The Flyers are back in the series

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.
Claude Giroux scores the overtime game-winner in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Claude Giroux scores the overtime game-winner in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It was a situation the team has already faced before: the possibility of falling behind 3-0 in a series.  The Philadelphia Flyers knew what they had to do to get the win at home.

Feeding off the record-breaking, sold-out crowd of 20,297 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Penn., the Flyers skated to a needed 4-3 overtime victory.  The Flyers have clawed back into the series, trailing behind the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1, in this best-of-seven series.

Claude Giroux, registering no shots in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, came out with a big night, scoring the overtime game-winning goal at 5:59.

The third game of the series was a happy-medium between the first two.  Game 1 was a high-scoring affair, with three goalies being lit up for 11 goals total.  Game 2, however, only saw three goals scored with each defense standing tall.  Game 3 was a good mix of offense, defense and goaltending.

The scoring opened at 14:58 of the first period on the power play by Danny Briere for his 11th goal of the playoffs.  Marian Hossa was off for slashing when an attempted clear by Troy Brouwer was wrangled by Giroux to keep the play alive.  Braydon Coburn took a shot from the point and Antti Niemi left the rebound in front of his pads.  Scott Hartnell, coming across the crease, tripped over Niemi’s pad, but as he was falling to the ice, he slid a pass across the top of the crease to a waiting Briere who put it in the open net before Niemi could get his stick on it.

A scrum broke out at the end of the first between several of the players, including Kimmo Timonen and Dustin Byfuglien.  Byfuglien was the only one to come out of it with a roughing penalty, giving the Flyers a power play on which Mike Richards missed a prime opportunity on an open net to make it 2-0.

Instead, shortly after the power play ended, the Blackhawks came into the Flyers’ end.  Patrick Kane skated around behind the net and fed a pass through the middle to Duncan Keith at the top of the right circle who shot it and it deflected off of Jeff Carter’s stick and past Michael Leighton for a 1-1 tie at the 2:49 mark of the second period.

Byfuglien was once again in the box for a slashing call when the Flyers struck again on the power play.  Chris Pronger’s blast from the point deflected off of Hartnell’s stick and under Niemi’s pad where it rolled underneath him across the blue paint and hit the right post and spun past the goal line.  The goal horn and red light came on, but no signal from the officials kept the play alive as Niklas Hjalmarsson swept the puck out and cleared it down to the Flyers’ end.

After play had was halted, the officials reviewed the goal and it was determined that the puck did cross the goal line, giving Hartnell his fifth of the playoffs at 9:55 of the second period.

The lead would not last long as John Madden won a faceoff against Richards and sent the pack back to Brent Sopel who blasted the puck past Leighton with 2:09 left in the second for a 2-2 tie.

The Flyers were caught early in the third period when Jonathan Toews sent a pass up to an open Kane who skated in on a breakaway.  Timonen attempted to get back in time but was too late as Kane shot the puck above Leighton’s blocker and gave the Blackhawks their first lead in the game at 2:50 of the third period.

It was short-lived, however, when 20 seconds later when Niemi let a rebound from a Giroux shot go right to the tape of Ville Leino who buried it to tie the game back at 3.

Most the third period was dominated by the Flyers, who outshot the Blackhawks 15-4.  Niemi made some key saves and sent the time in overtime.

A shot by Simon Gagne at 5:02 hit the right post and slid along the goal line before Niemi covered it up.  Once again, the goal horn and red light came on as the Flyers celebrated the win, but the officials did not signal a goal.

For the second time tonight, the goal was reviewed and the ruling on the ice was a no-goal.  The puck slid along the line but never crossed it.

On any other team, the non-goal could switch the momentum and give the Blackhawks what they would need for a win.

But these Flyers have proved time and time again that nothing can keep them down.  They are the most resilient players of the season.

Under a minute later, catching the Blackhawks on a bad change, the Briere skated across the blue line for a 4-on-3 and passed the puck back to an uncontested Matt Carle.  He then sent the puck towards the open Giroux, standing at the crease, who tipped it in for a Flyers overtime victory at 5:59.

This time the fans and the team really could celebrate.


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

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