So the sweep was definitely premature… I’ll admit it, the Flyers impressed me tonight with some good play. Some of the same issues that we’ve seen all series continued to be a factor in this game, and the goaltending for the Flyers was less than spectacular. Of course as we’ve all witness throughout the playoffs, neither team (for the most part) is expecting stand-on-your-head keeping, rather relying on serviceable performances from slightly above average players.
There were a few interesting spots during the game, including two separate reviewable goals, including one that could have been (but wasn’t) a back breaker for the Flyers in overtime. The Flyers were lead tonight by Claude Giroux who had the overtime game winning goal for his ninth of the season, and added two assists. Ville Leino, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell picked up the other three goals for the Flyers. On the flip side, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Brent Sopel (former King) picked up goals, including an impressive shot from Kane to take a temporary lead in the third period.
The special teams were the story tonight, with the Flyers scoring on two of three opportunities, and blanking the Blackhawks on all three of their chances. The Blackhawks just never seemed to get going during the power play, and were unable to convert the chances that they did have. If Chicago is going to head home with a 3-1 series lead, they’re going to need to be able to provide some offense on those opportunities when they arise.
One thing is clear, this series is not going to be a complete cakewalk. Game 4 on Friday will be incredibly important, as the Blackhawks can put the Flyers into a huge hole with a win, or the series can effectively start all over if the Flyers are able to pull out another win.
For my money I’d bet on the Blackhawks, and I’m certainly rooting for them to win. Who are you rooting for? Who do you think is going to pull it out? The next big player?