Friday, April 22, 2011

Flyers comeback for naught as Sabres win Game 5 in OT

Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions. From the pain of the the ridiculously terrible start to the joy of a thrilling comeback to the depression of an overtime loss, Game 5 was all over the place for the Flyers. Unfortunately, as the ride came to an end, the Flyers find themselves trailing in the series to the Sabres, 3-2.

Simply getting to overtime was quite a task for the Flyers, who had to overcome an atrocious start in net by Brian Boucher. Boosh was not himself tonight, giving up 3 weak goals on 11 shots before getting pulled in the first period. Enter Michael Leighton (yes, really), who found some of that playoff magic and didn't give up a goal for the rest of regulation.

Facing a 3-0 deficit is nothing new to the Flyers and the offense starting working their way out of it in the second period, beginning with a goal by James van Riemsdyk. While JVR hasn't put up a ton of points in the playoffs, an argument can still be made that he is playing the best out of all the Flyers forwards. Andrej Meszaros added another goal just over a minute later and they Flyers were well on their way to another comeback.

After several close calls, the Flyers finally tied the game early in the third period after Kris Versteeg, while on his backside, made a pass to Mike Richards who fed Danny Briere in front. After the obligatory Briere fist-pump, the Flyers had all of the momentum and controlled the play for the rest of regulation, even getting a powerplay with just over two minutes left. When they couldn't capitalize, the writing seemed to be on the wall, and the Sabres took advantage in overtime when Tyler Ennis put a big Leighton rebound in the back of the net.

Now trailing 3 games to 2, the Flyers find themselves in a difficult, but hardly impossible, situation. Anyone who followed this team last year knows that you can't count the Flyers out until the final buzzer sounds in their 4th loss in the series. With plenty of questions also surrounding who will start in goal for the Flyers in Game 6, the team finds themselves in an almost familiar situation. Now is the time where we find out whether this Flyers team still has some of that magic leftover from last year. If they get another terrible goaltending performance, though, all of the magic in the world isn't going to help them.

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