Let me start by first saying that Wednesday night’s game was great, and the opening period was everything playoff hockey is that’s missing in the regular season. The teams were at a feverish pace and were going at it up and down the ice. The Flyers had a little trouble with discipline as they gave up 5 power plays, but managed to kill all of them off (including a double minor on Bartulis for drawing blood on a high stick). They got ahead 2-0 on a Devils team that relies on their stars for offense and the Flyers defense was ready. Seeing Ilya Kovalchuk so frustrated was a nice sight to see and I hope they continue that. If they keep frustrating him, the more he’s going to try and do more and most likely will mess up and try to do everything himself. Boosh was in position pretty much all night and played a very good game. His one goal was a shot that changed direction while he was semi-screen so I’ll give him that one. A win’s a win.
Tonight, however, will be a different story. Before going back to Philly this weekend, they will have to play what promises to be a much tougher game. We managed to steal one the other night, but the Devils are going to bring it even more tonight and the Orange and Black have to be able to muster more than 14 shots on goal. They need to keep crashing the crease and get dirty goals like that first one by Pronger on the power play. I’d like to see them set the tone early with their physical play as well. Wear down the veteran Elias and little Parise with the body and it’ll take them out of the play now and wear them down by Game 4.
Tonight’s going to come down to the same things it came down to on Wednesday. Goaltending on both sides, containing their snipers, and special teams. Don’t take penalties, kill them when you do, and shoot on the power play. Good things will happen.
Kevin Kurz from the Flyers OnTheFly blog reports that Ryan Parent will dress for tonight’s game. I’m guessing they’re going to pull Bartulis cause they’ve yet to move Krajicek, but who knows. Let’s see Mike Richards score another important goal.