Saturday, April 16, 2011

Offense awakens as Flyers even series with Sabres

Whew, it's safe to breathe again. After failing to score a goal in Game 1 against the Sabres, the Flyers offense came alive in Game 2, solving Ryan Miller to the tune of 5 goals in a 5-4 win to tie the series up at 1 game apiece.

The Flyers jumped out of the gate with an early goal by Claude Giroux but then proceeded to give the goal right back after a penalty to Kimmo Timonen. Things got wild from there, as Dan Carcillo scored less than a minute later and the Sabres added two more goals of their own shortly after that. After allowing those 3 goals on just 7 shots, Sergei Bobrovsky was then pulled from the game and then things settled down from there. The mere presence of Brian Boucher seemed to calm the Flyers down as the defense tightened up and the Sabres chances became fewer and farther between. The Flyers took the lead on goals by Ville Leino and Danny Briere and coasted the rest of the way for the win.

Getting the win in Game 2 was crucial for the Flyers as they now head to Buffalo for a pair of games. While they haven't played their best hockey yet in the series, they aren't playing bad and seem to have figured out their gameplan against Ryan Miller. The Flyers still have a ton of work to do to figure out their power play, which scored just once on 10 attempts after going 0 for 5 in Game 1.

Of course, the biggest question facing the Flyers now will be whether Bobrovksy or Boucher starts in net in Game 3. While I would be much more comfortable with a consistent goaltender like Boucher in net, the Flyers might give Bobrovsky another crack at the starting spot. Bob seemed out of sorts in Game 2 but if the Flyers give up on him now they may not be able to turn back to him should Boucher falter.

As the series shifts to Buffalo, the Flyers find themselves in a pretty good position. Ryan Miller isn't in their heads and the mistakes they have made in the first two games are fixable. After a solid win in Game 2 and the imminent return of Chris Pronger, the Flyers and their fans have to feel good about their chances to win 3 of the next 5 against the Sabres.

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