In what had to have been considered a must-win, the Flyers came out flat and were never even in contention to win tonight's game. As a result, the Flyers are now in the same position they were in last year - down three games to none to Boston. But this isn't last year.
After only sixty-three seconds, the Flyers found themselves down 2-0 and without a timeout the rest of the game. Two defensive breakdowns - first by Kris Versteeg, then by Andrej Meszaros - put the Flyers in a quick hole they would not be able to climb out of. During the timeout, Peter Laviolette talked with Brian Boucher at the end of the bench while Craig Berube talked to the rest of the team.
In the second period, Danny Syvret joined a 3-on-2 rush and passed up an open shot to try and send the puck through the slot. It was picked off, and the Bruins scored on the resulting odd-man rush. Of the first three goals, none were the fault of Boucher. The fourth, however, was completely on him and it resulted in him getting pulled. And that means there will be people talking about the poor Flyers' goaltending for a long time.
Once Sergei Bobrovsky came on in relief, however, the team in front of did not play any better. The Bruins only took eight shots on him, but they did ring another four off the post. Unlike in Game Two, the Flyers were not the better team tonight. Tim Thomas didn't steal the game, the Flyers just didn't show up.
A Few Notes:
- After Danny Briere was matched up against Zdeno Chara both games in Philadelphia, Claude Julien utilized having last change by matching Zdeno Chara up against... Danny Briere. Wonder if Julien enjoyed Laviolette's coaching in Philadelphia.
- Along the same lines, who did Julien put his first line of Horton - Krejic - Lucic out against? Yup, the Danny Briere line. That line combined for two goals tonight, so once again Julien has gotten the better matchups all three games.
- Only two Flyers finished the game with a positive plus/minus, and they were Blair Betts and Dan Carcillo. Not coincidentally, they were the two forwards with the least amount of even-strength ice time.
- The only Flyer to get out-shot at even-strength tonight was Danny Briere.
- If you had to pick the Flyers' three worst forwards this series, it is easily Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Ville Leino. The three of them have done nothing offensively and - not surprisingly - nothing defensively.
- The Flyers won 12 of 55 faceoffs tonight for a 22% win rate. That is atrocious. Claude Giroux and Mike Richards combined to go 5 for 26 (19%).