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Flyers Look for Answers After Disappointing Loss

Thursday, 05.6.2010 / 9:14 AM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
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Flyers Look for Answers After Disappointing Loss
The Philadelphia Flyers finally scored first in their series against Boston -- but the lead lasted less than two minutes as the Bruins went on to a 4-1 win in Game 3.
(Philadelphia, PA) - It appeared as though the stars were finally beginning to align for the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Boston Bruins.

The 19,688 energetic souls at Wachovia Center were raring to go following yet another rousing rendition of "God Bless America." Arron Asham ratcheted the noise level even higher when he scored the opening goal just 2:32 into the game. It marked the first time in the series that Philadelphia actually held a lead.
Philadelphia Flyers' Arron Asham is called for a penalty on Boston Bruins Matt Hunwick which led to a Bruins power play goal in the third period of Game 3 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series, Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Philadelphia. The Bruins won 4-1. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Unfortunately for the Flyers, the lead didn't last long. goals by Blake Wheeler at 4:11 and Miroslav Satan at 5:45 put them behind again, and despite outplaying the Bruins, they couldn't beat Tuukka Rask again in a 4-1 loss that left them one game away from being swept.

Claude Giroux had another active outing for the Flyers, putting four shots on Rask while earning 23:12 of ice time on 29 shifts.

"They responded really well (after falling behind) and they came back with two quick goals and that hurt us," said Giroux, who set up Asham's goal on a 2-on-1 break. "I don't think we played a bad game but we have to put this behind us. They are playing well, but we're not playing bad either. This series isn't close to being over."

The Flyers have the unenviable task of accomplishing a feat only two other teams in League history have done -- rally from an 0-3 deficit in a best-of-7 series. The Toronto Maple Leafs did it against the Detroit Red Wings in 1942 and the New York Islanders equaled the feat in '75 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette felt giving up the lead moments after grabbing one was a tough spot to be in after his team's strong start.

"We came out in that game, and I thought we were just storming," Laviolette said. "I mean, our strides were strong everywhere and you look at the scoreboard and eight minutes in we were down 2-1. Now we're chasing that lead again. And that lead is important because it puts a different role on the bench. Especially when the bench is a little shorter with your skilled players -- so you're trying to find combinations and put things out there to maybe give us an opportunity to tie things up."

Flyers goalie Brian Boucher felt the team played well the first two periods, but a few unlucky bounces early in the third period were costly.

"I thought the first two periods were pretty good," Boucher said. "I know we were down 2-1; it happens. We're getting chances, and then in the third, they get a real lucky break. The shot's going five feet wide, hits Prongs (Chris Pronger) and ends up on (Mark) Recchi's stick on the other side.

"That's the way it goes sometimes," Boucher continued. "It's highly disappointing. We really needed this game, and now we've got a big hole. Now it starts. We've got to try and get Game 4 and just take one at a time."

Recchi wound up putting the deflected puck into a wide-open net for a power-play goal at 2:30 of the final period for a 3-1 lead.

Flyers forward Danny Briere, who took four shots in 19:49 of work, was puzzled by the quick turnaround in the opening six minutes of the contest.

"To be honest, I don't know what happened," Briere said. "In a span of, what? I don't even know how quick it was but we were down again. I can't explain it and that's where we've gotten into trouble in this series. We haven't had the chance to play with the lead.

"And when we finally get one early on (on Wednesday), we gave it right back up. Against a team like Boston … it's like New Jersey. They are a team that shuts everything down once they get the lead. Whenever we played with a lead against Jersey, we had them on their heels, forced them to take chances. We haven't done that with Boston yet and that's kind of the problem."

In contrast, Boston coach Claude Julien was ecstatic with the way his team responded after allowing the first goal of the game for the first time in this series.

"I really liked the way we responded because they got the early momentum there and got the crowd behind them right away," Julien said. "For us to come right back and score and quiet everything down again was huge, and to shortly after take the lead -- I thought our guys battled hard through a tough first period."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 76 21 55 7 76
C. Giroux 75 23 46 2 69
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 76 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 76 13 17 1 30
M. Del Zotto 58 9 20 -5 29
M. Read 74 7 22 -7 29
M. Raffl 61 20 6 7 26
V. Lecavalier 52 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 11 .927 2.24
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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