My Flyers overcame two 2-goal deficits and fought off an early end to the season thanks to an overtime goal by Ville Leino, beating the Sabres 5-4.
The game started badly for the Flyers, with starting goalie Michael Leighton giving up three goals on the first eight shots, all of them arguably softies, before being yanked between the 1st and 2nd periods. Danny Briere also scored in the first keeping the Flyers no worse than a shot and a bounce within range of Buffalo. Thomas Vanek scored two of the Buffalo goals, both on the power play, and they got their unexpected offense from Rob Neidermayer.
The challenge was clear for the Flyers, trailing 3-1 after one. Win the 2nd and win the 3rd. Fortunately for them, the 2nd period has consistently been their best this series and James vanRiemsdyk and Briere again tied things up. Then late in the second, Nathen Gerbe put one behind reliever Brian Boucher to give Buffalo the lead but the Flyers had closed the gap in the middle period.
Midway through the 3rd, Scott Hartnell tied things up, jumping on a loose puck and going upstairs on a flopping Ryan Miller and that’s how it stayed until Leino ended the game, also having a bounce land on his stick and putting in the back of the net.
Chris Pronger saw his first playoff action, limited only to power play time, but the man advantage did look better. Coach Peter Laviolette has already announced Boucher will start game 7 for all the marbles. In many ways, the series has gone as I expected, but still finds ways to shock and surprise.
About the Author: Fan for almost 40 years, player for about 30 of them. That's 70 years of hockey experience right there