Mike Richards scored the first playoff penalty shot goal in Franchise history and broke the back of the Washington Capitals in the process. Mr. Everything skated in, dipped his shoulder, and calmly tucked the puck in the Five Hole of Cristobal Huet to seal the fate of the Caps. Mr. Huet can now pick up his shorts from the Club Box Level, because he lost them on the fake wrister from #18. He is money, plain and simple.
Not to be outdone, Danny Briere continues his scintillating play as he picks up two goals and an assist to bring his three game total to 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points. Ever since Briere showed a lot of Philadelphia guts, and played with the hurt shoulder at the end of the regular season, the fans have been solidly behind him. They rewarded his efforts tonight with a chorus of cheers and accolades. Was it Alexander Ovechkin who scored 65 or Danny Briere?? By their play thus far, I would have to say it appears that Danny has had the better of the matchup.
Marty Biron played very well tonight, coming up big when called on. He was square to the shooter, kept up on his skates well and resisted the tendency to go into the butterfly too early. His patience allowed him to be strong in the crease and let the shots come to him. The defense played well, despite losing heart and soul Kimmo Timonen to an absolutely blatant attempt to injure crosscheck by Brooks Laich that left Timonen crumpled in the net in obvious pain. He is listed as an "upper body injury" and that could be anything from a hangnail to a separated shoulder. Let's all hope his recovery is in the 24 hour time period, as they cannot afford to lose his defensive presence. Besides Richards, I cannot think of another non-goalie player that is more important to the overall success of the Flyers than #44. Get well soon.
Sami Kapanen and Jim Dowd put on a clinic on how to read the eyes of the breakout defender and make him look silly. Dowd interrupted the pass from Caps D-man Milan Jurcina and deftly saucered it to Sami Kapanen, who buried the shot past a bewildered Cristobal Huet. As I mentioned earlier, the look on Sami's face was one of relief, joy and living in that glorious moment - I could not be more happy for such a classy guy. He has been through some exceedingly tough times this year, though you would not know it from the look on his face as the puck went in. Congrats Sami!
While the Caps have made it interesting at times, the fact of the matter is that the Flyers have outplayed, outhit, out rushed and out goaltended the Caps in most every phase of the game. It would not be a stretch to say that the Flyers have won 8 of the 9 periods of play and should feel pretty good going into the fourth game on Thursday night at the Bank Building. That is not to say they can take the game lightly or that a victory is a foregone conclusion, far from it. But what it means is that the Orange and Black KNOW
in their heart of hearts that they can play with and beat this Capitals team - knowledge is power
p.s. - go high glove side on Huet
Thanks for reading...