Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flyers use energy and intensity to down Penguins in Game Three

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Now that's more like it! The Flyers, in winning Game Three against the Penguins 6-3, showed everything they seemed to be lacking the first two games of the series: intensity, a sense of urgency and the ability to not take bad penalties. Maybe it was the home ice or maybe it was the realization that their season was on the line, but whatever it was, the Flyers from the 2008 playoff run finally showed up.

The Flyers jumped out to an early lead when Jeff Carter scored a nice goal, his first of the playoffs, and Mike Richards added another just five minutes into the game. Philly played with a ton of intensity, hitting the Penguins every chance they got and getting into fights after nearly every whistle. Slowly but surely, the Penguins did fight back into the game as they scored a goal late in the first period and early in the second to tie the game at 2. The Flyers would not be denied, however, and scored the next three goals in the game to take a commanding lead that they never looked back from.

The biggest story of the game, besides the increase in energy as a team, was the emergence of Claude Giroux. Giroux, who is just 21 years old, had an amazing game in just the third playoff contest of his career. He had a goal and an assist, with the goal coming on a nice feed from Danny Briere and the assist coming off a beautiful pass to Simon Gagne for a shorthanded goal. No matter how this series turns out, it has been amazing to watch Giroux step right into his first playoff series and shine.

The Flyers seem to have life again despite trailing 2-1 in the series. Game Four is basically another must-win game since it's unlikely the Flyers will be able to win two games in Pittsburgh. Of course, if they show up with the same intensity and drive to win that they showed today for the remaining games of this series, they shouldn't lose again.

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