Playoff Gameday – Round One, Game Three – Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers – 3:00 PM/ET

Flyers Lead Series 2-0

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA


There's nothing left to do but believe. The first two games of this series have caused us to question everything we know about this hockey team. We've questioned the team, we've questioned the players, we've questioned each other and we've questioned ourselves. Maybe you're feeling demoralized right now. Maybe you've mentally prepared yourself for a four game sweep. That's only natural. Most of us feel the same way. We've all been through a variety of feelings since Friday night. Every negative thought in the world has crossed through our minds. Maybe the Penguins aren't that good. Maybe the Flyers are just better. Maybe this is how the season ends. It's not pretty.

This wasn't supposed to happen. Not to this team. Not this year.

And yet here we are. There's nothing left to do but believe. We have to believe that the team will be able to get a lead and hold it. We have to believe that the defense will tighten up. We have to believe that the offense will play smarter. We have to believe Marc-Andre Fleury will be better. We have to believe that the Penguins will return to Pittsburgh with the series tied 2-2. We have to believe.

Last Game: April 13th, 2012 – Flyers Won 8-5

What we said:

It almost seemed like it wasn't real. It can't be. We've all watched the Penguins all season long. Not even at the lowest point of their season did they look as bad as they did on Friday night. This was a 50-win team. A team that was 32-0-4 with the lead going into the third period.

There are no answers. Only a long summer of questions ahead if something doesn't get fixed. There is no logic to what we are seeing. None.

Know Your Enemy: Broad Street Hockey

What they're saying:

Sean Couturier's favorite player prior to last June's NHL draft? Take a wild guess.

Evgeni. Malkin. Couturier has been tasked with shutting down Malkin all series long, and not only has he done that from a defensive perspective, he was able to score three goals in Game 2 as he completely took over the head-to-head matchup.

There is something extremely close-knit about this Flyers team. As a fan looking on from a distance, there's something different about this hockey club.

Pittsburgh Penguins Notes:

What is the Penguins' identity? lists Five reasons the Penguins are in trouble.

It seems like the Pittsburgh Penguins are done.

Will Niskanen be back? He's a game-time decision.

Philadelphia Flyers Notes:

ESPN says the Flyers' win is one for the ages.

The Flyers' special teams are better.

At least the TV audience likes this series.

Favorite Philadelphia Flyers Image, Photoshop, Gif or Video:

Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:

Chris KunitzEvgeni Malkin – James Neal
Steve Sullivan – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Arron Asham – Joe Vitale – Craig Adams

Kris Letang – Paul Martin
Zbynek Michalek – Brooks Orpik
Deryk Engelland – Ben Lovejoy/Matt Niskanen

Marc-Andre Fleury

Philadelphia Flyers Lines:

Scott Hartnell – Claude GirouxJaromir Jagr
Brayden Schenn – Daniel Briere – Wayne Simmonds
Jakub Voracek – Matt Read – Eric Wellwood
Maxime Talbot – Sean Couturier – Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen – Matt Carle
Brayden Coburn – Nicklas Grossmann
Pavel Kubina – Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov

This game is the series. If the Pens lose, it's 3-0 Flyers and we all start making plans for the rest of our summer. If the Pens win, it's 2-1 and there's still life. This will be an incredibly tense 60 minutes (or more) of hockey. No lead is safe. Not matter what the score is, we won't feel comfortable. Not until the final buzzer sounds.

We don't even know anymore. Just win the hockey game.

Do It.

Go Pens.