|For the 48 hours following Game 1, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette addressed the media repeatedly on what they needed to do better and what was the game plan to score on Ryan Miller.
Repeatedly Laviolette answered that both he and every person in the locker room liked what they were doing in Game 1 and had much confidence in their talent that the goals would come.
After tonight’s 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 2, perhaps Laviolette and the team won’t have to answer those questions anymore.
“I said this before, but I really liked Game 1. We did a lot of things right with the chances high and the chances against us low,” said Laviolette. “We hated the result but tonight I thought we just continued to where we left off. I thought that they charged a little bit harder offensively and that led to them getting more chances than we liked. They came out with a really strong game too so it was competitive both ways.”
Not only did the goals come, they came from all areas. There was no stand-out star or single person effort. The Flyers stuck to their plan of attack and displayed their depth at every position.
The Flyers had 11 different players on the scoresheet tonight with their goals coming from five different players, while the four players who recorded two-point nights, three of them were on defense.
“Yeah we were fired up to start the game, there’s no doubt about it,” said Briere. “We just have to be careful. It’s a fine line, crossing over to being too emotional, taking too many penalties. As far as intensity goes, and being ready to go, even though they scored three goals, I thought we did a really good job in the first period.”
The series now shifts back to Buffalo tied at 1-1. Although the Flyers have lost home-ice advantage, the Flyers finished third in the NHL in winning percentage on the road and set a new franchise record with 25 road wins, fininshing the regular season with a 25-11-5 record away from Philadelphia.
Game Three at Buffalo is Monday at 7 p.m. on Comcast-SportsNet and 94.1 WYSP radio.
|* The Flyers are now 36-29 all time in Games 2 and are now 19-16 in Game 2 when trailing 1-0 in a series.
* The Flyers are 16-15 all-time when tied 1-1 in a series. They are 14-17 all-time in Game 3 of a series that is tied 1-1 after two games.
* Looking ahead in the series, the Flyers are 18-3 all-time when leading a series 2-1 after Game 3, and are 7-19 all-time when trailing 2-1 after three games.
* Per the Elias Sports Bureau – the six combined goals in tonight’s first period is the most in a period of a Flyers playoff game since May 20, 1997 at the NY Rangers in Game 3 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals, when the Flyers scored four and the Rangers scored two in the third period. The Flyers won the game 6-3.
* Claude Giroux’s line tonight included a goal and an assist, a plus-2 rating, four shots, five hits, two blocked shots and 11-for-22 (50 percent) on faceoffs.
* The last time the Flyers had 10 power plays in one playoff games was ALSO a Game 2 vs. Buffalo… It occurred in the first round of the 1998 playoffs, Apr. 24, 1998 in which they also 1-for-10.
* The Flyers (11-25) and Sabres (13-29) combined for 24 penalties on the night and 54 minutes of penalty time… They also combined for 18 power-plays on the night with the sabers going 2-for-8 and the Flyers going 1-for-10.
* Eleven (11) different players on the Flyers recorded at least a point, including four players with two points, three of which were Flyers’ defensemen (Carle, Meszaros & Timonen)… Giroux had (1G-1A).
|“Don’t get me wrong, the first period was lively. It was incredible and for anyone that was in the building, they got treated to some great stuff today. It was a fast, furious, hard hitting, and every piece of ice was accounted for. You had to want the ice, want the puck, and want to be apart of the game.”
-- Peter Laviolette
“There were a lot of penalties out there on both sides. It’s tough to play those kinds of games. You try to get momentum or something like that. A penalty comes and it just kind of kills the momentum. It was kind of tough to get in that game.”
-- Claude Giroux
“I think in the playoffs everyone’s got raise that part of their game a little bit. Be really tough to play against and obviously it’s a long series against these guys and you want to make so when it gets to the later part of the series guys on their team know their going to get hit. You just got to keep doing that shift in and shift out.”
-- James van Riemsdyk
“I don’t look at it that way. Sometimes you need to do that and I just wanted to be solid for my teammates so we could have a chance to come back. It was one of those crazy games where it seemed like the last goal would win. I just wanted to go in there and try my best and it worked out.”
-- Brian Boucher
|Brian Boucher takes the star of the night for the Flyers after coming in relief of starter Sergei Bobrovsky just over the midway point of the opening period.
Boucher stopped 20 of 21 shots in the final 46:40 of play to lead the Flyers to a 5-4 victory, having to make several saves on Buffalo shots that were deflected down low and found their way to the crease.
Boucher also faced over 13 minutes minute of Buffalo on the power play, not allowing a goal.
The turning point in Game 2 came just four minutes into the game when Claude Giroux scored to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
Rarely would one pick out the game’s first goal as a turning point (other than Game 1), especially in a high scoring game such as this, but Giroux’s goal was important for one reason – the Flyers can, and will, score on Ryan Miller.
Giroux, who also had an assist in the game, turned through center ice with the puck and broke through two Sabres, while using the third Buffalo defenseman as a screen to fire the puck past Miller, who had a streak of 64 minutes of shutout hockey going against the Flyers.
Giroux’s goal opened the floodgates for the Flyers who would tally four more times in the win.
|UTZ PIC OF THE NIGHT: Claude Giroux and Nathan Gerbe collide while racing for the puck.
Flyers 5, Sabres 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ville Leino and Danny Briere scored clutch goals, goaltender Brian Boucher delivered again in the postseason and the Philadelphia Flyers outlasted the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Saturday to even their first-round series at a game apiece.
Boucher, one of many unlikely playoff stars when the Flyers orchestrated a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals last season, relieved Sergei Bobrovsky after the rookie allowed three goals on seven shots.
Introduced to the familiar strains of "Booosh," Boucher stopped 17 straight shots into the third, and brought a calming sense to what was becoming a video game-like contest, stuffed with goals, penalties, fights and controversy.
Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals for the Sabres, and Andrej Sekera and Cody McCormick also scored.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Buffalo.
The Flyers and Sabres combined for six goals, almost 30 penalty minutes and three goalies in the first period. There was still 40 minutes left - and each team thrilled down to the final seconds.