Since 81 games wasn't enough, the Flyers and Rangers each waited to determine their place in the post season until the 82nd game. And since that wasn't enough, the game went to overtime. And since overtime too failed to determine a winner, the game went to a shootout. And since all's well that ends well, it's fair to say now that, for Flyers fans, it was worth the wait.
Jody Shelley, still disagreeable over having to be called by not one but two girls names all his life, scored for the Rangers on a tip 3:27 into the first period, deflecting a Michal Roszival shot from the point past Brian Boucher high to the stick side.
The Flyers dominated from there on, but remained in a 1-0 hole due to the stellar play of Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The Flyers outshot the Rangers by the ridiculous margin of 30-13 through two periods, but Lundqvist rose to the occasion each time, and was saved by posts on a couple other occasions.
But the Flyers did not fold, cashing in on a power play about a third of the way into the third. Matt Carle pinched in to put a Jeff Carter rebound past Henrik Lundqvist, evening the game at 1-1 and giving the Flyers new life.
The Flyers continued to have more chances through the remainder of the third period, and into the overtime frame as well, as the Rangers seemed to be stalling, waiting for the inevitable shootout in which they hoped Lundqvist would pull them through. The stall worked, and the shootout began.
Danny Briere went first, making about fifteen moves close in to open up Lundqvist's glove side, putting it past him to get the Flyers off to a 1-0 lead. Brian Boucher then stepped up to stop Erik Christensen, giving the Flyers a huge 1-0 lead after one pair of shooters.
Mike Richards opted to pull up and shoot on Lundqvist, but Lundqvist got a piece of it. Boucher then backed himself almost completely into the net against the next Ranger shooter, PA Parenteau, allowing Parenteau to score and improve his career NHL shootout conversion record to 3-for-3.
Claude Giroux, shooting third for the Flyers, took half a page out of both Briere's and Richards' playbooks, making several moves before stopping and shooting the puck through Lundqvist's ridiculously large five hole. Olli Jokinen, the Rangers' last hope, skated several wild circles before taking the puck, eventually putting it into a splayed Brian Boucher, who stopped it inches before the goal line and then exploded into a celebration of jumping, stumbling, and hugging, joined quickly by his teammates and the rest of the Philadelphia area.
I still hate shootouts. Hate hate hate. But after that one, I am happy. Very, very happy.
The last article I wrote on BSH was about the Capitals DVD set, which involved copious amounts of mockery for its dwelling on the recent past. But man, the next time the Flyers come out with a set of all-time great games, today's classic had better be on it.
The Flyers' next game will be some time this week. The Rangers' next game will be in October.
After the jump: questions answered, a comment of the game, and more celebration and speechlessness (the speechlessness might be harder to see with the naked eye).
Questions to Answer
- Only one question today: is this the last game of the season? Hell no.
Comment of the day:
See you in the playoffs, errebody.