No love lost between these two teams and that is evident from the jump.
The Flyers withstood a vicious barrage from the hometown Leafs as a stellar Marty Biron swatted aside 13 Toronto shots. The Leafs threw the kitchen sink at the boys and they held their ground.
Resurgent Scottie Upshall scored an even strength goal - his 12th - at the 13:26 mark of the first on a gorgeous redirection at the goalmouth on a pass from Vinny Prospal. The bang-bang play put the Flyers up 1-0 when they had little reason to be. Assists belonged to Vinny Prospal (his 3rd point in Orange and Black) and standout defenseman Braydon Coburn, his 33rd point of the season.
If the Flyers can pot an early goal, they could take the wind out of the sails of the skaters from Toronto. IF
that happened, the crowd should deflate, the boys can turn up the pressure and would set the tone for tomorrow nights game at the Bank Building - which I am going to take in from the comfort of a club box.
If the Leafs can even the game, their fans can energize the home team and we might be in for a dogfight that the Flyers would like to avoid.
We will see who wants the next goal badly enough...
More to come.
Holy Schnieky Batman!!!!
I thought the 1st period was the Leafs throwing the kitchen sink. I stand corected. THIS was the kitchen sink.
The Leafs were simply buzzing in the Flyers zone, forchecking like their season depended on it - which it does - and taking shots from every conceivable angle. They carried the play, had the Flyers running around in their own zone and back on their heels. It seemed like only a matter of time until the puck ended up in our net. By all rights, Toronto should be leading 2-0.
They forgot to let Marty Biron know that!! 30 shots later, Marty Biron continues to shut the door and put on a goaltending clinic. He is moving well, anticipating the shot and staying square to the shooter. He is simply in a zone. I am so impressed with Biron's focus in the net tonight. I am worried that he will be black and blue from the onslaught of pucks come tonight.
I have to admit that I was concerned about the coming end of the period, when the Flyers have had a nasty habit of losing their focus and letting in back breakers. Then, Leaf Captain, Matts Sundin, made a rookie mistake and unnecessarily slashed the stick of Braydon Coburn - who was not a factor in the play - right in front of the refs. If I am the Flyers and want to pick one guy to be in the box at the end of a period, it would be Sundin. The PP went to work and got their, seemingly, first quality chances at getting shots through the Leaf defense from the center of the ice.
Braydon Coburn, the slashee, had his karmatic debt paid in full
as he ripped a slap shot past a disgusted Toskala. The Flyers second goal, with just 55 seconds remaining in the 2nd frame, stunned the rowdy Toronto crowd with plenty Blue and White heads a shakin'. This is the sort of game that, IF the Flyers can pull it out, has the potential to be a HUGE momentum shift for the Flyers as they head into the final weeks. Games like this can give a young team, and make no mistake the Flyers are young, a huge boost.
While it feels like heading back into a shooting gallery, I am stoked to see if the Flyers can withstand the last gasp attacks of a wounded animal. The Leafs' season all comes down to the next 20 minutes. The Flyers know this and would love to be the ones to put their boot on the necks of a bleeding adversary. This should prove to be a wild 3rd period and could get rather rough if the game gets out of hand - remember, no love lost between these two teams. I hope Stevens lashes Downey to the bench and sits Joffrey Lupul on him. The Wild Thing needs to grab a piece of pine and just enjoy the magnificent victory to come.
God I love this game.
More after the game.
Flyers score one, Leafs score 3 on Flyers' prevent defense??????
Paul Maurice shows huge stones and pulls the goaltender Toskala for a 6 on 4 powerplay but the Leafs do not score.
3-3 into Overtime. Flyers tying is just as good as a win and Leafs tying might spell the end of their season.
Overtime coming up.