If that crowd, as it did in Game 4 on Tuesday night, can help the Flyers come out firing out of the gate, chances look good for Philadelphia. After all, Marc-Andre Fleury may have made 40-plus saves for the Pens in Game 4, but that's not an easy feat to duplicate.

For the Flyers to have a real chance today, yes, Martin Biron will have to play well again. The thing is, though, he didn't play out of his mind in Game 5 like everybody thinks he did. Yes, he obviously played well -- you don't get a shutout in the playoffs without playing well -- but the defense more than compensated for any mistakes Biron may have made. That's the edge the Flyers have over the Pens, especially considering Pitt defenseman Kris Letang was out of the lineup on Thursday night.

Hes healthy to play today (although healthy is a relative term this time of year) and that helps the Pens blueline a lot, but if the Flyers play as solid defensively as they did in Game 5, the results should be good. The best news for the Flyers is that their defense plays best under pressure and in high-energy situations. That's why the penalty kill is so good on this club.

You're going to be able to power a third-world country with the energy in the Wachovia Center today.

The Penguins are planning on doing some lineup shifting (h/t Pensburgh). In yesterday's morning skate, Evgeni Malkin skated along side Ruslan Fedotenko and Max Talbot. Tough guy Eric Godard, who doesn't understand the phrase "offensive upside", could find his way onto the fourth line today.

The Flyers, on the other hand, should be keeping things the same. John Stevens always does some in-game line tinkering, but for the most part, expect what you've been seeing. That could work into the Flyers favor. We'll see.

Some notes:

  • Lauren Hart is all hip and cool and adopting a baby in Ethiopia today, so she won't be performing God Bless America. A video of her duet with Kate Smith will be played on arenavision, though.
  • Here's a quote from Joffrey Lupul: Everyone is so excited for the game [today], especially the way it was in Game 4 in the third period. That was the loudest building I've ever been in front of. It was louder then than at anytime last year. Just the adrenaline we get as players to get back into that game was just a great feeling and something I'll remember forever. Just for us to be able to get back into that atmosphere is so exciting for all the players that it's almost hard to describe.
  • T-shirts are being handed out, orange crush in full effect.
  • The game is on NBC today, called by Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk. The good news? No Pierre Mcguire. He's replaced "inside the glass" by Darren Pang, today.


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