Mike Knuble says his goal in double overtime was, "by far the biggest one"of his 11 year NHL career.
Mike Knuble's goal gave Philadelphia a win in Game Four (I have to brag here, I nailed the final score of 4-3 in my preview) and a 3-1 advantage that's nearly impossible for the Washington Capitals to overcome.
Teams trailing 3-1 in a series are just 18 of 59 in game fives. It gets better for the Flyers; in 90 years of NHL playoffs, just 20 of 224 teams that fell behind 3-1 in a series went onto the next round. That's a winning percentage of 8.9%.
Of course the Flyers have experience recently losing a playoff series after holding a 3-1 lead. Remember 2000?
Flyers were up three games to one against the Devils. That didn't stop New Jersey in the least bit. The Flyers went on to collapse in epic fashion, losing three straight games. This series also featured the Scott Stevens hit on Eric Lindros that left number 88 with another concussion. That game would be the last Lindros would ever play for the Flyers.
Thursday night's game proved the Flyers can win when they don't play their best game.
The powerplay was awful, the penalty kill gave up two goals in the first period, and the Flyers struggled to keep constant pressure on Cristobal Huet until the third period.
Despite this the Flyers made several great plays to essentially get looks at an empty net. The Flyers second goal came on a great look from Jaroslav Modry. He passed up a pretty open slap shot from the point to make a smooth pass towards the net across the ice to Jeff Carter who had an empty net to shoot at.
The Flyers' third goal to the game came on a goal similar to Washington's Alex Semin's goal earlier in the game. Both goals came as a result of a great pass through the crease to a wide open teammate with an empty net to shoot at.
Daniel Briere scored his fifth goal of the series this way with the pass coming from Mike Richards.
I didn't get to watch the overtime periods last night (had a friend's concert and sorority function to attend), but I went through the game log. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems the refs ate the whistles in the OT periods as there were no penalties called.
Since I didn't see the OT, maybe there weren't any actual penalties, but that's hard to believe. Players get desperate in overtime and tend to commit stupid penalties, many of which aren't called in OT.
Now I understand refs don't want to take over games in overtime, but sometimes calls do need to be made.
Enough digression, my early thoughts for game five are the Flyers aren't going to win this one. Alex Ovechkin is just too good and has been too much of a non-factor so far. He's going to break out eventually and I think game five will be that game. It's hard to believe that he can be shut down again and go five games with only one goal.
The game will be Saturday at one in Washington.
Initial CuseAdelphia prediction: 4-3 Washington. Both teams can score, so expect lots of it again.
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